Last April, I traveled to Boise, Idaho for the start of a 5 month temporary position as a Project Leader in the Finger Lakes National Forest. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, otherwise I would have packed a lot more clothes. By the end of this winter season I will have spent a year with the Student Conservation Association, and traveled over a significant portion of the country, spending summer in the Finger Lakes National Forest in NY, autumn in the Mojave desert in CA, and winter in the subtropical climate of Florida.
I got my start in trail work in September of 2006 as a member of the Middlesex County Conservation Corps. In 2007 I was made Middlesex County Conservation Corps Crew Chief, a position I held until 2009 while studying Environmental Policy at Rutgers University in New Jersey. After graduating in January of 2010 I joined the Student Conservation Association so I could continue to pursue my passion for being outdoors and continue the trail work which I love so much.
My relationship with the natural world started early in life. As children my brothers and I spent our summers catching frogs, crayfish, snakes, and box turtles in the streams and ponds around our house. As a child, I dreamt of being an explorer and photographer for “National Geographic.”
My thirst for adventure took me to Africa in 2006 when I had the fortune of spending a summer in Kenya on an archaeological dig sponsored by the Rutgers paleoanthropology department and the National Museum of Kenya. For eight amazing weeks we trekked through Kenya stopping to work at many famous archeological sites. I had the great fortune of helping to uncover the oldest known anatomically modern footprints ever found, dated to 2 million years old. Other discoveries included evidence of early stone tool butchery, primitive stone tools, and partial forearm and hand fossils.
I am excited by the opportunity to serve nature, and give back to the forests in which I enjoy spending much of my time. I hope that my work inspires others to do the same. It is my aspiration that visitors to the forests and parks in which I work leave not only with a better understanding of the natural world around them, but also a better sense of themselves and how they fit into it. It is my pleasure to provide our visitors with exciting recreation opportunities as well as the prospect of personal growth.