Go Always! From a very young age this has been my steadfast motto. Any chance to get outdoors I saw as an opportunity to explore the world. I was really upset when the huge uprooted oak tree that was our tree house home for all spring and summer was finally cut up into firewood. This sparked my interest in the environment and my appreciation of the land. But alas, with age comes responsibility, and after high school I soon found myself hard at work as a machinist manufacturing helicopter parts. This continued for several years, until I finally came to the realization that all the time I spent working indoors could have easily been spent in an outdoor occupation where I felt at home.
I made a change and became a self-employed landscaper, shaping and grooming properties along the shorelines of western Connecticut. I was happy working with the land, planting trees and shrubs, and getting my hands down into the soil. I soon found out that no matter how much I manipulated the land, it would always try to resist me. I needed to find out why so I decided to return to school, community college, at a somewhat non-traditional age. I guess you could say I was a late bloomer. During this time, my younger brother was working on his Master of Forestry degree at Yale. That spring, his silviculture professor asked if I would be interested in a summer work program at Yale-Myers Research Forest in the northeastern corner of the state. I agreed, and my interest in the environment and what drives it was rekindled. One day led to another and several years later I completed my Bachelor of Forestry degree at the University of Kentucky, and received my Master of Forest Resources degree from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. The changes I made in my life genuinely made a difference in how I perceived the environment. After all, where would we be without the forests of the world.
I still go whenever I get the chance, with a much clearer understanding of the environment and the natural world. There are 59 places in the U.S. designated as national parks. I have been fortunate to visit 30 of these places, some stays brief, others for more extended periods of time. Explorations of this nature further solidify my deep respect for the planet on which we live. I now begin a new journey with SCA where I will continue to learn with other conservation-minded people, and hopefully influence others to do the same. The world is a big place and there are many places worth saving.