I grew up in Indiana and moved to Colorado in 2007.  My educational background is in agronomy and pharmaceutics from Purdue, and environmental engineering from Colorado State.  I have always enjoyed science and math and I love to apply those principles to the real world.  I also enjoy spending time outdoors observing the world around me.  

When did you first become interested in sustainability?

I became interested in sustainability during one of my plant breeding classes at Purdue.  The professor was from Africa and he often gave real examples of how many people around the world struggle just to be able to eat and drink.  These struggles were the result of environmental, educational, economical, and/or cultural factors. 

What are the most interesting/important things that you’ve learned since being an intern at Nourish the Planet?

I have only been working a couple weeks now, but I have already learned about the dynamic interactions between the plants, aquatic life, and water.  In school I was taught about these interactions, but to be able to actually witness this first-hand is extremely valuable from an educational standpoint.  

How do you incorporate sustainability into your life?

I have always incorporated the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle), but recently, I have been getting into growing my own garden.  I really enjoy learning new things and developing new skills.  

What do you want to see change in the world in the next 10 years? I would like to see the world take a little time to observe what is around them – to appreciate what they have, and to learn to use their local resources in an efficient and responsible manner.

What are your goals for the future?

I have two goals.  The first would be to either work for a company, or own my own company, that provides consulting for river and lake restoration.  I would absolutely love to work on high alpine lakes.  My second goal is to provide educational and technological consulting on an international level in ecological sustainability and restoration.  

If you could give advice to your younger self, what would it be?

I would tell myself to not get so wrapped up in the little things.  Things will get tough, but keep an open mind and a good heart, and things will work out.

What is the number one place that you would like to travel to?

Iceland.  The amount of beauty here is unimaginable – volcanoes, mountains, waterfalls, green earth, rock, etc.  The land and geology are fascinating.  I am also interested in how the country uses thermal energy for their needs.

What do you do to “get away from it all” or what is your passion?

I really enjoy getting out to the mountains.  I enjoy climbing the 14ers and 13ers as well as going for long trail runs.

What is your favorite book that you’ve read in the past year?

Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner.  It’s an interesting book about the effects and impacts of water during the settling of the American West.

What do you wish you were better at?

I wish I was better at learning by listening.  I seem to learn best by either doing or by seeing; but it is hard for me to remember or understand much when it is given to me verbally.

When you are feeling unmotivated, how do you inspire yourself?

I usually go for a long run to clear my mind.  It’s amazing how much better and calmer I feel when I am finished.

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