- How long have you been at Oregon State?
I’m starting my third year here this fall.
- Where did you come from?
I came from Utah State University, where I did my graduate work and a post doc. I’m originally from Pennsylvania. Before I went to graduate school, I worked as a high school science teacher in Wisconsin. I liked teaching, but high school teaching was exhausting, so after two years I went back to grad school so I could teach at the university level.
- Did you always want to work in and study recreation?
I always wanted to be a scientist. When I was little I wanted to be a marine biologist, but I could never equalize during SCUBA training. I always wanted to do some sort of conservation-oriented science.
- What is your favorite part about your job?
I like the balance of interacting with and teaching undergraduates and working with graduate students and conducting research. I also get to travel to many of the parks I study to set up projects and present to managers. I feel really lucky to travel to places for work that most people go for vacation.
- What does your life look like outside work?
I’m a huge knitter. Anytime I’m sitting down, I’m knitting. I also do a lot of yoga and hiking and a little bit of trail running.
- Those are all very meditative hobbies. How did you get into them?
I’ve done yoga since I was 18. It’s really the only form of exercise I’ve been consistent with, and I got into knitting during grad school when I was looking for a new hobby and hoping to meet new people. I started a knitting group at Utah State. Now I knit with people in the college occasionally.
- What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever knitted?
My knitting group made a National Park centennial blanket. We released the patterns for sale and donated the money we made back to the parks.
- Anything interesting you’ve read, watched or listened to lately?
I’ve been watching ‘Atypical’ on Netflix. My younger sister works with students with autism, and the show is about a family affected by autism, so it’s really interesting. I also just read a book called ‘Educated: A memoir,’ and I recommend that to everyone.
- If you were a vegetable, what would you be?
Maybe broccoli because it looks like a tree. It’s also my favorite vegetable.
- You have a lot of LEGOs in your office. What’s the story with that?
I’ve always loved playing with LEGOs, and they’re making really fun sets now, so I have a set of women scientists and a National Parks set. Science can be a bit too serious sometimes, so I think they add some whimsy into my office and makes my students feel more comfortable.