Phone: (607) 865-7790 ext. 119
Where were you born and raised? I was born in Thurso, Scotland and raised on the Shetland Islands, which are also part of Scotland. Fact: there are no trees in Shetland (barring a few ornamental ones).
What is your educational background? I have a BSc in Marine Resource Management (2000) from The University of Aberdeen, Scotland. It may seem that the “marine” part is a far cry from anything forestry but think marine, think water. What is WAC protecting? Water. And what resource are we managing to protect water? Forests. So in a six degrees of Kevin Bacon way, I’m still doing Marine Resource Management – just minus the salt!
Briefly describe your home life. Horse manure. That just about sums it up. I have two horses and the horse manure just keeps coming. Every. Single. Day. In all seriousness though, I enjoy trail riding on my horses, cooking, DIY projects on my fixer-upper house, spending time with friends, fishing and travelling.
How long have your worked for WAC? And what office do you work from? I started working for WAC in 2004 as the Forestry Program’s Administrative Assistant and moved up to my current position, Forestry Program Outreach Specialist, in 2007. I work out of the office in Hamden, NY and I enjoy forest views out of my window.
What is your job at WAC? Briefly describe your typical day. The priority for me right now is MyWoodlot, so most days you’ll find me on the site managing everything from development and content to maintenance and Search Engine Optimization. At other times, it’s anything but typical. I could be promoting logger training at a lumberjack festival, designing multitudes of promotional material, or photographing loggers and their heavy equipment on timber harvests. I love my job because of the variety of things I get to do and the cast of characters I get to meet.
What are your favorite MWL Interests? My favorite MWL Interest is Recreation. I don’t actually own any wooded acreage, but I enjoy hiking, horseback riding, snowshoeing, and riding 4-wheelers on woodland belonging to friends and state land.
What are your favorite MWL Activities? My favorite MWL Activity would have to be Map My Trails. Although my property doesn’t have any trails on it, I ride my horses all over the county on various State and private trails. I use the MapMyHike smartphone app recommended on MyWoodlot to track my route, distance and time outdoors. That way I don’t get lost, and if it’s getting late or starts to rain, I know exactly how long it will take to get back to the trailer.
Describe your favorite experience in the woods (preferably with a family forest owner). Last year a friend introduced me to wild leeks. Wild leeks, or ramps as they’re known, grow in the woods and can only be harvested during a 2-week period around mid-to-late May. My friend gave me a jar she had picked herself and pickled earlier in the year, and once you pop, you can’t stop. My husband and I finished the whole jar in about 30 seconds. Knowing there is an abundance of wild leeks on my neighbor’s property, I set off up “the hill” on Memorial Day weekend (with permission of course) armed with my husband, two shovels and a 5-gallon bucket. By the end of the weekend I had 20 jars of pickled leeks in my pantry, dirt so far under my fingernails no manicurist would touch me, and a grin on my face the size of a Cheshire cat. The hardest part? Waiting 8 weeks for the juice to do it’s pickling magic. I made it to 7. I can’t wait until next May.