EcoTripMatch founder, wildlife biologist, author, artist
All of my career paths have led to this point....the conclusion that people need to feel inspired in order to protect wildlife and wild lands. Dire environmental statistics and conservation guilt trips are too overwhelming (really, who has a spare 20 minutes to wash out a plastic peanut butter jar so it can be recycled?). It’s the magical emotional connection to nature, more than the logical, that engages people and drives them to take action.
I launched the startup, EcoTripMatch.com, to help people better connect to ecolodges and eco-tours around the world because I believe ecotourism is one of the best conservation tools. Travel gives people that direct, emotional connection, whether it’s close by or far afield. If I can help someone plan their time in nature by creating an itinerary or directing them to an epic experience, I’m a happy camper. As part of EcoTripMatch.com’s, I also started the annual Best Nature Tour Guide award, that recognizes the work of a remarkable person on the ‘front lines’ of ecotourism, selected by a global, online vote.
I have a masters degree in environmental communications, have worked for World Wildlife Fund, Smithsonian National Zoo, National Audubon Society, and World Resources Institute, developing and writing educational materials on a range of biological and conservation subjects. I was the catalyst, co-author, and one of the art ‘curators’ for the award-winning (8 pound!) coffee table book, “Art of the National Parks: Historic connections, contemporary interpretations”. I have participated in wildlife field research projects in the Northern Rocky Mountains and the rainforests of Panama. In the past decade, I’ve organized and co-led nature trips to Panama, Botswana, South Africa, Spain and California. And if I wasn’t busy enough, I’m also a professional artist, which is my way of reliving those moments of inspiration that I find outside!