Professional Experience

 

Please Note: Work experience includes staff positions as well as freelance work undertaken as an independent contractor. Overlaps in timeline reflect positions held and projects undertaken concurrently.

2017-2018

Founding co-editor and contributing writer | Agate magazine

Agate is an on-line magazine about nature, science and conservation in Minnesota and the surrounding Great Lakes Region. The magazine operates under the fiscal sponsorship of the nonprofit Springboard for the Arts, and is a blend of literary and journalistic writing, photography and visual arts, and broadcast-quality audio stories.

Science/Environmental Writer | Scientific and Natural Areas Program, Minnesota DNR

Contract with the state Scientific and Natural Areas Program (Minnesota DNR) to write descriptions of SNAs for the program’s on-line guidebook. Developed narratives based on site visits and interviews with researchers, land managers, site stewards, and subject-area specialists on wide-ranging ecological themes.

Poet  | Commissioned by Hennepin County Medical Center

Collaborated with England-based architectural glass artist Martin Donlin in an art installation for the new Hennepin County Medical Center Specialty Clinic, Mpls. Commissioned to write the poem “Mirroring the Light,” to accompany Donlin’s 4-story glass sculpture, celebrated with an opening reception in March, 2018. 

2016

Spring Artist/Writer in Residence | Belwin Conservancy, Afton, MN

Explored Belwin’s 1000+ acres of prairie, marsh, and savanna from the spring equinox to the summer solstice, expressing the transformations in the landscape through poetry. Also led creative writing workshop for the public and will host fall 2016 reading of works created during the residency.

Guest Faculty | St. Croix Master Watershed Steward Program

Led reading/discussions with Minnesota and Wisconsin co-horts on the theme of ‘Enhancing river appreciation and engaging citizen advocates in watershed issues through poetry and creative writing.’

 

2014-2015

Independent producer | KFAI Radio

Produced a series of audio stories on science and environmental themes for KFAI radio’s 10,000 Fresh Voices series, Mpls. MN.

 

January 2015

Appointed to three year term, Minnesota DNR’s Commissioner’s Advisory Committee on Natural Resources, St. Paul, MN.

 

2014

Contract writer, Scientific and Natural Areas Program | Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources

 

February 2008 – 2013

Coordinator, Amador-Sunrise Land Registry | Women’s Environmental Institute, North Branch, MN

Leadership of the Amador-Sunrise Land Registry Program, a conservation program for private landowners. Responsibilities include event planning and promotion, facilitation of member benefits, communications with members and partner organizations, and general program administration. Earlier work with the organization included community relations and outreach to develop mission-related partnerships; leading nature poetry/writing workshops; support to fund-raising initiatives; writing and design services; consultation on public services policy, and general program/operations development.

 

March 2013 – August 2013

Artist in Residence, Resident Artist Research Program (RARP) | Bell Museum of Natural History, University of Minnesota

Produced Anticipating Rhythm, a short video celebrating rhythm and pattern in nature; wrote and presented poetry to museum audiences; wrote and recorded prototype audio tour for museum exhibit; collaborated on creation of biodiversity exhibit for display in public spaces.

 

March 2008 – April 2012

Writer | Science Museum of Minnesota

Lead writer for two museum programs: (1) wrote creative profiles of museum scientists and their current research for the “Stories Project” of the Research and Collections Division, and (2) conducted video interviews and wrote profiles of inductees to the Minnesota Science and Technology Hall of Fame for use in web, exhibit and print publications.

 

October 2006 – February 2008

Program Director | Arcola Mills, Stillwater, MN

Coordinated public events and programs for this nonprofit organization focused on the arts, history, environment and retreat/renewal. Responsibilities included 1) Establishing program and public use policy, goals and standards,2) development, delivery, promotion and evaluation of events and programs;  (3) grant-writing; (4) public relations/communications; (5) team leadership with program staff, volunteers and consultants, (6) community outreach, (7) Liaison with caterers and vendors for meetings and special events

A sampling of events and programs would include:

• “Grand Opening” week
• Concert-lecture Series
• Community Poetry Crawl
• Spring wildflower walks
• Youth River Action Program
• St. Croix River Outings (Women’s Paddle Club)
• Riverside Haiku
• Yoga and mindfulness meditation
• Café Arcola: a showcase for musicians and poets
• Writing workshop co-hosted by the Loft Literary Center
• Art from Nature: artist-led workshop in drawing technique
• Heritage Teas: featuring speakers on local history, along with tea & pastries
• Plein air painting, landscapes of the St. Croix

 

February-September 1995

Communications Specialist | Minnesota Land Trust, Mpls., MN

Contract position. Primary responsibilities: design and development of educational and promotional literature.

 

September 1993-May 1995

Essayist/Author

Researched and authored a collection of first-person prose essays focused on the ecological relationships and key features of selected natural areas in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Published by the University of Minnesota Press under the title Far From Tame: Landscapes at the Heart of a Continent. Winner, 1997 Minnesota Book Award.

 

January 1991 -1993

Essayist/Commentator | Minnesota Public Radio, “Voices from the Heartland” Series, St. Paul, MN

Regularly featured essayist on natural history/environmental science topics. Researched and wrote prose-style narrative pieces for monthly broadcasts.

 

October 1981 – September 1993

Program Director | Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center, Hastings, MN

Originally hired as Naturalist, designing and leading interpretive programming for diverse clientele, both on site and in community settings. When promoted to Program Director, managed educational programming and public services for 15-20,000 annual visitors. Responsibilities included program development, leadership of naturalist staff, special event coordination (including performing arts programs such as large-scale music festivals and concert-lecture series), publications development, promotions, and liaison with program clients and with Education Advisory Board. Sought and received grants and in-kind contributions from community businesses and individuals to expand the center’s ability to accomplish its mission. Co-produced annual “Summerfolk” music festival with Red House Records.

 

October-March, 1980-81

State Outdoor Education Workshop Coordinator | MN DNR: Division of Information and Education

Coordinated regional outdoor education workshops at locations throughout the state. Involved in site selection and preparation, coordination of instructors, promotions, facilitation of sessions.

 

Ongoing

Freelance writer, poet, public speaker, multi-media artist | various clients

Projects have included but are not limited to:

• Author, “Far From Tame: Reflections from the Heart of a Continent,” (University of Minnesota Press) Winner, Minnesota Book Award

• Writer/Director for Kinnickinnic River Land Trust 5-part video series, “Heart of the Kinni”

• 2011 guest presenter, Pettingill Lecture in Natural History, University of MichiganBiological Station

• Writer for Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul:  annual report narrative, 2006 & 2005

Author, “Watch this Wild River: National Scenic St. Croix River,” cover story in current issue of Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine

• Wrote and collaborated on design of 16-page case study for St. Croix Watershed Research Station, Marine St. Croix

• Commissioned to write and present “One Road,” a 30-minute dramatic work conveying the changing natural and cultural landscape in a rural area of the St. Croix Valley. Performed at the Phipps Center for the Arts, Hudson, WI

• Research and writing for educational CD-ROM focused on Georgia’s Chattahoochee River, winner of top honors in the interactive category, 2004 Wildscreen Festival, England. Client: Center for Global Environmental Education, Hamline University, St. Paul

• Writer in residence for pilot season of “Artists at Pine Needles,” a program of the St. Croix Watershed Research Station, Marine St. Croix, MN. Authored “River Cafe,” a one-act play staged in March 2003.

• Author, “Acre by Acre,” feature article (July 2003), Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, MN Dept. Natural Resources

• Contributing researcher, writer [2 years], for “Minnesota: A History of the Land” documentary series, broadcast on Twin Cities Public Television

• Researcher, writer: St. Croix Valley Report, for the Institute for Sustainable Resources, University of Minnesota

• Researched and designed interpretive curricula for Lutsen Scientific and Natural Area. Led training workshop for naturalists using curricula. Client: MN Dept. of Natural Resources Scientific and Natural Areas Program

• Researched, wrote, designed Natural Areas: Protecting a Vital Community Asset (A Sourcebook for Minnesota Local Governments and Citizens). Client: MN Dept. of Natural Resources Natural Heritage and Nongame Research Program

• Researched, wrote and designed Land Protection Options (A Handbook for Minnesota Landowners). Clients: The Nature Conservancy, the MN Department of Natural Resources, the Minnesota Land Trust, The Trust for Public Land

• Produced regular cover features (research topics, conduct interviews, photography, proposed layout) for biannual publication. Client: the Minnesota Land Trust

• Produced regular cover features and additional articles (research topics, conduct interviews) for biannual publication. Client: The Trust for Public Land Additional Professional Experience and Training

• Co-founder of the nonprofit River Croix Fund, established with the St. Croix Valley Foundation to support projects that preserve the St. Croix River and natural features of its adjacent landscapes.

• Grant-writing: Working for a local consortium of nonprofit organizations (Warner Nature Center, Wilder Forest, and the St. Croix Watershed Research Station) wrote successful Metro-Greenways grant to fund acquisition of 3 key parcels of land to link existing protected properties and create the St. Croix Greenway.

• Keynote speaker for a conference of the Mediterranean Association of International Schools, Portugal, on the subject of environmental education

• Weekly columnist Hastings Star Gazette and Prescott Journal newspapers

• Wilderness Canoe Guide, Lake of the Woods, Oak Island, MN

• Public speaker/performer: Creation and performance of monologues for events hosted by The Nature Conservancy (MN), the Madeline Island Land Trust (WI) and the Southern Theater (MN)

• Coursework at the Minneapolis Playwrights’ Center, including Storytelling, Theatrical Journalism, and One-Act Play Development

 

Academic Profile

1980 Bachelor of Science, St. Cloud State University. Recreation, Outdoor Education, Field Biology. Honors: Magna Cum Laude

 

Interests

Music, nature, adventures in the outdoors (hiking, canoeing, biking), travel and culture,

writing, advocacy on social justice and environmental issues, gardening, cooking with

locally grown foods and exploring recipes from cultures around the world

 

References available upon request.

 

 

 

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