My roots run deep in the West. I was born in Seattle, grew up near Puget Sound, and relocated to Boulder for grad school at the University of Colorado in the 1990s. The Rocky Mountain sunshine revealed a whole new side to winter, and here I still am.
Given that I'm a third generation Washingtonian — an esteemed status in my home state — I still feel the strong pull of my native Northwest. And I log a lot of miles on road trips between here and there — at least 150,000 and counting, over every conceivable route between the Rockies and the Cascades.
At CU, I studied news writing and production, environmental communication, and the role of media in systems of cultural and social relations. I've worked as a freelance journalist, editor, copywriter and marketing communications strategist, and as program coordinator for CU's Center for Environmental Journalism. Currently, I'm editorial director at Natural Habitat Adventures, the conservation travel partner of WWF. It's a fortuitous position that brings together writing and editing, a concern for the planet and its wild spaces and creatures, and my passion for travel.
Wanderlust flowed in my veins early on. I spent summers camping, hiking and fishing, lucky to have a school teacher dad with long breaks, a truck and camper, and a contagious love for the outdoors. In 10th grade driver's ed class we were tasked with planning a road trip. Mine was to the Yukon. As soon as I could get there for real, I did, hopping an Alaska State Ferry at 19 for a summer job in Skagway, near the Canadian border. I worked as a tour narrator aboard a sightseeing boat, then traversed the rest of Alaska and the Yukon for the next decade as a tour director, guiding groups to Denali, Dawson and beyond. Later, I led trips elsewhere in the U.S. and Canada and worked in sales and operations management in the Alaska and Canadian Rockies tourism industry.
Since then, I've managed to get to all 50 states and more than 60 countries. My travels have taken me trekking in the the Caucasus Mountains, into the Bolivian Amazon by dugout canoe, kayaking with humpback whales in Antarctica, lemur tracking in Madagascar, overland in Botswana by 4x4 Land Cruiser, and across 115 miles of Mongolian steppe on a horse, sipping fermented mare’s milk with nomad families on the way. Among my most magical wildlife encounters are snorkeling with sea lions in the Galapagos, touching a friendly gray whale in Baja, and sitting face to face with a silverback gorilla in the Congo rain forest.
On the home front, I share adventures with my husband Leif, a family physician; son Kjell, a photojournalist and videographer; and daughter Bryn, a college student. An Alaskan malamute, Chena, and Tiger the tabby cat round out our family. In my "spare time" I try to fit in as much singing, skiing, hiking, reading, cooking and discovering great food and wine as I can.