Me? I am a writer, an explorer, and a conservationist. Not that I am a professional at any of those things. If I am professional at anything, it is being a Greenhorn. It is how I want to live out the rest of my life – following my heart across the boundary of my comfort zone into the unknown.
Five years ago the organization I worked for failed, and I had to decide what I was going to do. I asked myself: What is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done professionally? The answer: Being directly involved in projects to protect and restore our planet. Then I asked myself: What is the most fulfilling thing I have ever done personally? The answer: Writing. So I began inventing a life out of the two things I loved.
That led to the first journey into the unknown: I was invited to join a rafting expedition into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to collect photos that would dispel the belief that the Refuge was a wasteland just waiting to be drilled for oil. I was heading into 30,000 square miles of wilderness where there are still unnamed peaks and passes, not to mention wolves and polar bears. I had never pitched a tent or lighted a camp stove, but that didn’t stop me from saying Yes! in ten seconds flat. Like any foolhardy Greenhorn, I figured I could learn along the way. And I did.
From there I joined efforts to monitor the dolphin population off the pacific coast of Costa Rica, catalogue the health of the coral reefs off southwest Madagascar, support the Cabo Pulmo marine protected area in Baja California, help the tribes of the Amazon defend their territories and their cultures from destruction, learn earth-saving wisdom from the Kogi tribe in Colombia.
All the while, writing the stories of the people, places and insights I experienced along the way.
And now a new journey has begun: a journey into bookstores near you! My first book, Fun in the Mud – a slyly educational fairy tale about the web of life in wetlands – is being published by Roundtree Press, an imprint of Cameron and Company. I cannot be more excited. Or more nervous. How does it feel when a dream is about to come true? Tingly and terrifying all at the same time.