I teach AP Biology and chemistry and coach soccer and lacrosse.
I knew I wanted to work at Thacher when
The day that I interviewed at Thacher was unusually cold and rainy. Toward the end of the day, the rain was starting to let up and someone took me to the Outdoor Chapel. When I saw the Ojai Valley open up in front of me, I knew I’d be foolish to pass up the opportunity to live and work here. I still haven’t gotten used to the beauty of this view.
Favorite Thacher teaching moment
Recently I had students from my marine biology course focus on the problem of ocean plastic pollution. We connected the concepts from class to the school community by studying the distribution of plastic debris in the Twin Peaks Trap Range. By posting photos to Instagram and including the hashtag #litterati, the class created a map of geotagged images that represented the distribution of plastic in the gun range. I loved this experience because it had the students out in the local environment, it allowed our actions to be presented to the Instagram and Litterati communities (both of which garnered responses from individuals all over the world), and it was a hands-on extension of the concepts we discussed in class. That lab extended to a small group of students who continued efforts to clean up the gun range for the rest of the year and presented their work at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Ocean Plastic Pollution Summit in the spring.
Most memorable Thacher camping trips
Sea kayaking trips that combine my love for camping and my fascination with marine life.
Favorite job perk
The dining hall food. That the food is often locally sourced and organic and beautifully prepared makes me constantly feel fortunate for this part of our community.
Since you asked me to brag, here's the professional accomplishment I'm most proud of
Completely revolutionizing the way I think about and approach teaching through online classes and field classes in Bozeman, which I took while earning my MS in science education.
When not in the classroom I can be found
Spending time with my daughter Max, coaching on the soccer or lacrosse fields, or walking my two massive (but sweet) dogs Gus and Sherman.
Favorite place at Thacher/in Ojai
The easily accessible and extensive trail network that extends from campus into the Los Padres National Forest.
Favorite place in my imagination
The place where all of my lab reports are already graded?
The book, movie, work of art, or piece of music I cannot imagine life without
Seamus Heaney’s The Cure at Troy.
Hardly anybody knows that
I love dancing to 90’s hip hop (although the secret is getting out) and making arts and crafts (taking photos, making jewelry, etc.).
What I wanted to be when I grew up (when I was 10)