"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul."
OK, I poached that quote from John Muir but it so perfectly describes the way I feel about being outdoors and spending time with people in places like the Grand Canyon. I have guided in the canyon since 1988, and it is still my favorite place in the world. To me, guiding in Grand Canyon isn’t just about the river and the rapids and the hikes. It’s also about the community that develops on a trip, and the things you learn, both academically and emotionally, while traveling through the canyon. It’s the world’s best classroom for your brain, and for your heart.
I’ve been a geologist and paleontologist for almost three decades. I find myself happiest and most effective teaching outdoors, where all this stuff makes sense, so I work with every age from Kindergarten to Elderhostel, exploring the wonderful story that is our planet. I run a small educational business known as This Earth. In addition, I am a writer, and I love to translate the natural world for the general public. You can find my work at www.thisearthpress.com.
I’m pretty much a Spring and Fall canyon gal. I work in Alaska in the summers, and in the winters I am a sea kayak guide in Baja California. So I get to spend my year in some of the most beautiful and inspiring places on the planet and I feel like the luckiest person in the world.
I run a small non-profit scholarship fund called One At a Time for young women in other countries who need access to education, and I work throughout the year on the border between Arizona and Mexico with a humanitarian group which brings water, food and medical care to people in need in the desert. This experience and others have convinced me to add another arrow to the quiver and I am studying to be a Physician Assistant so that I can work in places people don’t have easy access to health care.
When I slow down, which isn’t often, I live in Flagstaff with an assortment of housemates and two very sweet kitties who love nothing more than a horizontal human surface to lay on.