Current vocation:
Environment and Land Use Planner at Pioneer Valley Planning Commission

What were you doing before you applied to the Conway School?
Chocolatier and environmental educator

What brought you to Conway?
I had been considering attending Conway for several years before I finally applied. I was a student of permaculture, a long-time hobbiest gardener, and an environmental educator. I kept running into graduates of the program, and it seemed to offer the kind of personalized, ecologically grounded education I was looking for.

Imagine we just met, and recognized we had common interests. How would you describe Conway to me?
Conway is a small, hands-on, crash-course design school with a liberal arts heart.

What advice do you have for someone just starting out in the field?
Conway breeds graduates in a new field. Be patient in finding your dream job–you’re likely going to have to build it yourself. Also, be open–you never know what you’re going to stumble across!

What are you doing right now, and what do you love about it?
I am working for all 43 towns of the Pioneer Valley as a regional land use and environment planner. I love learning about new-to-me planning concepts, and I love the challenge of making a plan and getting it to work. I also get to build my own work plan, to a degree–find a grant and make the project!

List one or more books that you find influential in the field of ecological design and/or planning.
For design, I love Claudia West’s Planting in a Post-Wild World. For planning, the literature is unlimited. I am yet to find my bible!

What book changed your life?
Ceremonial Time by John Hanson Mitchell. A book about despair and hope in the long era of climate change.