YES! staff work intensively with teams to assess community assets and needs, create action plans, identify and involve community partners, and link teams with further funding resources to match the students’ passion with a real need and opportunity in their community.
Guidance by staff as well as interactions with business and industry experts leads to ambitious renewable energy and energy conservation projects that demonstrate an impact in the greater community.
As Program Manager of YES! (Youth Eco Solutions) I enjoy working with the amazing staff, students, teachers, and partners to bring this program to schools across Minnesota. I have a degree in Communications from Gustavus Adolphus College and an MBA in Sustainable Business from Marylhurst University. I have had a passion for the environment since I was a young girl and am honored to be part of this program that works to reduce our ecological footprint each and every day.
Before coming to PWELC, I worked with the Alexandria School District as their Sustainability Specialist, produced environmental programming for Twin Cities Public Television, and worked with a variety of local businesses to create sustainable business action plans.
I enjoy kayaking and sailing in the summer with my husband Sean and our 3 sons Manford, Kagan, and J.J.
I grew up in New London, MN on a small hobby farm. After graduation, I took off for college around the country and then across the globe to pursue my love of animals and nature. Four years later I completed college with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology that I acquired from Oklahoma City, Willmar, Mankato, and Queensland (Australia). I am very passionate about traveling and getting younger generations outside and exploring for themselves what nature has to offer which is how
I ended up at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center (PWELC) after graduation. I have been working at PWELC facilitating Environmental Education courses as well as Challenge Course courses since 2016. The PWELC and YES! connection led me to my current position as a YES! coordinator.
I joined the full time Prairie Woods team in Nov. 2013, after volunteering and being a part-time staff member the prior three years. I wear many hats at Prairie Woods as office manager, “as needed” challenge course and environmental education instructor, as well as time travel program leader. One of my many office manager duties is to help support the YES! teams on the business end.
I gained my “many hat” experience through working for outdoor education centers in Hudson, WI and Battle Creek, MI. Growing up in Door County, WI is what built my love of the outdoors and a good Midwest winter.
I was born and raised in Waconia, MN and I received my Bachelor’s in Biology from Crown College. After I graduated, I took a position with the Minnesota GreenCorps and was stationed at the Laurentian Environmental Center. I worked to help implement YES! In the Northeast region in its first year in the Northeast Region. I have been working as a Naturalist at the environmental center for the better part of the last four years. I am excited to take over the role of Northeastern MN YES! Coordinator and build on the success that we have had in years past. I am looking forward to working with the YES! Teams to see what we are able to accomplish in the arrowhead of Minnesota. My passion for the outdoors and working with students is what led me to this position and I am excited to hit the ground running with YES!
In my free time away from work, I enjoy hiking, biking and playing board games with my friends and family
I am a Le Sueur native and graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies and Psychology. Since graduating I have had various jobs, internships, and volunteering opportunities including being the Program Coordinator and Administrative Assistant at the Ney Nature Center, a tutor, an Animal Care Intern, Gardener/Naturalist/Go To Person at a camp, and part of the Le Sueur Royalty Committee.
A few projects I am currently working on include running my own business as a Norwex independent consultant, bee keeping, refreshing my dance skills, and learning how to carve wood. I love spending time with family and friends, especially if that time includes animals, four wheeling, movies, food, or outdoor adventures.
I became the Southern Region Coordinator in January of 2017 and got right to work. I finished planning and putting on 2 Winter Workshops within 3 weeks of starting my position. One of my favorite aspects of this position is meeting with the students and hearing about their projects. Seeing the pride for their projects gives me a renewed passion for working toward sustainability and making sure our younger generations understand its importance.
I was born and raised in Northfield, Minnesota and graduated in 2011 from St. Olaf College with a degree in biology. While at St. Olaf, I had opportunities to explore many areas of biology including science education and interning at a hospital in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I joined YES! in April of 2011 and have had many roles supporting the great work of the YES! teams. I have worked as the Southern YES! Coordinator, YES! Communications Consultant, and now as a Contributing Editor. I look forward to continuing to work with the great people who make YES! happen and continue to watch YES! grow and impact more and more students and their communities.
When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband Sam and our two cats. We enjoy cooking, biking, bird watching, and exploring Minnesota!
I have been passionate about protecting our environment since my teenage years of camping, hiking, and canoeing, which planted in me a deep admiration and a need for understanding our natural world. I proceeded to study and practice water resources and hydrology as a Civil Engineer, then moved into the field of Architecture to design sustainable and low energy consumption buildings for the last 30 years.
Now, being recently retired from professional practice, my quest is to use my experiences to assist today’s youth to develop their own ecological literacy, priorities, and ethics to guide the next generation of environmental sustainability and resilience. The student and staff energy inside the YES! program is unbelievable and I am just happy to be a part of it.
Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center (YES! Host)
12718 10th St NE
Spicer, MN 56288