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Welcome to my Florida Nature Gallery

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My love for wildlife started in my own canyon backyard in San Diego, California and visiting my grandparents in the deserts and canyons of Tucson and Sedona, Arizona. Many days were spent hiking the canyon trails near my home, observing animals, insects, and plants. I loved taking pictures and wanted to work for National Geographic when I grew up.

As a college student, I became very interested in psychology and animal behavior. My undergraduate degree was in Psychology and my graduate degree was in Experimental Psychology with an emphasis in primate/animal behavior. During graduate school, I had the unique and incredible opportunity to care for a family of five chimpanzees who learned ASL in the 1960’s and 70’s, Washoe, Loulis, Moja, Tatu & Dar. It was a life-altering experience to be able to communicate in sign language with another species and to learn from them, care for them, and love them.

As a child, I spent many days at the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, so it was a dream come true to have a job as a photo caravan educator guide at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park after graduate school. Along with my amazing co-workers, I spent my days educating the public about the beautiful giraffes, rhinos, and hundreds of other species roaming through naturalistic enclosures mimicking the plains of Africa and Asia. Best job ever! I had the opportunity to educate the public as an animal science educator at Utah’s Hogle Zoo and went on to launch my own successful animal science education company, Wild Things, sharing my love of animals and educational programs with thousands of Utah residents. It was one of the toughest jobs I’ve ever had, but it was also an amazing adventure and learning experience.

In search of better weather and a healthier climate, our family of five moved to Southwest Florida four years ago after falling head over heels in love with the beauty and wildlife of Florida during several months of full-time RV-ing here. I loved Florida so much that I could not imagine living anywhere else. I was fascinated by the diversity of species here and couldn’t wait to learn more about the unique animals and plants we discovered each day. As I researched how I could increase my knowledge of Florida wildlife and ecosystems, I found the Florida Master Naturalist Program through the University of Florida. I graduated from the FMNP courses in 2020 and continue to try to increase my knowledge through reading and research trips to learn more about the incredible flora and fauna of Florida.

I hope you will enjoy the nature photography from my explorations of wild Florida and that it will inspire you to learn more about Florida's rare and iconic species and to plan your own nature adventures in Florida.

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