Get to Know Emma!

EmmaHi there! My name is Emma and this upcoming autumn I am going to be a senior at the University of Washington. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I have always been exposed to nature and I have always been very fond of trees—I love learning about them, I love learning from them, I love climbing them, I love resting under them to read a book—so naturally I decided to study Environmental Science and Resource Management and now I get to spend a lot of time in the trees. Beyond school, I love to run (when I say run, I actually mean jog) especially trail running (trail jogging). Reading is my favorite thing in the world—historical fiction is my go-to genre. I love days spent fishing with my dad. I love playing piano, even though very poorly. I am an avid collector of heart-shaped rocks, plant specimens, and words (poems, quotes, song lyrics, and such). With that being said, I am so, so crazy happy to be a part of the IMBY team! I hope I can put all my passions to work and make a difference and get more people outdoors and loving on nature.

1) Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Seattle. I’ve moved around a bit but always in the Greater Seattle Area.

2) What are you looking forward to the most as a summer IMBY intern?               

I am looking forward to forging new connections, meeting new people, and making new friends. I can be super passionate, but very indecisive, so I am excited to learn about myself and reflect on my own passions and stories that led me to where I am today—to maybe find a little more direction in terms of my future. And of course, I am excited for all the amazing adventures we will be having!

3) Top three biggest adventures!

Well, first I have to say I don’t think I have had my top three biggest adventures yet! There are so many places I still want to go and experience and learn from. But for now, these are the top three:

  • Attending college! Navigating my way through the application processes, being accepted, commuting every day, meeting new people, taking classes, being knocked down and getting up again, losing myself, being confused, then finding myself, only to lose myself again…being perpetually lost is an adventure in itself, right?!
  • Fishing on the Cowlitz River. One year when I was younger my dad took me fishing for my birthday. We fished up and down that river for over 10 hours and I only caught one fish! Granted, it was a big fish. This day and many like it have instilled in me an appreciation for adventure—it’s not necessarily the amount of fish you catch that is important, but the memory you make, etc, etc….cliché but true.
  • Camping, camping, camping! During my junior year of college, I took a class called Ecosystem Management. In this class we take a 2-week long camping trip down throughout Southern Oregon and parts of California. We spent time hiking, botanizing, and lecturing around a campfire. It was a life-changing experience to be able to learn about ecological forestry, landscape management, and the social, political, and economic regulations surrounding the forest.

4) Strangest food you’ve ever tried?

Recently I tried durian ice-cream. Durian is a popular fruit in Southeast Asia apparently. Needless to say, I don’t plan on eating it again but I am glad I tried it.

5) If you were stranded on an island, what three items would you bring with you?

I would bring a library with every book in the world. (Especially plant ID and astronomy books, so I could spend time learning about all the cool species on this exotic island and practice my star-gazing). I would bring my dog Copper because he is my best friend. And I would bring an endless supply of stationary and pens, along with a carrier pigeon so I could always write letters home.

6) What’s your dream destination and why?

I have an old National Geographic map hanging above my bed and it is marked with all the places I want to explore one day, there’s at least a few markers on each continent. So I can’t answer this question with one place only. But to sum it up: I would love to backpack around Europe. Many of my ancestors hail from Ireland and Scotland so those are on the top of my list. I would love to visit Israel for the history. Madagascar because of the lemurs and basically just all around Africa. I’d love to visit Chile, especially the Patagonia region, because I wrote a report on the country in 6th grade and never stopped loving it.

7) What did you want to be growing up and why?

To be honest, I didn’t really think about it as a kid. I was really good at just living in the moment, playing around outside, and being content. But now I think about it all the time and I still don’t know….

8) If you could go on a road trip with anyone (dead or alive), who would you chose and where would you go?

My grandma Vera. She died right after I was born and I hear about her a lot but I don’t remember ever actually meeting her. Everyone tells me she was a very headstrong person. I often get told I look like her and my middle name is Vera, but it feels odd looking like and being named after someone I don’t know. She was born in England and she moved to America and started a bait and tackle business. I heard she loved fishing for salmon in the Puget Sound, so maybe that would be something we could do together. I am not sure it matters where we would go, but maybe a cross-country trip through America, stopping at all the historical landmarks and scenic sites we possibly could—try and make a memory in each state. It might take all summer, but we would have a ton of fun and I know she would be full of wisdom and life that she could pass on to me.

9) What is your favorite memory of backyard?

Behind my house, there is a big forest. If you trek far enough back, there is a humongous fallen tree. It fell from a top ridge, so it creates this 45º angle that arches from bottom to top—creating a bridge from the lower forest to the upper forest. When I was younger, I explored back there with my sister and our dog, Copper, for the first time ever. We would climb to the top of the fallen log and hide in the upper alcove of trees. That feeling of discovery and adventure is what I remember and is my favorite backyard memory.

10) What is one goal you would like to accomplish in your lifetime?

I think I just want to leave a legacy. You know, plant some trees, raise a child, and write a book type thing. It doesn’t have to be a huge, change the world legacy, but just make someone else smile or breathe easier or feel important because of my own life—I guess that is always the ultimate goal and purpose. It’s romantic and idealistic and a little bit cheesy, but I like to strive for it.

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