Surrounded by the concrete jungle of inner-city Chicago did nothing to dull her sense of wonder about the natural world and the longing to share the joy it produced with others. As a child, Maureen habitually searched mud puddles for signs of aquatic life and explored micro niches of the miniature world living under rocks. Maureen began her professional journey in outdoor recreation resources management and environmental education in the early 1980’s through volunteer experiences with the Chicago Park District and in 1995 began seasonal work with CPD as a Recreational Leader.
During undergraduate studies in Forestry at Southern Illinois University, she worked as a National Recreational Trail Guide for the U.S. Forest Service in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest.
After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry from SIU, in 1999, Maureen spent the years that followed, trekking around the country working for agencies including the National Park Service the USDA Water Conservation Laboratory in Phoenix, Arizona, and directing the Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center in Mattawan, Michigan. She went on to hold naturalist positions teaching children of all ages about the wonders of nature in the Pamlico Sound of North Carolina, the high desert Snake River Plain of Southern Idaho with the National Park Service at Craters of the Moon, and relocated to northern Lower Michigan in the fall of 2002. Most recently she pioneered the interpretive services program at the Oden State Fish Hatchery. Maureen now volunteers at Young State Park and has served as the Co-Manager of the Petoskey Community Victory Garden with Farming for our Future. Maureen is a Master Naturalist Certification instructor for the Emmet County Conservation District. In 2011 she was appointed as the Cheboygan, Otsego, Presque Isle Counties - Michigan Green Schools Coordinator. Maureen sits on the advisory committee for Emmet County’s ‘Getting Kids Outdoors’ and serves on the National Association for Interpretation’s Scholarships and Grants Committee for Region 4. Maureen is attending Virginia Tech (on-line) pursuing her Masters of Science in Life Sciences with an emphasis on Agricultural Plant Science & Pest Management.
Maureen was nominated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources as the Project Learning Tree's Outstanding Educator of the Year, 2013.
Maureen is a recognized Certified Heritage Interpreter by the National Association for Interpretation and a Certified Facilitator of the following state and national programs: