After short-lived obsessions with dinosaurs, snakes, and whales, my birding career started when a brilliant male Scarlet Tanager graced my Connecticut yard when I was six years old. Birds then became my new focus and I haven’t looked back since. Trips to Arizona and Colorado during middle school provided more fuel for the fire, and a week-long stint in northwest Ecuador at age 14 opened my eyes to the avian diversity that South America has to offer. I was the youngest in my high school class, so after graduating in 2010, I opted to take some time off and explore a bit. Over the next two years, I spent about a quarter of my time in South America, with a heavy focus on Ecuador but also making quick jaunts to central Peru, southern Chile, and Argentina.
My keen interest in art and photography has always been an integral part of birding and exploring nature. I have been doodling since I was a toddler, and at the age of eleven I finally decided to pick up a brush and try painting birds. My style has evolved substantially since then, adding an airbrush to the mix for backgrounds and trying to add a few more elements of habitat to the finished painting. My work has been published in several national publications, including "Birding" and "Winging It" of the American Birding Association, "Downeast", and "Birds of the Maine Backyard", a local identification guide produced by the Freeport Wild Bird Supply.
I enrolled at Cornell University in August 2012, and I quickly became involved with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I have worked extensively on content development for the Merlin Bird ID app, and was selected as the Bartels Science Illustration Intern for the 2014-2015 school year. My latest project was designing and painting the logo for the Global Big Day initiative, started by the Lab in May 2015.
Aside from birds, I play a bit of guitar and piano, and I am obsessed with the music of Bruce Springsteen. With only a year left of college, I look forward to pursuing my illustration and photography career in the near future. In addition, I am slowly increasing my involvement with WINGS Birding Tours, and I am excited to lead tours to Ecuador and Minnesota this coming winter.
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