In 2005, I began working as a Land Protection Fellow at Colorado Open Lands, a nonprofit land trust serving the state of Colorado. I cut my teeth on complex, high-dollar conservation real estate transactions to protect wildlife habitat, productive agricultural lands, scenic open space, and recreation lands. It was here that I became hooked on the collaborative processes of working with public and private partners to accomplish lasting conservation outcomes. In partnership with private landowners, I protected over 49,000 acres of land and water resources.

In 2010, I accepted a position as Executive Director at Montezuma Land Conservancy, a land trust in southwestern Colorado where I added administrative and management experience to my conservation real estate skills.

My experience as a manager and leader of an organization instilled in me a desire to return to graduate school to learn how to produce research to help public managers and nonprofit leaders create organizations that are effective and sustainable. I matriculated as a P.h.D student at University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs in June, 2014.

From 2014–2017 I was a research assistant with the Center for Policy and Democracy (formerly Workshop on Policy Process Research), a research lab of the School of Public Affairs. I travelled to China as part of a team of interdisciplinary researchers studying sustainability and governance practices. I researched natural resource policy conflicts including the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas and oil in Colorado and New York.  I conducted interviews, coded public documents, and used original surveys to produce insights into the drivers of policy change in a pluralistic policy environment.

In the summer of 2016 I put my data management skills to work for the Land Trust Alliance as a data consultant helping LTA report on the findings from their quinquennial survey of all land trust organizations operating in the United States.

While working on completing my dissertation, I taught graduate courses in nonprofit management and leadership and organizational management and behavior at the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver.