I was born and raised in rainy Bellingham, WA -ranked number 1 for least sunny days of any city in the US! Growing up in the gloom, I never really thought much of the lack of sunshine – it seemed ordinary to me, and I considered a rain coat a daily staple. It didn’t really stop me from getting out either – from a young age I was building forts in the woods or chasing newts in ponds with my classmates, even on the rainiest of days.
My immediate family is one of the smallest I know – I am an only child, the only grandchild on my mom’s side, and I only have 4 cousins. I never pined for siblings too much – I had friends down the street I could go and play with whenever I wanted, and I enjoyed having my private space to get away. We always had a dog too, and it was always a Yellow Lab – they kept me company and I had all I needed.
Though I grew up in the Northwest, I only partially adopted the culture. I skied as much as I could (sometimes 40 times a season) at Mt. Baker, sailed in the summers, and have always loved berries, but I couldn’t stand Salmon or mushrooms (I have since seen the light), and only really appreciated the greenery and water once I had left.
Raised by two attorneys, I knew I wanted nothing to do with the law, and always excelled in math and science in school. That, combined with my desire to get away from Bellingham, and an Environmental Engineer as a Grandfather (it skips a generation?) led me to Cal Poly and Engineering. At first Cal Poly was low on my list of colleges, but I made the choice to come to SLO and it has turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made.
During college I spent my time learning and trying to integrate into the new place and culture of SLO. The experience has stretched me, and I still value placing myself in challenging situations to try and grow those same ways. I spent my summers back in Washington getting the best of both worlds – I would come home just as the sun was breaking through the clouds, spend a few months whitewater rafting, hanging out with my friends, enjoying long days, swimming in the lakes (our water supply came from a natural lake 8 miles long), and leaving just as the clouds started to return to a SLO still in the embrace of a lasting summer.
After I finished school, I decided to spend some time traveling while I had little to tie me down, and had a blast trekking through the Pacific Northwest for a few months - seeing family, camping in a temperate rainforest, hunting mushrooms, and taking in my childhood environment with new eyes. In the end, I finally made my way back to SLO, and began looking for a job. My search ended when I got hired at Wallace Group in May, and it has been 7 months of learning and growing – just what I needed.
It took me a while to get used to the idea that winter is the greenest time instead of spring, and that swimming is done in salty water, but I have eased into the SLO life and really enjoy being here. These days you will find me tending to bees, building compost, hanging out with my chickens, out in the garden, or watching the sunset with a cold home-brewed beer.
Questions not necessary in order of importance:
Describe what you do at Wallace Group:
A little bit of everything. I was hired in the Civil Engineering department, and in just 6 months I have worked on projects for Civil, Transportation, Surveying, Water Resources, & Mechanical Engineering – whatever needs doing, bring it on!
What are some of your favorite activities with Wallace Group?
Learning every day.
What are you involved in outside Wallace Group?
Organizations – SLO Permaculture Guild, SLO Bike Coalition, Cal Poly Student Experimental Farm
Being outside – gardening, beekeeping, hiking, whitewater rafting, you name it.
The Man Who Planted Trees
Can’t pick just one – chocolate, coffee, avocadoes, cream cheese, a fresh sugar snap pea… the list goes on.
Describe your dream vacation:
A long lazy trip down the Rogue River.
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
Making forts in the woods out of fir branches and keeping spiders as pets
What’s your secret ability?
What is the furthest away from SLO have you been?