As a child, I was the kid filling her pockets with worms or trying to befriend a crab at the beach. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I spent a lot of time camping and fishing in the pouring rain with my dad. When the fish weren't biting or the weather was just too miserable, we'd hole up inside our tent and pass the hours playing cards, telling stories and discussing fish psychology. Since that time, I've earned graduate degrees in writing and education from the University of Oregon. I've been a camp counselor, a preschool teacher and a curriculum developer. I've studied Kiswahili in Mombasa, Kenya; provided instructional support to teachers in Ladakh, India; and taught elementary school in Mission, South Dakota. Along the way, I've been amazed and inspired by the bravery, curiosity and creativity of children. The natural world continues to fascinate me, and I've never stopped telling stories. These days, I make my home in Portland, Oregon, where deserts, beaches, forests and mountains are all within reach.