Natalie found a love of lifelong learning through trip planning in terrain without trails. Bushwhacking gave her the gumption to finish a PhD in wildlife biology at the University of New Mexico, studying the evolution of mammals from the Arctic coast to the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest. After her PhD, she transitioned from research to teaching, public policy and advocacy focused on public lands and waters across the western U.S. and Alaska. She continues to lead efforts to protect large landscapes with a focus on environmental justice and biodiversity conservation. Her favorite stories come from years of leading experiential education programs around the globe for university students and environmental professionals. She believes that deep gratitude for nature’s resilience and our overwhelming capacity for change and adaptation can both be found on the gravel bar of a wild river, or along a windswept ridge at sunset. She draws inspiration from catching wild salmon in the river next to her yurt in southeast Alaska and she’s always looking for the next great dehydrated meal recipes for wilderness trips.