I am honored to accept the position of Conservation Chair with the Cooper Audubon Society.  Before I begin writing my monthly conservation articles for our newsletter, I wanted to give a brief background of myself so everyone can get to know me a little better.

I graduated from Purdue University in 1993 with a BA in English.  From there, I went to work at USA Group (now SallieMae) as a technical writer.  After about five years at the company, I knew the corporate world was not for me.  I felt the strong desire that I have had all of my life to be outdoors and commune with nature and animals.  I went back to school, this time at Ball State University, and graduated in July 2003 with a BS in Wildlife Biology.  One of the most interesting things I did while at Ball State was a study abroad trip to Belize in the summer of 2002.  I have also assisted with Ball State’s cerulean warbler project in the Hoosier National Forest.

I have been a volunteer at Minnetrista Cultural Center for over a year.  Several times a week I go to the Discovery Cabin where I care for the various animals housed there.  I have learned much from my experiences with these animals, and I have even lost my fear of cockroaches!  I am also beginning an internship program at Mounds State Park in Anderson.  I hope to get a job with either the DNR or a state park this summer.

All of my life I have had a love of nature.  Growing up I practically lived in a zoo because we had so many pets.  I currently own 2 cats, an African clawed frog, and many fish.  I also have several bird feeders set up in my backyard, which my cats appreciate immensely.

I am so excited about the opportunity I have to serve you as Conservation Chair.  Animals and the environment are such a passionate and important part of my life, as I know they are for you.

This article was written for the Cooper Audubon Society newsletter under my maiden name, Sarah Kistler.  This entire newsletter is available upon request.