Mara is from Greenville, South Carolina where she learned to love the forests and waters of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. She earned a BS in Biology from Furman University where she started developing her interest in watershed systems through studying dragonflies as indicator species for water quality along the Blue Ridge Escarpment.

Mara has worked as an environmental educator in Maine, farm-to-school educator in Vermont, and watershed coordinator in East Tennessee. She is finishing up a master’s degree in Conservation Leadership from Colorado State University, where she studied impacts of agricultural practices on the Yampa River in Northwestern Colorado. Mara is happy to be back in the mountains that feel like home serving in communities to promote environmental stewardship and justice. On her off time, you can find Mara out triathlon training, gardening, on the trails or river, and enjoying some bluegrass tunes.