My name is Lia Beatty (she/her). I hail from the great lakes watershed where I spent my free time canoeing, cycling, and hiking the rivers, roads, and trails of Michiana (“Michigan-Indiana”). I am a recent graduate of Whitman College where I designed and pursued an interdisciplinary major in neuroscience and minored in studio art. Inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, my thesis looked at the effects of prolonged social isolation in Zebra Finches, a model organism for studying speech and language acquisition and development in humans. When I wasn’t chasing down a finch in the lab or cleaning up after it, studying in the library, or lost in a project in the studio, I could be found outside with the Whitman College Outdoor Program (“OP”). While my course of study was driven by my interest, the most rewarding experiences have been outside of the classroom. During my time at Whitman, my vast and varied involvement with the OP solidified my interest in pursuing opportunities in outdoor education. I decided to become a Mt. Adams Institute AmeriCorps Intern to broaden and diversify my outdoor experiences. To be an effective outdoor educator, it is important to me that my understanding of the natural world is not built on exclusively insular experiences. I am excited to strengthen my ecological literacy, develop my proficiency with trail maintenance, serve our community, and have hands-on, collaborative work experiences.