Hello Virginia Master Naturalists,
I am writing today to inform all of you that I will be leaving my position as the statewide coordinator for the Virginia Master Naturalist program. I have accepted a position with the National Ecological Observatory Network in Boulder, CO. My last day will be October 30. I have been working closely with Michelle and Tiffany to ensure a smooth transition. We are working with Virginia Tech to appoint Michelle as interim statewide coordinator in my absence until a permanent replacement has been found. The program is very lucky to have Tiffany and Michelle, and I’m confident they will continue to provide the leadership necessary to support the program during this time.
I want you all to know that leaving the program was a very difficult decision for me. Working with this program has been one of the best experiences in my life, both professionally and personally. And, although the position brought with it many challenges, it also brought many rewards. Together, I feel we’ve made major strides developing a path forward for the program and we’ve been successful at getting some new initiatives off the ground. I’ve been blessed to meet some of the most amazing people during my time here and to call many of you my friends. One of the greatest gifts you all have shared with me is one of hope. I came to Virginia with a very pessimistic view of the state of the world. Climate change, invasives, species extinctions, habitat loss…the future looked pretty grim. But then I met all of you. As volunteers, you put much of your free time into combating these issues in your communities. You do this, not for yourself, but for your love of our natural world and all the species that inhabit it. I want to thank all of you for sharing this gift and many others with me over the past three years. I will cherish them.
With my deepest respect and appreciation,
September 12, 2015