I was born in Tucson, Arizona and lived there for seven years. During these early formative years, my parents introduced me to the diverse natural habitats of Arizona. My earliest memories include hikes in the Rincon Mountains and Sabino Canyon. By the time I was six, I had hiked and camped in habitats from the snow-capped Catalina Mountains to the desert of the Saguaro National Monument. This early appreciation for nature would later become the foundation for my life goals.