Tell us about your background

I have an unusual background due to the variety of roles held in public education. I have a BS- Secondary Education with double major in the sciences (earth & natural sciences) and a master’s in educational media. I was a public-school educator (science teacher and library media director) for a total of 30  years but also served as a consultant for a PBS/NASA live TV science series (3 years) and the Wisconsin state level coordinator for Discovery Education Network (DEN) for 3 years. I worked at CESA #4 (education service agency) helping educators integrate technology into learning. The last eight years of my public education career was as Information & Technology Director at the School District of Holmen.



How did you get involved with Sustainable Driftless, Inc.? 

I attended the October 2018 Viterbo University premier screening of the science adventure film, Decoding the Driftless. I was amazed by the powerful story and imagery of the film inspiring all of us to appreciate and protect the Driftless Region. I had recently retired from public education and offered to help support Sustainable Driftless, Inc.’s mission as a volunteer. Having lived in the Driftless Region for forty years, being an earth science educator, and spending time appreciating nature provided all the impetus needed to volunteer. I began working part-time as Education Outreach Coordinator two years after I began helping.



What education  outreach efforts does Sustainable Driftless, Inc. provide?

George Howe, Co-Producer, and I developed a series of inquiry-based, standards-aligned lessons covering the key concepts of the film. We have provided these lessons (6 of them in a PDF packet) to all schools located in the Driftless Region along with copies of the film on USB drive. We encourage schools to integrate Decoding the Driftless into science, environmental education, ecology, and social studies typically in grades 4-12. The lessons help educators to divide the film into segments that can be easily covered in class over a period of time.

There are lessons about the geology of the 24,000 square mile Driftless Region including the formation of the region which missed the last glacial advances 12,000 years ago. The Ice Ages, sinkholes, caves, underground rivers, the Upper Mississippi River, bluffs, goat prairies, fossils are key topics included in the lessons. Driftless Region archaeology, sustainability, wildlife and ecosystem, biodiversity, and watersheds, hydrogeology, dams, and much more provide a wealth of support resources for educators.

George Howe, Co-Producer and Vice-President of Sustainable Driftless, Inc. has also provided live film presentations to schools with opportunities for questions and lively discussions.


How do you register to receive a copy of the Decoding the Driftless Environmental Education Lesson Plans?

Educators who live in the Driftless Region may request a copy of the film and lessons free of charge by registering via this Google Form   
If you are unsure if you are within the Driftless Region please see the county map Art Print created by James Steeno:

All educators may download the lesson plans free of charge at


What do you enjoy most about the Driftless Region and working for Sustainable Driftless,  Inc.?

The Driftless Region is unique – like no other location on earth and so it is particularly vulnerable and precious. We must preserve the Driftless Region’s uniqueness through education for all ages, activism, sustainability efforts and scientific based practices.

The Sustainable Driftless, Inc. Board supports education outreach and values students learning to care for the Driftless Region. I appreciate that I am able to have a role in helping to achieve their mission. I have expanded my own appreciation for the entire Driftless Region delving deeper into places like the Effigy Mounds, the underground caverns and rivers, and efforts to preserve wildlife habitat. What a fabulous place we have here in the Midwest!


What do you do for fun when not working?

I love to hike in nature refuges like Trempealeau’s  Upper Mississippi River Refuge or state or regional parks. Traveling via RV across the US West visiting National Parks and family (three grandchildren) also are favorite things to do. My hobbies include sewing, reading, and caring for my perennial gardens. I just certified my landscaped yard as a Certified Wildlife Habitat. 

 I have recently worked on a fun project which resulted in building a dog park which is located at Veterans Memorial Park in West Salem, Wisconsin. I also have been trying to learn how to watercolor paint which really stretches my abilities.