Deborah is passionate about conserving the diversity of the natural environment. She is convinced that connections to the natural world are essential to the well-being of people. Her priority is to leave a legacy of biodiversity to her grandchildren (Lilliana, Wren, and Vivian) and to their future grandchildren. To that end she has been and will continue to be a committed and enthusiastic supporter of the Institute for Applied Ecology.
After receiving a PhD in plant ecology from Oregon State University in 1996, she worked at OSU teaching biology and conducting research, resulting in numerous reports and publications on the seed regeneration ecology of native prairie plants and on the management practices for the restoration of native prairies of the Willamette Valley.
Since retirement in 2009, her time has been spent developing and implementing a plan for her mini-farm, focusing on the enhancement of diversity of habitats for wildlife and the eventual re-creation of native wet prairie from the existing grass seed fields. The farm plan also includes growing fresh fruit and vegetables for her family using sustainable gardening practices. Time spent “farming” is balanced with hanging out and having fun with her children and grandchildren. For relaxation she participates regularly in a multitude of outdoor activities, with a special interest in horse riding.