In Spotlights

IMG_0752_small-height=222&width=320Katie Crossman is the recent recipient of an interdisciplinary, bilingual, dual-degree MSc in Conservation Leadership from CSU of Colorado and ECOSUR of Mexico. Her thesis involved collaborating with three other graduate students, a Mexican governmental partner, and six coffee-producing communities in Southern Mexico to develop the basis for a coffee planning document. It was funded by the Center for Collaborative Conservation. Specifically, she specialized in researching and developing a communication campaign for producers about coffee rust. Katie also has experience in ecological reserve management, investigating the use of sustainability indicators in the non-profit setting, and developing environmental education curriculum for a non-profit. 
How long have you been a WEN member?

I have been a WEN member since January of 2014, joining after relocating to the Bay from Mexico.
What do you like best about being part of WEN?
I love the opportunity to meet women who I can learn from and develop relationships with others who I might be able to work with or help in the future. The events are meaningful and the board is driven to cultivating relationships with the members and bringing interesting and necessary conversations about our work to the table for discussion.
Tell us more about yourself. 
I am originally from Montana and have a B.A. in English and Education and a minor in History. Before working in environmental conservation, I was a middle school English and Social Studies teacher. I have worked in fields as diverse as Private Equity and Ecological Reserve Management. I have also lived in Seattle, Los Angeles and Ecuador, and my favorite part of moving to a new place is finding a small piece of the whole that I can call my community, where I can build relationships and a home.
What are some of your other activities?
My partner and I like to bird-watch and do it avidly when he’s not crazy-busy with school. I like to hike and generally be outside, do yoga, swim, ride my bike, support local farmer’s markets and businesses, explore new places in my community, read and write, cook, occasionally rock climb and recently took up non-contact boxing—which is great for stress!
What environmental issues are of most concern to you?
Water. Water rights. Water use. Water management. In my opinion, water will be the most interesting and controversial environmental issue of the coming years, as it is intricately linked to climate change and the stresses related to ever-growing human populations. I am also very interested in connecting people to the resources that they consume; and I am especially interested in connecting coffee drinkers to the actual producers. I would like to see more transparency in the entire chain of production and consumption of resources, especially when it comes to consuming resources from other countries. I am also interested in community-based conservation and environmental efforts, governance at all scales and how it dictates land use, and how current strategies and models of the private sector and business world might help move conservation and environmental work in a new direction.