As an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, Janie majored in “all things interesting,” a list which included courses in biology, ecology, natural resources management, creative writing, and poetry. After college she moved to Yosemite National Park where she worked as a naturalist and educator and learned to rock climb, back country ski, and entertain herself with nothing more than a field guide, a trail, and a pair of binoculars. Later, as a graduate student in the University of Montana’s environmental studies program, the list of “all things interesting” expanded to include Spanish and environmental education. For her thesis, Janie traveled to a rural community on the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico to develop an environmental education program focusing on neo-tropical migratory songbirds (a fancy title for birds that breed in the north and winter south of the border). At age thirty, she moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico to work as the education director for the state Audubon Society and later as a teacher.
Although Janie didn’t publish her first book until the secret age of somewhere past young, she has always been a writer. (If you don’t believe her just check out the boxes and boxes of stories, diaries, poems, plays, and random thoughts she has written since she could first hold a pencil). Janie is also a scientist wannabe, but since she realized she only liked to muck around in the field in cool places and would never actually be a scientist, she married one.
When not writing, Janie likes to hang out with my family, rock climb, try to grow a garden in the arid southwest, bird watch, travel, and attempt to play Klezmer music on her violin. She is also involved in elephant conservation in Assam, India.