Congaree National Park
Richard was born in Michigan, but grew up in Monteverde, Costa Rica, where he attended a bilingual Quaker school. He attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, earning his bachelor's in 2014 in Environmental Studies and Spanish.
After graduating, Richard did seasonal jobs in Maine that included farming, carpentry, and field ecology, and conducted an inventory of native bee species with a conservation non-profit in Nicaragua.
In 2017, Richard completed a 900-hour Maine Conservation Corps term as an Environmental Steward with The Nature Conservancy in Maine. During this time, he developed tools and a vision for volunteer management at the Maine chapter, learned directional felling with a chainsaw, and eagerly documented and identified species at The Nature Conservancy's preserves. This experience led to two more seasons TNC in Maine, first on a crew collecting data for reconnecting river habitats fragmented by road crossings, and later as a conservation easement monitor.
Not long before discovering the CVA opportunity at Congaree National Park, Richard moved from Maine to Columbia, SC, where his wife started a graduate program studying migratory shorebirds.
Richard is a self-described nature nerd who loves observing, photographing, and identifying species. Any organism can pique his interest, but he has a special liking for plants, native bees, fish, and birds. He also loves to hike, birdwatch, garden, and explore new places.
Richard is thrilled to be serving as Community Volunteer Ambassador at Congaree National Park, and he looks forward to connecting with visitors and community members and leveraging their enthusiasm for positive ecological and social outcomes.