Shannon grew up in beautiful East Tennessee, however it was during family trips as a teenager to protected areas all over the U.S. that her passions came into focus and ultimately shaped her career as an environmental educator and believer in the transformative power of travel.
While studying Biology at Clemson University, Shannon traveled abroad to Peru and India to study conservation issues. She also spent a semester in South Africa with the Organization for Tropical Studies, which cemented her love for African ecology and culture. Eager to learn more, she returned to school and received a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where her thesis research examined breeding bird populations in Tennessee. One of her most valuable experiences as a graduate student was a semester in Tanzania volunteering with Roots & Shoots, the educational branch of the Jane Goodall Institute. Shannon has also served as an AmeriCorps member, a Student Conservation Association intern, an environmental educator in the San Francisco Bay Area, and a naturalist in Nashville. She currently lives in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where she volunteers with several non-profits focusing on education and/or environmental awareness.
Some of Shannon's other interests include birding, crocheting, jogging, and going on adventures with her husband. She has been a member of the No Barriers Youth (Global Explorers) family since 2009 and is honored to lead students on life-changing trips to places as diverse as Cambodia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, and Tanzania!