About Esther

Esther moved to Fort Collins in 2001 to work for an outdoor adventure and leadership school. She soon fell in love with the Fort Collins lifestyle and the Rocky Mountains. She has since earned a master’s degree in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and dedicates her time both professionally and personally to better understanding the relationships between people and nature. She comes from Urbana, Illinois and enjoys hiking, reading, creative pursuits, and spending time with her husband Kevin and their beautiful baby girl Lilliana.



  • Esther’s research interests include ecosystem services, payment for ecosystem services and other incentive-based conservation tools, and applications of social science theory to natural resource management issues. She also studies human dimensions of natural resource management, human-wildlife conflicts, and sustainable development.


B.A., International Studies/Latin American Studies and English/Creative Writing, Minor in Spanish - Illinois Wesleyan University
Bloomington, IL, May 2001

M.S., Human Dimensions in Natural Resources - Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO, Fall 2010

Awards, Honors, Grants

  • Barrett Foundation Prize second place winner ($10,000), National Forest Foundation, Fall 2012
  • ACES (A Community in Ecosystem Services) Conference Student Fellow, Fall 2010
  • CSU Center for Collaborative Conservation Fellow, 2009-2010
  • Outstanding Edited Book for Wildlife and society: The science of human dimensions. Awarded by The Wildlife Society, 2009