Hello to all! I am thrilled to be joining IPC as the Communications and Outreach Coordinator. In my role, I will be providing IPC and our Anne Arundel partners with the communications support and outreach coordination needed to help all of us working towards restoring the Chesapeake Bay.

I grew up right here in Annapolis, Maryland, spending every minute I could exploring this vast watershed around me. Rain, snow, sleet and fog couldn’t keep me from exploring this place that is so magical.

When I was growing up, I lived on a small creek just off of the South River. In the hot summer months, I would venture down to a sandy beach, hidden at the base of wooden bulkhead. I’d take my dip net, minnow net and as many jars as I could carry. I loved the way the sandy-mud felt between my toes when I’d hop in, and how the grasses wrapped around my legs as I waded in the warm water. I’d spend hours wading among the grasses and logs hidden just below the water’s surface; filling jars with clear Bay water and building small habitats so I could watch these  creatures in their own world. My curiosity with what I was catching soon became fascination, and that fascination became learning.

Before long I had to know everything about the landscape around me, in the water, and out. I wanted to know the Chesapeake the way my parents knew their oldest friends. So, I learned. I learned the names of the plants and creatures that call this place home.  I learned where they lived, what they ate, where they go, and when they are most often around. Most importantly, I learned how we all affect each other, and how we have affected their lives.

These living pieces of the Chesapeake became my neighbors, and my fascination with their lives brought these wonderful pieces of the landscape into my life.

I took this passion with me to pursue a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from the University of Vermont. There I learned of the vast intricacies of the natural world, and how we are all interconnected. During my time with the University, I found an even deeper connection with the world around me. Most importantly, I learned that my passions and curiosities could be used to inspire others, and that my voice could speak for the landscapes that could not.

After school I spent a number of years working as a senior educator for the Echo Hill Outdoor School, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. There I was able to work with thousands of students and other educators, from across the mid-Atlantic. Here, I had my first chance to show others the things I had been so passionate about my entire life. I felt I was inspiring the same seeds of curiosity and excitement that had propelled me to fight for environmental stewardship and justice.

I most recently have come to IPC from the Calvert Marine Museum, where I had been working with ancient fossilized specimens from southern Anne Arundel, down through Calvert, and into the Potomac and beyond. There I helped to inspire curiosity and engage the public about the wonders and curiosities of both the prehistoric and modern Chesapeake Bay through environmental educational programing.

There is no place on earth where there is not a fascinating bit of nature to check out. Whether in a city or in the country, the natural world has curiosities all around us. And there are few better place than the Chesapeake to start looking!

I am thrilled to be joining the IPC team, and I am looking forward to working with our many partners to restore, honor, and protect our shared Bay watershed.

Taylor Swanson

About

Communications and Outreach Coordinator