Sarah J.

I graduated from Imago School in 1992 along with my friend Jesse Byler from our class of two. Jesse and I traveled through all the grades together since 1st grade. After that, I graduated from Trivium School in Lancaster, MA and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in Biology from Tufts University.

Following college I tried out my Biology degree in several jobs including teaching math and science (including one year at Imago) and working in a medical lab, before finding my way towards my truer calling: working as an ecologist and wildlife biologist. I have been with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service since 2006. For several years I worked at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport, MA and I am currently in southern New Jersey at the E. B. Forsythe NWR. Having worked at two coastal refuges, my projects often focus on salt marsh health and restoration. A typical summer field day could include banding least sandpipers, catching and counting tiny salt marsh fish, or getting stuck in the sticky low tide mud. In the winter work shifts indoors to crunch the numbers and report on findings. I enjoy working outside because every day is an opportunity to look closely and see something new and fascinating.

If I’m not outside for work, them I’m probably outside birding or hiking in my free time. In my six months in New Jersey, I’ve logged exactly 200 bird species in Atlantic County. While I most enjoy watching the “right” birds migrate across at the “right” time and pity the lost vagrants, I do hope to add additional species to my list during fall migration.

As an avid hiker, I relished the quest to hike the “4000 Footers”, joining with family and friends to summit all 48 mountains above 4000 feet in New Hampshire’s White Mountains National Forest. I also spent an inspirational three weeks hiking the 273-mile Long Trail through Vermont from the Massachusetts border to Canada.

The education I received from Imago set me up to succeed in school and life. Learning from teachers who loved me, I developed critical thinking skills, learned how to speak in public, and developed a love of words. And I still remember finding sea urchins with Mrs. Mechlin at Beach Day in Gloucester, Mrs. Hoffrage reading “Where the Red Fern Grows” aloud to us during lunch, and exploring the Cloisters with Ms. Dey on the class trip to NYC. I am very grateful for the unique and excellent education I received at Imago.