Heather grew up traveling all over the world, though she considers her home to be the Pacific Northwest region. As a result of that global education she has a tireless interest in global issues of resource access and education and how individuals and institutions can change to create better opportunities for everyone. The other result of family travels is a passion for recreating traditional meals from everywhere.
As a natural extension of her love of food and culture, Heather developed her science background into a deep and critical interest in farms and transportation. That interest turned into multiple long term projects involving practical solutions to local farm supply chains, pesticides and pollinators, educating consumer choices, and petro-politics at the grassroots.
She recently relocated to Bellingham with her daughter, and she is excited to get out and talk with farmers across Whatcom County about what they are growing and experiencing.
1. What interests you about working with the Non-GMO Project/what about this opportunity caught your attention?
I made a conscious decision many years ago to work in the non- and not-for-profit arena because I have seen and experienced such a tremendous need for organizations dedicated to social and environmental change. I was familiar with the Non-GMO Project from its outset, and used the Standard in my own work as a local food and farms advocate and grocery retailer. To have the opportunity to join in with such a dedicated group of people doing necessary work is, for me, a dream come true.
Being involved with an organization that can help change market forces and large scale behaviors is exciting and engaging on many, many levels. To be able to “do good” beyond my local area as well as satisfy my native curiosity and professional interests is nothing but lovely.
2. How do you think your prior experience will help you in working with the Non-GMO Project?
I have a tremendously varied background. That said, it is not just that I am familiar with a broad set of disciplines, I also have a fairly in depth understanding across those disciplines. It is often hard to explain what an information professional, aka librarian, with an interdisciplinary focus does! I have a background in the sciences, a real interest in what certification systems are capable of in a variety of settings, and a deep commitment to collaborative project development. More than any of this, however, I am just a passionate activist who is driven to adding my academic and experiential background towards social empowerment. Food and farming issues – especially when you add the technology of genetic modification – are nothing if not opportunities for economic, political, legal, and educational change.
3. What is important to you about the work you will be doing with the Project?
I have primarily worked at a more local scale, though my understanding and studies have certainly covered larger interactions. I consider the Project to be fundamentally important to many interrelated issues. The intersection of technology, corporate control, farm and food supply, and market behavior is not a place to act with blind trust; especially given the nature and history of all of these areas. Being able to work on feasible, productive interactions that drive awareness and change in our food systems is critical work, and I could not be more excited to be able to contribute.