Welcome Tara Keesling!

We Are Pleased to Welcome Tara Keesling to the Watershed Council!

The Council is pleased to announce our newest employee, Tara Keesling! She is taking over for former Administrative Assistant, Annie Rahall.

Here is a recent interview we had with Tara, where she communicated her enthusiasm working towards restoring the Mill Creek!

Q: Can you shed some light on your background?

A: I grew up in West Chester and went to school at Miami University for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I’ve lived most of my life in the Mill Creek Watershed (and for a brief time in the Acton Lake Watershed) and though this watershed is where I grew up, I didn’t always have an awareness of it. I started becoming more and more interested in issues revolving around bodies of water about a year ago when I had a fellowship at Miami where I was able to combine my interests in writing poetry and in learning about the environment. There was something in me that clicked during that fellowship where I realized I could very easily use my writing and communication skills in a real world application. Go, English majors!

Q: Do you have any personal experiences or connection to the Mill Creek?

A: Whenever I’m asked this question, I immediately think back to the long, hot Ohio summers when my two best friends at the time (they were twins!) and I would go creeking in their neighborhood. Along with those memories, I can’t help but think about all the Girl Scout day-camps I attended where swimming, playing, and hiking along the creeks were a must.

Q: Why did you decide to join the Council?

A: During my fellowship (Transforming Nature: Communicating Conservation Science) last summer, I learned more in depth about the impact of humans on the environment. I thought about how each creature, and frogs in particular, are affected by my actions and how I can personally minimize damage to the environment and the water around me. Because I enjoyed this experience so much, I applied to work at Miami’s Ecology Research Center for the rest of summer and helped to maintain and manage the grounds there; this center is where Miami’s Ecology students conduct their field research. When the summer ended, I continued to think about how impactful those experiences were for me and decided that going into a field where I could combine my interests of the environment and communication is what I needed to do.
At my first interview for this position, I wholeheartedly stated that so many of my experiences in the last couple of years have led me to this point in my life. From one of my professors encouraging me to apply for that fellowship to my committee chair forwarding me this job posting to day one of this job, the timing of everything has been impeccable.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself to the rest of the Council/volunteers?

A: My master’s of arts is in creative writing with a focus in poetry. I hope to use these skills along with my interests and creativity to promote, protect, and educate others on the Mill Creek Watershed.