Maren grew up in a small farming community in western Wisconsin. She spent as much time as possible on her uncle’s farm exploring the fields, woods and farm. She is passionate about people having the opportunity to make a living in the place they love and passing that love and livelihood onto their children and grandchildren. Maren has a wide range of experiences working in and learning about community-based natural resource use from communities in the US, Nepal, Thailand, Palau, Mexico, Vietnam and Uganda. She earned a M.A. in Geography from Miami University in Ohio where she examined the impact of international policies on natural resource use and livelihoods in NE Mexico.
Maren was pulled out West by her husband who received a position with Oregon State University and who spent a lot of time in Idaho visiting and camping with family when he was young. After a few years exodus to Southern California, they have returned to La Grande. They have 2 teenage boys who, “never wanted to leave Oregon in the first place,” 2 dogs and 1 cat (so far). All are extremely excited to be back in Northeast Oregon. Outside of work Maren enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, mountain biking, camping and skiing.