Tamara grew up in rural south-central Michigan surrounded by a mix of forest and agriculture. A self-described child of the dirt, she spent countless hours catching critters, biking, climbing trees (and falling out of them), wandering public land looking for mushrooms and sheds, running through corn fields, and walking down to the creek to have stick races with her siblings.
This love of the outdoors grew into a passion to study wildlife biology after high school. Upon earning her B.A. and M.S. from Grand Valley State University in west-Michigan, Tamara traveled the country to wherever the jobs were, eventually landing in Kansas as a fauna Field Ecologist with the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). In 2021, Tamara met Aaron Deters through outreach with NEON, and upon learning more about KAWS and its partners, became interested in the intricate relationship between agriculture and water in Kansas. Seeking an opportunity for growth and expansion of knowledge, Tamara joined KAWS and the NRCS as a Conservation Specialist working with the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).
During her free time Tamara enjoys hiking, kayaking, strength training, painting, drawing, and baking sweets. She has one giant rescue dog named Winston, two little fish, and an increasingly large number of house plants taking over her Manhattan apartment.