Joanna grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan in a town of 200 people. When she was 12 years old, the acres of trillium and birch behind her parents' house were sold and developed into summer condos. She never forgot what it was like to see something so unique made so generic. During undergrad, she traveled to Kenya to study community conservation and restoration ecology. She fell in love with East Africa's wide-open landscapes pulsing with life, and later returned to Kenya to track birds and teach environmental education.