Job title/occupation/place of employment: Curator of Conservation Programs, National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.
Volunteer activities: Catfish Creek Watershed Management Authority Board Member, Dubuque County ISU Extension and Outreach Council Member, Mississippi River Parkway Commission, Mississippi River Network Community Engagement Committee, Policy Working Group through the Aquarium Conservation Partnership, Resiliency and Youth Engagement Committee Member with the Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center Network, Former Citizen Advisory Board Member: Iowa Great Places, Dubuque County Land and Water Legacy PAC, trash cleanup volunteer with the Dubuque Metro Area Solid Waste Agency, Restoration Days volunteer with the Dubuque County Conservation Board.
Education: Bachelor of Science in animal ecology with an option in environmental interpretation from Iowa State University. Master of Organizational Leadership from Clarke University.
Family: Wife, Morgan McGovern; son, Freddie; daughter, Georgene May.
Person most inspirational to me and why: People most inspirational to me: Pat and Lynn McGovern. My parents are and will forever be the people I look up to the most. They show me how to be a caring leader in our community and to be sincere, comfortable and confident in who I am and what I am passionate about. They introduced me to the outdoors, encourage me, and offer counsel when I doubt myself. They taught me to be grateful, to always think of others and to be empathetic toward people’s views and life experiences — especially when said views and experiences differ from mine.
Favorite thing to do outside of work: I dabble in most things outdoors. If I were to list everything I find solace and excitement in while spending time outside we would be on this question for way too long. Find me, bring me a beer, and I’ll tell you all about my favorite things to do outside of work. With this said, I really like looking for freshwater mussels on the river while floating along in my kayak.
One word to describe me: Hopeful.
What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to know about you: I do shut down. I am not always 100% “on.” I give all of my energies to the things I am passionate about, but I, too, need to go comatose and binge sci-fi, post-apocalyptic and vampire TV shows sometimes just like everyone else.
Greatest fear: I’ll give you two answers here. One philosophical and the other just weird.
Philosophical: I fear and loath hypocrisy. I often am afraid that although my professional and personal mission is to inspire stewardship in others that I and my family are not doing enough as stewards ourselves. Sounds exhausting right?
Weird: Swimming in the ocean when I cannot see the bottom. I don’t know why, but this just really freaks me out.
What’s the one thing you are most passionate about in your life: People and our relationship with the world we are a part of.