Throughout her early years, Stacey always expressed a fascination with the birdlife around her.
She grew up in a family that was always outside; either hiking, camping or taking day trips to the beach. As a teenager, rather than spending time with kids her own age, she would go along on weekend bird walks with a group of adults who walked slowly through the forests teaching her over the years about birds.
This growing passion turned into a life direction for Hollis as she became exposed to environmental issues and the importance of wildlife conservation.
Hollis went to Warren Wilson College, a tiny liberal arts school outside of Asheville, North Carolina. The school, with under a thousand students, is unique for it’s work program. Each student must work fifteen hours a week outside of classes on a “work crew”. For three years, Hollis learned sustainable forestry on the Natural Resources Crew. On this crew, the 20+ students work under a forestry boss sustainably managing the more than 700 acres of college-owned forest.
Hollis graduated in 2006 with a degree in Biology and Environmental Studies with a concentration in Conservation Biology.
After college, Hollis spent the next five years hopping from one temporary biological field job to another. Much of her work was directly involved with wild birds and their ecosystems. She spent two summers living out of a tent on uninhabited islands off the coast of Maine, studying reintroduced seabird colonies. Hollis also spent field seasons in New Brunswick in Canada, Puerto Rico, the Chesapeake Bay, and throughout the Western United States.
In doing this work, Hollis saw the raw realities of the effect humans have upon wildlife and the environment. Even in the most remote ecosystem, she witnessed direct and indirect causes of wildlife struggles and death.
Feeling helpless at not being able to communicate her experiences to the wider public and watching the data become locked up in scientific journals, she felt the need to look for some kind of outlet.
She decided that, coming from a strong background in biology, that she could enter the field of journalism with an emphasis on becoming an Environmental Journalist. She was determined to intertwine her passion for writing with her passion for wildlife and birds.
She has just begun her first year as a Journalism Graduate student at the University of Oregon.