Carolyn spent her childhood running wild on a small farm near Pullman, WA and, thanks to her parents, has always been interested in science and how things work. In 2015 she went to Seattle to get her B.S. in Biology from the University of Washington, taking multiple ecology and fishery science classes. After graduation in the spring of 2019, she went to Oregon to work with the U.S. Forest Service doing stream surveys in Mt. Hood and Gifford-Pinchot National Forests. Through this summer, she learned how much she loves field work and how important it is to maintain our beautiful natural ecosystems.
Carolyn’s first exposure to the Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper was through board member Gray Henderson. Gray brought her along on his boat in 2018 so she could see what citizen scientists do for the water quality monitoring program since she was taking a limnology class in the fall. That class came to be one of her favorites in college and, in the winter of 2019, she was able to come back to north Idaho and start working with LPOW in the office.
After 5 months of working for LPOW, Carolyn accepted a seasonal job with the U.S. Forest Service as a Fisheries/Hydrology technician in the Colville National Forest. This temporary position helped her explore new fields and better understand how the federal sector manages natural resources. At the end of her season, she was thankful to be able to return to Sandpoint and work with LPOW again.
Carolyn loves being able to work with a small non-profit, especially one that is so involved in the community, and to learn more about what we can do to preserve the wonderful places we live in. In her free time, she loves reading, going on hikes, and baking.
In my almost 63 years of existence I’m occasionally blessed with an employee that just completely exceeds all my expectations. Most recently that person for me was Carolyn Knaack.
She stepped in as LPOW’s program director as we were transitioning staff at the beginning of 2020 and quite frankly just blew my socks off. Her easy going personality, educational background and steadfast work ethic made her a joy to work with and turned a seemingly difficult task into a seamless transition.
With her desire to learn the many facets of the nonprofit world, I was able to give her a multitude of tasks including website development, grant writing, communication, outreach, environmental education and more. There was never a task she didn’t accomplish with ease and grace.
Thank you Carolyn for blessing us with your spirit and the best of luck to you on pursuing your dream of working with the Forest Service.