Sue Priest, founder and primary ecologist of Castor Peak Catchment Solutions, LLC.
Susan Priest, has been a student of this splendid Earth for nearly five decades, and has spent much of her time jumping into the deep end of the lake as a negotiator of change. Presently, Sue is building the foundation for Castor Peak Catchment Solutions, LLC, an environmental company dedicated to the possibility of increasing the capture of water upon the land (i.e. catchment solutions) through means which focus on less human magic and more naturally abundant magic, such as the North American Beaver (Castor canadensis), a species with truly impressive qualities for water storage. Thus the name Castor Peak Catchment Solutions.
Sue has dedicated over 15 years her life to wetland work of any kind, no job was too small or to great, but often required a life of wading through unknown territory in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Extensive wading has taught Sue a number of life lessons: 1. Be willing to listen to everyone, 2. When you are drowning, ask for help, 3. Paddle gently, but firmly and with direction 4. Be present, and be willing to meander 5. Immerse yourself in the current as a creator of possibility in the world 6. No obstacle is too large…for water 7. Don’t compare yourself to others…grass is greener in the wetland anyway, and really what’s the point of comparison… 8. Life is too ephemeral to be shallow 9. We can work together, and we must if we are to have healthy wetlands, watersheds and communities.
In her spare time and to keep her sanity while wading through unknown territory Susan creates beauty, through art, and invests time getting to know the true nature of plants and animals. As a lifelong learner, Sue has been blessed with an inquisitive nature. She obtained a BS in Ecology and Environmental Science from the University of Maine, where she engagingly worked three years in a Bog, but never once felt “bogged down.” She furthered her education through the University of Florida, receiving a MS in Forest Conservation and Management with a concentration in Ecological Restoration. By the time both degrees were completed Susan had acquired over 280 college credits spanning a variety of specialties: Ecology (wetland science, ecological restoration, soil science, forestry, botany, agriculture, biological soil crusts, etc.…), conflict resolution, education, art, and cultural studies.
But her true passion and her call reside in caring for those low lying, mucky, negatively talked about, generally preferred if they are drained ecosystems called swamps-bogs-fens-prairie potholes-wet meadows-riparian areas-floodplains…the wetlands. Some take the high road, Sue takes the low.
If you made it this far into the reading, you may have noticed that Sue has a wry sense of humor. This sense of humor has enabled Sue to tread through some very turbulent waters and come out the other side still willing to jump back into the deep end…human resiliency.
Here at CPCS we are overflowing with integrity, heart, caring, humor and willingness to work through challenges for healthy watersheds and healthy communities.