Emily a.k.a. Penny Scout was born and raised in rural northwestern Pennsylvania where she enjoyed camping and hiking with her family. She began formal study of ethnobotany and herbalism at the University of Vermont under the tutelage of Kat Morgenstern and Barbara Nardozzi, respectively, and eventually went on to graduate with a degree in environmental studies from the University of Pittsburgh, where her thesis explored the Ethnobotany of the Iroquois with an Emphasis on the Seneca of the Upper Allegheny. In 2011 she completed her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology for the Cultural and Psychological Studies program at Lewis and Clark College, specializing in ecopsychology. She has worked in several gardens including the permaculture garden at Cascada Verde Ecovillage and Retreat in Uvita, Costa Rica, the organic vegetable garden for Sivananda Yoga Ranch and Ashram, Woodbourne, NY, and was most recently zone manager to ten acres of The Oregon Garden, a world class botanical garden in Silverton, OR.
Emily has also worked as a professional field botanist for the United States Forest Service researching the impacts of deer density and herbicide application in Pennsylvania forests. She taught herbalism professionally with leading Portland outdoor educators TrackersNW from 2007-2011, and in partnership with Becky Lerner of http://www.firstways.com. In addition to years of self-directed studies, she has trained with Portland’s own Wild Foods guru John Kallas, wise-woman herbalist Susun Weed, Scott Kloos of Cascadia Folk Medicine, and regularly attends conferences such as the Breitenbush Herbal Conference and Portland Plant Spirit Medicine Gathering. She also enjoys studying indigenous skills and can regularly be found at primitive technology rendezvous such as Rabbitstick, Buckeye and Echoes in Time.
For a more in-depth history read this post.