Nicole grew up in the Southeast and attended the University of North Carolina Asheville, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies. During her undergraduate studies she conducted independent research on bird behavior while studying abroad in Panama, and on small mammal populations, endangered frog species, and water quality in South Africa.
She then served with AmeriCorps providing environmental education and outreach to Title I schools and underserved communities in western North Carolina. She received her Master of Science in Biology at Western Carolina University where she researched song sparrow personality and behavior.
Nicole is passionate about conservation and connecting people with nature. She loves birding and hiking with her rescue hound dog, Sadie.