Home Sweet Home With Amy Arsenault

Forest Stewardship Outreach Program Manager
Amy Arsenault poses in the woods with her camera

Physical distancing and not seeing friends, family and co-workers can be difficult, but we sure are grateful for the safety and security of home. With Extension offices closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, staff members are sharing how their work has shifted and why they are grateful for home.

Amy Arsenault

Forest Stewardship Outreach Program Manager

Now that you are working remotely, how are you continuing to help New Hampshire residents? 

I’m working with forestry and wildlife staff to share resources and information that will inspire people to explore their own backyards. While county foresters are out exploring their woodlots, they send me photos, which I share on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We also communicate with landowners through our NH Woods and Wildlife and Trees and Forests Pest Alert e-newsletters. Normally we would be planning and hosting workshops, but instead we are developing new ways to engage with forestry and wildlife enthusiasts through live streaming on Zoom and Facebook Live.

What are you currently reading or what reading do you recommend in your area of expertise for those distancing at home? 

I’m currently enrolled in a grant writing class at UNH and we are reading Writing Science: how to write papers that get cited and proposals that get funded by Joshua Schimel. It’s a great book for those who want to improve their writing (not just science!). For fun, I’m referring to the Peterson Field Guide to Birds whenever I see a new visitor in my backyard, and I recently started Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England by Tom Wessels after several colleagues recommended it.

Are you listening to any good podcasts? 

I’m a big fan of the show The Office, and I’ve been enjoying listening to Office Ladies. It’s hosted by co-stars Angela Kinsey who plays Angela Martin on the show, and Jenna Fischer who plays Pam Beesley. Each week they break down an episode of The Office and give behind-the-scenes stories. Armchair Expert is also a great listen.

Favorite at-home activity related to your area of expertise? 

I’m taking a lot of photos of trees and birds! I bought a house with my partner a year ago and with all this extra time at home, I finally feel like I have the time to explore my own backyard. I enjoy photography as a hobby, even when the pair of red-bellied woodpeckers visiting my trees are giving me a run for my money! The tufted titmouse, on the other hand, is a much more willing participant. I enjoy taking photos for fun, but I also love that I can share them with the Extension audience in an educational way.

Favorite thing to do with your family at home? 

Tiring out our one year old “puppy!” We are going on a lot of walks around the neighborhood and have many sessions of backyard fetch. I also enjoy when she brings me her toys during Zoom meetings.

Got a favorite meal to make? 

I like to make stir fry. I’m a fan of meals where you can cook it all in the same pan (easier cleanup!).

Anything else to share? 

I’ve also been keeping busy knitting and crocheting fun things for my friends who are pregnant with twin girls!

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Tufted Titmouse sitting in a tree
Photo of tufted titmouse by Amy Arsenault