In the Weeds with Emma Tutein

UNH Extension staff are in the field every day, working with Granite State residents to make life better in New Hampshire. Because they’re so often on the go, getting to know our specialists and educators can be challenging. That’s why we’ve created In the Weeds, an ongoing series of interviews with Extension staff. Get to know the people behind our programs, discover new opportunities and pick up a few music recommendations along the way.

Name: Emma Tutein

Title: Natural Resources and Land Conservation Field Specialist

Start Date at Extension: November 2008 (almost 10 years!)

Why did you choose your field of work?

I found my interest in nature running around the farm I grew up on in New Jersey. My brother and I spent long days outside catching frogs and crayfish, playing in the woods and splashing in a stream. In college, I thought I wanted to major in biology but I never quite fit in with the pre-med and pharmacy students. Then one day while thumbing through the course catalog, I found there was a class (Vertebrate Zoology) that had field guides as the required textbooks and I discovered I could major in ecology and natural resource management. It was definitely a better fit and the rest is history.

If you were told that you could only have one tool to do your job at Extension, what would it be?

I hate to say it, but my phone. I use it as a camera, a GPS unit, a field guide and a communication tool. That being said, I also always carry a real compass if I’m out in the woods.

Describe a memorable experience you have had in your career as an educator.

I’m not sure I can think of a specific experience, but I just love sharing my passion with others and seeing their interest in the natural world grow.

If you had to make a playlist to accompany your program, what five songs would you add first?

  • “Two Little Feet” by Greg Brown. Working on the Trail Finder website has gotten me thinking a lot about hiking and walking.
  • “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell. A little cliché when it comes to land conservation, but an important one! “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone?” “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie. As a firm believer in the power of public lands, you’ve gotta love this one!
  • “I Like Birds” by Eels. The title says it all!
  • “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver. Throughout my work at Extension, I’ve been fortunate to travel all around the state. This song comes to mind when I’m driving on beautiful backroads.

If there was one thing you would want everyone to know about (your field of expertise), what would it be?

Nature is everywhere, from the parking lot at the supermarket to the wilderness of the White Mountains. You don’t need any fancy equipment or special knowledge, just get out and enjoy it!

How can people get in touch with you or learn more about your programming?

Shoot me an email ( or give me a ring: 603-679-5616!

Do you have any events coming up that you are excited about?

I’m helping run a Speaking for Wildlife training on Oct. 26. It’s a great opportunity for anyone interested in helping others learn about wildlife and natural resources.

What Extension program, outside of your program area, would we most likely find you at in your free time?

One of Gabby Bradt’s Seaweed workshops! I can’t believe I haven’t made it to one yet, but I love to cook and forage wild foods, so I’m just looking forward to the day I can make it to one of her workshops!