Noël presently lives in West Glacier, Montana, but says “A more honest answer may be that I live between my ears.” She grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico but considers Northern New Mexico/Southern Colorado to be her home and attended college at Adams State University, in Alamosa, Colorado, in the San Luis Valley. Noel comments “That pocket of land, the SLV, that I sometimes refer to as “mini-Kansas” is nestled between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the San Juan Mountains. It holds a special place in my heart.”
Briefly describe your educational background.
My initial motivation to go to college was to run competitively at a higher level (than high school).But I deviated from that trajectory. In college I studied rock climbing. I mean, biology. Actually, I ended up graduating with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, having obtained five minors instead of one major. The minors are biology, biochemistry, sociology, philosophy, and adventure leadership. I also studied natural resource management and history, but I did not have a sufficient amount of time to complete two more minors. I graduated in 2018 and have been a student of life-outside-of-college since then, attempting to break into the world of regenerative agriculture.
What drew you to work at TLI?
The Land Institute appears to me to be a motivated organization with the willpower and plan to address climate change and social inequality through agriculture. I care deeply about the future of life on this planet and want to be a part of a movement that offers and applies solutions. The prospect of engaging with plants and people, in an intellectual and physical capacity on the land is also incredibly appealing.
What else are you passionate about (outside of work)?
Though it has been a little a while since I’ve found one, I love zines. I feel a little bit giddy thumbing through those spunky little booklets. I really enjoy the artistic nature and storytelling found in them. I think they provide a beautiful glimpse of the creativity within the authors. That organic spunkiness can be hard to find in parts of our modern world.
I also have the propensity to be a rock-climbing fanatic. I’ve learned to tame my overwhelming rock-climbing desires because when they come on too strong, I can become selfish, which is not an attribute I want to cultivate. But pursuit of the ridiculous activity still courses through my veins.
What were you like at age 10?
When I was ten, I insisted on wearing short shorts and my father’s ratty t-shirts. Those shirts covered my shorts, so I appeared to be potentially naked under the shirt, but I didn’t care. Comfy clothes were a priority at the time; as was the act of not showering. I must have been kind of a grimy kid because running around—the game of tag—was also a big damn deal. Other captors of my imagination were birds—talking about birds, reading bird guidebooks, drawing pictures of birds—and the cat books. Thus, cat clans were often interwoven into tag games. I believe the last time consumptive activity I partook in at age 10, was the mariachi band I played violin in. Viva la Mariachi Camino Real!