Being the editor of our very large website is more than a full-time job. Each and every itinerary, trip report, and blog article has to be carefully examined – bird names have to be up to date in terms of the IOC, style and grammar have to be checked, and everything has to be formatted consistently. Monika spends more than a normal working week taking care of this massive task and is well qualified for the job, too. Not only is she an extremely enthusiastic birder and wildlife enthusiast, having traveled widely on six continents, but she also has the formal training needed to tackle such a formidable task.
Having been educated in Germany and the United States, Monika holds a BA (with a double-major in linguistics and German) and a PhD (major in linguistics and minor in child psychology) from the University of Minnesota. She also boasts a Specialist Degree in Theatre Arts from the Stuttgart Conservatory.
Over the years Monika has gained copious amounts of experience in the field of linguistics, having worked in senior linguistic positions at IT companies, where she developed and managed the development of linguistic software (spellcheckers, grammar checkers, and machine translation systems), as well as taking up opportunities in the education field, teaching linguistics at the Universities of Minnesota and Iowa and Midwestern area colleges.
Monika’s interests, however, do not solely lie in linguistics. She has an underlying passion for acting and was an actress in Germany before moving to the United States. Wildlife and conservation are also key interests of hers, and after her retirement, when she moved to South Africa, she served as a SANParks honorary ranger for nine years and is currently a member of the West Coast Bird Club. She joins many of our birding tours herself and is equally interested in mammals, reptiles, and other fauna and flora as she is in birds – this helps when she edits bird, mammal, and other lists for our website!
Always there to help fellow staff members with any technical queries they may have, Monika forms an intricate part of our team here at Birding Ecotours.