Melissa grew up in northeast Ohio to a family of artists. She had her first set of professional colored pencils at the age of 5 and began sweeping the teddy bear coloring contest circuit at 6 years old. Although art has always been a love and a hobby, Melissa's career passion was in the environmental field. She graduated with a BA in Environmental Studies from Hiram College in Ohio and promptly set off out West post-graduation. She has been an environmental educator in New Mexico and a park ranger in Colorado before making her way to Montana to attend graduate & law school. Melissa graduated in May 2010 from The University of Montana with an MS in Environmental Studies and a law degree - with an emphasis on climate change. Although she is licensed to practice law in the state of Montana, she is currently inactive in the field, and works for a forest collaborative - the Montana Forest Restoration Committee (MFRC). Outside of work, Melissa likes to participate in the laundry list of outdoor activities enjoyed by most Missoulians and is trying her hand at beekeeping. Melissa also has a love of handwriting and dreams of one day having her own font. She is excited to dust off her colored pencils and rekindle her artistic side as the president of the ZACC board.