Selita spent her early childhood in Finland surrounded by lakes and wetlands. Known for sustainable environmental policies and a rich history of conservation, Finland shaped her worldview. Selita brought her Finnish values to Montana when she moved with her family, and grew up on the Yellowstone River in Paradise Valley. The longest undammed river in the contiguous U.S., the Yellowstone made a lasting impressing on her, and served as inspiration for her undergraduate research as she studied ecological effects of dam removal at Montana State University.
Motivated by her passion for the natural environment, and studying maps and landforms during her world travels, she developed a keen interest in Geographic Information Systems which she studied as an undergraduate. With a B.S. in Earth Sciences (Geography) from MSU in Bozeman, she continued on to receive a M.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Management from University of Hawai’i at Manoa in Honolulu. Her focus on restoration ecology in Hawai’i was a catalyst for her specialization in that field back home in Montana. At River Design Group, Selita enjoys geospatial analysis and cartography, and ecological restoration focusing on floodplain and wetland vegetation community design and rehabilitation.
“Any river is really the summation of the whole valley. To think of it as nothing but water is to ignore the greater part.”