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Member Spotlight Monday: Julie Hammonds

As OWAA celebrates its 90th birthday in 2017, we’re kicking off “Member Spotlight Monday,” a new weekly feature that celebrates our present—the gift of our talented current members and their ongoing excellence in outdoor communications.  Today, we introduce Julie Hammonds:


  1. Where were you born?
  2. Where do you call home now?
  3. What’s your nickname?
  4. What’s your favorite outdoor activity?
    Trail running
  5. What is your profession/connection with outdoors communications?
    I’m a freelance writer/editor, as well as the staff writer and associate editor for Arizona Wildlife Views magazine.
  6. Why did you choose to become an outdoor communicator? It chose me!
    I’ve been a writer all my life and have always cared about the environment, but the two finally came together when the Arizona Game and Fish Department offered me this job in 2005.
  7. What are you most proud of in your career thus far?
    The Association for Conservation Information named Arizona Wildlife Views the nation’s best wildlife magazine for 2014.
  8. What three words would your friends use to describe you?
    Apparently, they think I’m a poised but occasionally silly chocaholic.
  9. What is the best piece of advice you have received as an outdoor communicator?
    A good story about the outdoors has emotion as well as fact, and invites the reader to care as well as to think. I wish I could remember who told me that.
  10. When you head for the Great Outdoors, what is the one thing you do not leave home without?
    I can’t go running on the trails here without my Garmin ForeRunner watch.
  11. What would you do if you won the lottery?
    I would buy a fully staffed scuba-diving yacht and disappear on a slow voyage around the world.
  12. Who do you most admire in your life and why?
    My dad taught me to care about writing, nature photography, hiking and backpacking. By example, he also showed me the power of optimism. He’s my guy.
  13. What was the last movie you saw?
    In the theater, it was “Hell or High Water.”
  14. What are your top three favorite books?
    I could spend a long time on a desert island with “Blue Highways,” by William Least Heat Moon; “Emma,” by Jane Austen; and “New and Selected Poems,” by Mary Oliver.
  15. Can you juggle?
    Yes, but not if anyone’s watching.
  16. What is your favorite dessert?
    I go for anything that combines the words “death” and “chocolate.”
  17. If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
    I wish I had the power to get every book I write (or edit for other writers) into the hands of appreciative readers.
  18. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
    I hope I’m still writing, editing, running and spending lots of time outdoors.
  19. What is your favorite inspirational quote?
    “Not all those who wander are lost.” –J.R.R. Tolkein
  20. What do you like best about OWAA?
    Through OWAA, I’ve met and worked with outstanding communicators whose skills make me aspire to improve my own and whose mentorship helps me do that.

We thank Julie for not only her answers, but also for being valued part of “The Voice of the Outdoors.”

If you are an OWAA member and wish to be featured in a future Member Spotlight Monday, send your answers to the above questions and a photograph of yourself enjoying the outdoors (in JPG format sized for the web) to Colleen Miniuk-Sperry at

Not a member? Check us out at

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