After studying anthropology and music at the University of Toronto, Amy promptly left for Japan and found herself teaching English to over 12,000 junior high school students across Kanazawa. This overseas immersion uncovered her fascination with Japanese culture, and kickstarted her lifelong study of Nihongo (Japanese language). After returning to North America, Amy worked as a museum exhibit designer and project manager in Hawai’i and San Francisco before finding her way back to travel and education.
Amy has worked both backstage, as an operations manager of educational trips to Japan, and on the front lines, lecturing on expedition ships all over Japan and managing her own tour company. Amy holds her master’s degree in language teaching, and when she’s not in Japan, she teaches English language learners at community colleges in the San Francisco Bay Area. Amy is invited back to Niigata every summer as a visiting faculty member at the International University of Japan, and she also delivers monthly training workshops to Japanese tour guides.
Amy has a boundless enthusiasm for Japanese culture and food, and her lectures focus on everyday life in Japan and the interplay between language, thought, and behavior. While cultural explorations are her specialty, her curiosity also extends to the natural world. Amy currently lives at Point Reyes National Seashore, where she shares her heavenly habitat with her park ranger husband, three cats, over 400 species of birds, and thousands of Northern elephant seals.