Staff Highlight: Maggie Trinkle


Favorite place in Sky Islands?
Any place where it is between 70-72 degrees with indirect sunlight. Above that, I get overheated.  Below that, I need multiple layers of blankets. I used to spend a lot of time at Agua Caliente Park.  I’m anxious about how the restoration will turn out.

What is your favorite animal?
This guy:





What is your favorite plant?
All Kinds of Roses, Yusef Cat Stevens
Fake Plastic TreesRadio Head
Mean MrMustard,The Beatles

What is your favorite part of your job?
When we play the game “excel secret or hot take” at staff meetings.  The premise is that you come prepared to teach everyone something new about spreadsheets, or come up with a hot take on what you really think about a current pop culture or a staff sich (e.g. what’s the deal with Brad Pitt, why is Sami only making flan when she knows we all love peanut butter, etc.)

Describe a cool wildlife encounter

OhPlease join me in my unlandscaped back yard on Duchess Drive in Sierra Vista, circa 1979I had an elaborate mica mining operation in the unforgiving dirt, and on my breaks from my relentless boss (me) and her backbreaking mica quotas (also mine), I would catch horned toads for the purpose of petting their adorbs bellies. You cannot know the joy! After my lizard cuddles, I’d put them back someplace that looked to me to be more appealing and luxurious than where I’d found them—as if putting them under a canopy of blooming London Rockets was the equivalent of me gifting them nature’s version of a Club Med vacay.

Then, the unspeakable happened.  I’m not sure how I knew they squired blood out of their eyes as a protection mechanism, but it didn’t seem that big of a risk for me, the Luxury Travel Agent for the Wild Animals of Duchess Drive. After all, I was a benevolent five-year-old doling out trips to the nicer parts of my yard that I’d discovered while digging random holes in their home without their permission. With complimentary belly rubs! But then one day, I picked up a toad and they had HAD IT with my habitat gentrification and squirted blood all over me. I dropped him where I stood, and went a’running inside.  My lemon yellow leotard was ruined, and I shuttered my mica mining operation because, in the late ’70s, it was a lot easier to take The Man down with a scandal like that.

I’ve barely played outside in the same way since, but I deserved it, and I learned a really important lesson that day (that some could argue our adults building the border wall have forgotten if you want to get philosophical), and that is: even if I am bigger I should probably stop wreaking havoc just because I can, and treat my home the way you would something you love.

Nowadays, I’m more likely to take a book outside to read when it is warm, and recently I came across a quote that describes why we do what we do: Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed … We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in”, The Sound of Mountain Water, by Wallace Stegner.

The Sky Islands are where my collection of molecules and spirit happened to mysteriously coalesce, and I’m moving around as best I can, trying to figure it out just like everyone else, even with my belly-rubbing missteps, demands on my work pals, and kid responsibilities. But, for all us who love the beauty of this region for reasons you can’t quantify, it’s nice to know we can always drive up and peek inside while we try to figure it out.

This is what I’m here for, and what Sky Island Alliance is here for!