Erin O'Doherty was raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Her interest in science led her to a PhD in Ecology and MS in Zoology from University of Georgia. She has studied a broad range of ecosystems from small invertebrate communities in Appalachian streams to birds and mammals in Rocky Mountain landscapes. After working in Texas and Colorado creating GIS databases for natural resource managers in southwest National Parks, Erin moved to Laramie 27 years ago to work as a research ecologist for the Forest Service.
Erin was drawn to Laramie because of the skiing, the skies, the research job, and the people, including her husband James Johnson. Erin and James built their energy-efficient, passive solar house, where they still reside, with their own hands (and hammers). James, a Colorado native, is a consulting engineer in Laramie. Erin is the co-owner of the firm and does database consulting. Their two children, Sierra and Connor, attended Laramie public schools from Indian Paintbrush Elementary through the University of Wyoming. While her children were in elementary school, Erin was active in the PTA as a general volunteer, Co-President and Book-Fair Chair. Because of her dedication to promoting literacy and suggestions for book fair improvements, she was asked by Scholastic Books to serve on their national Public Advisory Council. She is proud of the quantity of books she helped get into the hands of young readers.
When the Rocky Mountain Research Station closed in Laramie, her career transitioned to consulting and database work for non-profits. Now that Erin's children are grown, she has dedicated much of her time to political organizing. Erin decided to run for office because she believes she can make a positive impact, and she was tired of asking other people to run.