Pat Garber. Photo: P. Vankevich

Pat Garber’s goal as a young girl was to grow up with lots of stories to tell, and she has done just that. A native of Short Pump, Virginia (not far from Richmond), Pat was raised on a farm with horses and a myriad array of other animals.

She has degrees in Native American Studies and in Environmental Anthropology, and is a licensed teacher for the state of Virginia. She has been a  federally licensed wildlife rehabilitator and by North Carolina’s Sea Turtle Stranding Network to rescue and handle sea turtles.

She has done just about every kind of job there is, from pushing a hot dog cart in San Francisco to milking cows on a dairy farm in western Washington; serving pizzas in Bend, Oregon, to crewing on sailboats in the Bahamas; from teaching inner-city Head Start classes in Buffalo, New York to working as an archaeologist in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula; from being a wilderness trip leader at a rehab center for juvenile delinquents in Flagstaff, Arizona to serving as executive director of the Ocracoke Preservation Society and Museum in Ocracoke. She taught for three years on the Havasupai Indian Reservation at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and served as project manager and script writer, in conjunction with Northern Arizona University and the Havasupai Tribe, for a video-documentary on Havasupai agriculture.  She worked for the Environmental Protection Agency researching and writing a new policy for the Office of Pesticides and Toxic Substances to use on Indian lands.

Pat has been writing for newspapers and magazines in North Carolina, Arizona and Colorado since 1990, including history features and an award-winning nature column called “From Sea to Sound.”

She is the author of Ocracoke Wild and Ocracoke Odyssey, which are collections of nature essays she wrote for the Island Breeze; Little Sea Horse and the Story of the Ocracoke Ponies, a children’s book; and Ocracoke Island: Your Questions Answered. In 2013, her book Heart Like a River, the story of her great-grandfather’s experiences as a Confederate soldier in the Civil War, was published, and her first novel, Paws and Tales, has been published. All of her books are available in several island shops.

Pat spends much of her time in her little cottage, Marsh Haven, on Ocracoke Island, with her cat and dogs, but she also makes long treks to other out-of-the-way places to the West and North.



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