Barbara developed a deep connection with nature at her grandparent’s bungalow colony in the Catskill Mountains. For her PhD thesis at New York University, she explored the relationship between 19th century alpine and polar landscape painting and the emerging field of natural science. During her thirty years as a museum curator, Barbara organized exhibitions that address the intersection of art, natural history, and environmental issues. She curated Fragile Ecologies: Contemporary Artists’ Interpretations and Solutions, which toured the United States under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution. In 2009 Barbara moved to Bellingham to become the art curator at the Whatcom Museum, where she organized the international traveling exhibition, Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art 1775-2012 and Endangered Species: Artists on the Front Line of Biodiversity.