Meet the Team: CQLer Emily Platzer

Emily is an earth human person. She somehow managed to borrow kitty energy to have multiple lives, and each one is lovely and beautiful.

She has a BS degree in Marine Biology and was a Scientific Diver for Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. She contributed to data collection and database creation, entry, and management for a (then) 15 year coral reef monitoring project at Stetson Bank. Her dive certifications include Basic Open Water, Advanced Open Water, Nitrox (40%), Master Diver, Cavern Diver (NSS-CDS), and Scientific Diver (AAUS). She loves DIR philosophy (but isn’t a jerk about it).

Emily lived in China for 1 1/2 years learned to speak, read, and write Chinese… although it is getting rusty. She misses rural China and the amazing people.

Emily lived in a tipi for a year in the Pine Barrons of New Jersey with no running water or electricity. Along with two others, she coordinated and cooked three meals a day (and snacks) for up to 150 people in a primitive kitchen with propane tank stoves and ice coolers.

Emily is a trained herbalist and loves making delicious medicine for herself, family, and friends. Emily also loves going on foraging wanders, looking at beautiful things and collecting edibles and medicinals in a way than makes the landscape more healthy and resilient. 

Emily is an amazing crafter, and is a master knitter (algorithms!). She is a world champion spinner (Spinzilla 2013, 2014 and aiming for 2016!), and also loves other textile crafts. She enjoys redsmithing as well and has made many penannulars. She just finished a quilt top made from napkins used in her and her partner’s wedding.

Emily is a software developer. She loves TDD philosophy (but isn’t a jerk about it). Emily thinks that Git is the safety rope on your high-wire. She loves breaking down chaotic complexity into highly understandable portions.

Emily wants to figure out how to live a beautiful life and make the world more beautiful for people, plants, animals, bones and blood, ecosystems and cities. She doesn’t want to choose between technology and nature. She wants to make them friends.


1. Q. What is your favorite thing to eat?

A. Sichuan hot pot. HuaJiao forever!!!

2. Q. What is one of your favorite quotes?

A. How about three?

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” 

― Mahatma Gandhi

Sometimes the best way to learn something is by doing it wrong and looking at what you did. 

― Neil Gaiman

“You should never hesitate to trade your cow for a handful of magic beans.” 

― Tom Robbins

3. Q. What is your favorite form of exercise?

A. Wandering around in the forest looking at things and collecting wild edibles and herbal medicines.

4. Q. Favorite gif?

A. Omg yes gifs. It’s so hard to choose just one.


5. Q. Favorite place in all the world? Why?

A. Lugu Lake in Yunnan Province. It is so beautiful, and one of the last matrilineal cultures on earth. There is marriage, but something they call walking marriage. Women inherit property and daughters have beds and bedrooms when they come of age. When sons come of age, they stay with their girlfriends or have to sleep in the barn. If a gentleman finds his shoes outside his girlfriend’s house, he just got dumped. Everyone sings without shyness or pride, when doing chores, taking care of children, working, or drinking. I was shocked when I saw a woman working as a garbage man, and then was shocked at the western cultural sexism that I carried with me and didn’t even realize.

6. Q. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

A. Passing the Tracker Search and Forensic Investigation trials. We started with a 5 mile hike with 70lbs on our back in less than something like 2 hours. And then build a shelter out of out of leaves and sticks that repels a downpour, make three traps, make a bow drill fire… THEN we started the tracking portion… tracking across substrates like pine litter, deconstructing “what happened here” events in the soil etcetera. We also cracked the ice on the pool in the river and jumped in. I think that was supposed to be for “fun”.

Either that or bringing a new human into the world from my body.

7. Q. If you could sing one song absolutely flawlessly, what song would it be?

A. “Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen” (“Hell’s vengeance boils in my heart”)

8. Q. If you started a rock and roll band, what would the name be? Why?

A. Shallow Water Blackout

9. Q. If you had coined a phrase of wisdom, what would it be?

A. If humans can do it, it can’t be terribly impossible for you to do it too. Find the target, imagine the path to it, and then look down. Start your journey down the path, and every once in a while look up at your target and adjust. You can get there!


There is a space where everyone can get what we want. It’s just harder to find.

10. Q. If you could give your 10-year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

A. Adults are large children. Some are helpful, some are kind, some are bitter, some are petty. Don’t let other’s bitterness and pettiness poison you. Surround yourself with love, and let that flow through you and expand it and let it spill out of you to other people. Remember to choose people who are helpful and kind.