Ruth received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Carleton College and a Master of Science degree in natural resources and environmental education from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point.
- 1991-1998 – Executive Director, Dane County Natural Heritage Foundation
- 1998-2002 – Executive Director, Madeline Island Wilderness Preserve
- 2000-2008 – Executive Director, Bayfield Regional Conservancy
- 2008-2012 – Natural Resources Educator, University of Wisconsin – Extension
- 2012-2019 – Executive Director, Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
- 2020-2021 – Affiliate Officer, Apostle Islands and Chequamegon Bay Area Community Funds, an Affiliate of the Duluth-Superior Area Community Foundation