Maura began her career as an actor in New York City, working in a variety of venues (mostly off-off and off-off-off Broadway). She had promised herself that if she wasn't making a living solely from acting after five years, she'd give up pursuing that career and continue work in theater as an avocation. The five-year deadline passed while she was working as a researcher at Newsweek magazine. She hadn't planned to make it a career, but interacting with talented writers and editors who were willing to mentor her, she "fell into" journalism as a way of life; following and covering news and information became a passion. She spent 19 years learning the craft of journalism while working her way up through the editorial ranks at Newsweek and Newsweek International magazines--from researcher to reporter, writer, production editor, and ultimately general editor in the international editions.
During these experiences she developed an abiding interest in international affairs and a commitment to investigative reporting and the ascendance of truth and facts in reporting instead of skewing stories with a false sense of "balance." She has written: "Advocacy journalism is admirable when the ones being advocated for are people, animals, and nature -- as opposed to governments and corporations, which are not people and never will be people, no matter what the Supreme Court may have ruled."
While working at Newsweek in New York City three or four days a week, Maura spent the rest of her days on her sheep, poultry, and organic vegetable farm, raising almost all of her family’s food and trading with neighbors for what her own farm did not produce. She also provided several restaurants with lamb, mutton, poultry, eggs, and fresh vegetables. (That was then. Maura became a vegetarian in 2003.)
When she left the farm for personal reasons, she studied in the Landscape Design and Horticulture graduate program at the University of Pennsylvania, doing fieldwork at the beautiful Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill. Later she worked at the New York Botanical Garden, where she joined the women-led team that launched Bronx Green-Up (BGU). This project reclaimed waste-strewn urban lots, and with the active participation of community members trained by the BGU women, turned them into beautiful green oases, with fruits, vegetables, flowers, and relaxation spaces -- whatever kind of garden the particular community preferred. BGU became a nationally known model for urban greening and community gardening, and this short stint in Maura’s career was one of her most beloved activities.
Seeing yet being unable to stem the commercialization overtaking Newsweek and other "mainstream" news organizations, Maura left to cofound an early Internet e-zine/information resource that was among the first (if not the first) online entities to have video streaming capabilities, a vast database of resources for readers, and a successful revenue scheme. This exciting experience felt like "the equivalent of earning an MBA," she has said.
In 1997 Maura made the move to Ithaca College and began writing for independent media outlets.