Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Roles at NAAEE:eePRO Group Leader
Helen Kuhns loves to get her hands dirty and her feet wet. Growing up in the Tidewater region of Virginia, she has always been enthralled by the Chesapeake Bay, its tributaries, backwaters, swamps, marshes and the creatures that call those areas home. She feels we are as much a part of nature as the hawks hunting the wooded edges or the bluebirds feeding across the meadows. Helen’s EE philosophy has always been “helping an individual develop a personal connection to our natural resources is the first step to conserving our world for future generations.”
Currently, Helen Kuhns is the Assistant Director, Programs and Pearl Faith Coordinator for Lynnhaven River Now, a Virginia Beach-based, grass roots organization focused on improving water quality throughout its city’s waters and beyond. Helen oversees Lynnhaven River Now’s program team who focus on educating their community through virtual or hands-on, in-person learning opportunities, and stewardship actions such as cleanups and water quality monitoring. Building stewards within Virginia Beach schools, residents, businesses and faith communities, across the Commonwealth of Virginia and beyond those borders drives her passion for environmental education.
Helen earned a Bachelor’s of Biology with a Minor in Philosophy & Religion from Christopher Newport University. She works to guide others to develop a meaningful and personal relationship with nature and also to understand the challenges our environment is undergoing. Whether working with church leaders, students, or volunteers, Helen’s passion for her work reverberates through her audiences. She advocates for environmental education and climate change issues through local and state level actions building a capacity for change. Helen is a committed partner and excited to work with stakeholders to move towards a common good.
Helen’s 30+ years in EE have resulted in a varied, exciting career. Focused primarily on wildlife, coastal habitats, watershed education, facilitation and interpretation, Helen has worked with students, adults, educators and peers. Helen is a founding Board member and former officer for the Virginia Association for Environmental Education (VAEE) serving as Secretary for 5 years, and working with her locally- affiliated chapter, the Hampton Roads Alliance for Environmental Education. She served on Governor Northam’s STEM Commission, the former-First Lady Northam’s Future of EE Committee and is a non-formal representative on the Virginia Department of Education’s EE Advisory panel.