Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Roles at NAAEE:30 Under 30
Karlee calls Arcata, a small town in the heart of the misty Redwoods of Northern California, home. She is currently serving a second term of National Service as a Watershed Stewards Program AmeriCorps Member placed at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The mission of the Watershed Stewards Program (WSP) is to conserve, restore, and enhance anadromous (salmon and trout-bearing) watersheds for future generations by linking education with high quality scientific practices. In her first term of service, she served as a Team Leader where she provided Member support to thirteen WSP members and scientists throughout Northern California who partner with different Natural Resources agencies.
Karlee recognizes the urgent need to make scientific data, natural resources, and wildlife relevant and accessible for everyone, because people care about what they know and can understand.
She believes environmental conservation, restoration, and education efforts can become more relevant to diverse communities through establishing cultural connections that allow people to relate on a personal level. Karlee is certain there is not one "right" way to get people excited about the environment and the outdoors. For that reason she uses many different relationship building tactics to connect people to the landscapes and environment they interact with.
In her local community Karlee has taught environmental education in eleven classrooms and engaged over 200 students. Lesson topics include: watersheds, salmonids, habitat, stream health, and conservation/stewardship. National Geographic highlighted Karlee in their Educator Spotlight Series as Educator of the week where she discussed the importance of diversity and inclusion in outdoor spaces, coexistence between humans and wildlife, and how we can make the outdoors accessible and fun through environmental education. She has coordinated and facilitated several environmental education outreach and volunteer events that utilize a citizen science tool called iNaturalist (a smart device application).
Alongside John Griffith (creator of the BioBlitz Dance), Sally Jewell (Secretary of the Interior under President Barack Obama), and Sierra Preston (former California Conservation Corps (CCC) member), Karlee danced at the Centennial Anniversary of National Parks in Washington D.C. in 2016. The event celebrated diversity in the outdoors and in the conservation movement. She has since shared the BioBlitz dance at countless events such as the National Wildlife Federation’s P-22 Day and Urban Wildlife Week in Los Angeles.
Karlee has also organized hands-on watershed restoration events. Community members who volunteered at these events participated in a myriad of tasks such as: in-channel coarse woody debris installations, native plantings, rainwater catchment workshops, and storm water run-off alleviation.
Karlee's efforts to inspire positive environmental change can be attributed to finding, and using, her voice, as well of creating avenues for others to feel confident and comfortable having their voices heard. She has done this through writing blog posts, articles, and talking with others. Alongside five other strong revolutionary women, Karlee was featured in an article by Outside magazine titled Outdoor Industry: This Is What Inclusion Really Looks Like where they wrote an open letter to the outdoor industry about how it can become more relevant and inclusive to all. In 2017, she organized a quarterly newsletter called the Tributary Tribune. This newsletter shared artwork, writings, poems, and photography from 15 emerging scientists.
Through sharing these unique opportunities, Karlee aspires to further develop relationships between community members, nature, and wildlife.