Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Roles at NAAEE:CCC Fellow
Director of Education
Kris’s favorite childhood memory is going out at night by boat to saltwater lagoons in Florida to catch shrimp with her father and sister. Time spent exploring, learning and teaching outside has brought her from Florida up the coast to Maine, out to Rocky Mountain National Park, up north to Orcas Island in the Pacific Northwest, and back east again to Massachusetts. For the past 12 years, Kris has been the Education Manager at Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary, located in Lincoln, MA. Working with a team of educators and naturalists, she oversees all on- and off-site educational programs for schools, children, families, adults, and general visitors at the sanctuary and off-site in local communities, as well as the Drumlin Farm Summer Camp and the Drumlin Farm Community Preschool—a nationally recognized nature and farm-based preschool. Kris teaches science education courses for elementary and middle school teachers and works with school administrators and teachers to develop field science opportunities for students. She and her staff work with over 800 schools throughout the state and partner with several school districts developing curriculum that addresses science education through inquiry-based learning and place-based field studies. Kris develops and oversees multiple community environmental education projects including Lowell Leaders in Stewardship—a comprehensive program strategy that connects the youth of Lowell with local natural and cultural resources and implement stewardship projects in their city; Digital Environmental Education Project—an initiative to tap into the resources of the digital age to enhance people's understanding and appreciation of nature and inspire conservation; and the RiverSchools Network—a watershed based environmental education project that works with elementary, middle, and high school students and their teachers to strengthen understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers and the SuAsCo watershed. Kris also participates in many statewide projects at Mass Audubon including the Education Leadership Team and the Climate Change Project. Her interest is in developing learning environments that encourage people to explore their connection to the environment as well as the role they can play in its conservation. Kris sits on the Steering Committee of the Secretaries’ Advisory Group on Environmental Education and the Massachusetts ELP. She is a founding board member of Grassroots Wildlife Conservation and participates in many community groups related to conservation and education.
A cross-department team at Mass Audubon, is developing and implementing a statewide campaign to move members, program participants, and residents in the communities it serves to electricity produced by renewable sources. The goal is to provide information, remove barriers, and effectively support constituents in “Making the Switch” to renewable, regionally produced green energy.
In September, the team will launch Phase 1 of the campaign with its partner, Mass Energy—a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing emissions in Massachusetts by providing clean energy options. Phase 1 focuses on marketing and promoting green energy options to Mass Audubon's membership and program participants across the state through a variety of media and marketing tools. Additionally, at selected Mass Audubon Sanctuaries & Nature Centers, the team will design and implement targeted marketing materials, strategic messaging, and climate change specific programming including special events, short courses, and specialized programming related to “Making the Switch”. These programs will be complimented by advocacy training for the most deeply committed constituents who can bring the “Making the Switch” campaign to their home communities in partnership with Mass Audubon.
Mass Audubon cares deeply about climate change and its impacts on people and wildlife. The organization has successfully reduced the carbon footprint of its buildings and vehicles by more than 50% since 2003. This goal was accomplished by implementing energy conservation and efficiency measures at the statewide network of wildlife sanctuaries and by ensuring that all of the electricity consumed comes from clean, regionally-produced, renewable energy. Fortunately, Massachusetts is a state that also has one of the most progressive sets of climate change laws and policies in the nation. The statewide goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Public policy is important in providing a framework for emissions reduction across the state. However, these targets cannot be reached unless residents across the state choose actions to reduce their own emissions.
Mass Audubon believes that moving its members and their communities to green energy will help the Commonwealth reach emissions reduction targets set by Global Warming Solutions Act (80% emissions reduction by 2050), give people a most effective way to become involved in reducing their own emissions, increase green energy production in the Commonwealth, increase energy and emissions literacy in the people it reaches, and raise the profile of Mass Audubon as an organization that is recruiting its membership and supporters to address the greatest environmental threat of all time.
Our work on Climate Change:
Partner Organization in “Making the Switch”: