Promoting Professional Development and Best Practice in EE
Roles at NAAEE:T3 Fellow
Director of Operations
Kansas Assn. for Conservation & Environmental Education (KACEE)
Melissa Arthur is Director of Operations at Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE), a state affiliate of NAAEE. She has served on staff with KACEE since 2003. Earlier in her career, Melissa gained environmental education experience working for a science education organization, a nature center, and a natural history museum. Melissa holds a bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College, and master’s degree from the University of Kansas with emphases on ecology, agriculture, and public education. She is co-owner of Westside Yoga in Lawrence, KS, and studies yoga philosophy from many traditions with a particular interest in the connections between nature, health, and the human spirit. She lives near Lake Perry with her husband and two dogs and is often reading, gardening, or cooking at home—when not out exploring nearby rivers and trails.
The WRAPS (Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy) Capacity Building Project is a professional development program for WRAPS Coordinators that will include face-to-face, online, and hybrid learning opportunities. WRAPS Coordinators are natural resource professionals who manage a grassroots project for water quality improvement. KACEE has been facilitating face-to-face “capacity building forums” to address pressing professional development needs and provide networking and sharing opportunities for the group since 2006. WRAPS professional development needs are as diverse as WRAPS Coordinators and change over time. Some professional development activities require a face-to-face meeting whereas others can be accomplished online. The objective of this project is to work with the WRAPS Coordinators to determine their most pressing professional development needs and priorities, and then develop and pilot a variety of professional development opportunities in various formats to meet these needs. Based on pilot feedback, KACEE expects that the project will continue in year 2 to build on the tools that work well. The outcome will be an online professional development “one stop shop” that includes a customizable and flexible suite of professional development opportunities.