Tracey Ritchie

Roles at NAAEE:

ee360 Fellow

VP Education and Engagement
National Park Foundation

Tracey Ritchie is the Director of Education for Earth Day Network, a global environmental nonprofit organization working to expand climate and environmental literacy worldwide. Tracey’s biggest priority is developing plans to mobilize students from around the world to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020. Prior to joining the Earth Day Network team in January 2018, she was adjunct faculty at the University of Florida and has held positions from Florida to North Carolina, managing and facilitating environmental education programs ranging from sea turtle walks to birding adventures, and local green book clubs to statewide water education programs. Tracey completed her Ph.D. at the University of Florida in 2017. Her research focused on developing systems-thinking skills in students and teachers to more effectively communicate about complex environmental issues such as climate change. Tracey has an extensive background in program development and evaluation, facilitating professional development for educators, social science research methodologies, and Environmental Education best practices. She also holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Education from Florida Atlantic University and a Bachelor’s degree from UF in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Tracey has been active in the field of Environmental Education for over 12 years and has been an active member of the Florida, North Carolina, and DC affiliates of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). Tracey is looking forward to learning from this accomplished group of environmental educators on how to develop resources, curricula, and messaging that is appropriate and appealing to a global audience.

About Tracey‘s ee360 Community Action Project

Tracey’s ee360 Community Action Project focuses on developing environmental literacy and civic engagement skills in students of her new community in Washington, DC as well as across the globe. In her role as Director of Education for Earth Day Network, she strives to achieve the mission to diversify, educate, and activate the environmental movement worldwide. Her project will provide her the opportunity to not only reinvigorate a long-standing EDN program but also connect with her new local surroundings and community members. Tracey’s goal of high-quality environmental education combined with civic education will ultimately take the form of Global Teach-Ins for Earth Day 2020. The project now includes a pilot train the trainer program with a group of international youth who attended the Earth Echo International Youth Leadership Council summit hosted in Washington, DC in August 2019. This training will be adapted for a wider audience and can be implemented by schools, faith institutions, or community groups around the world for Earth Day 2020. 

The very first Earth Day in 1970 was designed as an Environmental Teach-In and we are looking to revitalize this community-based discussion tool for the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day in 2020. With new resources focusing on topics such as local impacts of climate change, threats to biodiversity, plastic pollution, and much more, communities will be able to gather to discuss how their environment and local ecosystems are changing, and what they can do together to take action to protect their health, safety, and natural resources. The new teach-in resources will be translated into multiple languages and be adaptable to different community settings. There will also be opportunities for teach-ins to occur in virtual spaces. The teach-ins will take place all across 2020, though many will happen on and around Earth Day in April. Tracey is looking to track impacts of teach-ins through local policy implementation and through participation in the Earth Challenge 2020, citizen science platform.