Meet your new group moderator and introduce yourself | NAAEE
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Meet your new group moderator and introduce yourself

Hello,

I am excited to be one of the newest Conservation and Behavior Change group moderators. You can read more about me here: https://naaee.org/eepro/people/rosemary-hitchens.

I am looking forward to learning about all of you and the work you’re doing. I’m in the process of scheduling recurring Zoom calls in 2021 that can serve as an opportunity for us to convene over video and continue the discussions raised back in October at the 2020 NAAEE Conference. If you missed the conference call, you can read this blog post recap here: https://naaee.org/eepro/blog/naaee-behavior-change-eepro-group.

In the meantime, please take a moment to reply to this discussion thread, introducing yourself and answering any/all of the following questions:

1. Where are you based?
2. How are behavior change and conservation relevant to your work?
3. What type of content would you like to see posted in this group?
4. What animal/s do you identify with or feel a special connection to?
5. What is your superpower?

I’d also like to take this moment to acknowledge the hard work of Kelly Dennings and Erin Stimer. Both Kelly and Erin are stepping down from their eePro Conservation and Behavior Change group moderator roles. So a big (virtual) round of applause for their leadership these past years! It’s our hope that they’ll both continue to be part of our eePro community.

Lastly, I encourage you to take this survey so we (i.e. your group moderators) can better understand how we can support you: https://rosemary525918.typeform.com/to/jHq8WmCl.

If you'd like to reach out to me personally my email is rosemary@rosemaryhitchens.com. I look forward to getting to know everyone.

Thank you,
Rosemary

P.S. Here's a picture of me interviewing a game ranger in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park.

Hi Rosemary!

1. Rural southwest New Mexico

2. My org, Advocates for Snake Preservation, improves attitudes toward snakes to improve their conservation (currently snake conservation is difficult because so many dislike or fear snakes)

3. Resources (especially reading, workshops, workbooks) to do our work better

4. Well, obviously snakes :-)

5. And my superpower is using my passion for snakes to inspire others to rethink how they feel about them. Enthusiasm and passion are contagious.

Rosemary,
Thank you for taking over the leadership role. I look forward to participating as time allows.

1. Where are you based? Arlington, VA ususally, currently in Florida

2. How are behavior change and conservation relevant to your work? At the Center for Biological Diversity I develop and execute campaigns focused on rights-based solutions from voluntary family planning to the solidarity economy to address how the effects of population pressure and inequitable consumption impact our environment.

3. What type of content would you like to see posted in this group? I think folks like case studies - the ability to learn from others.

4. What animal/s do you identify with or feel a special connection to? I've always loved penguins.

5. What is your superpower? Probably empathy, but sometimes it cripples me too.
Kelley

Thank you Kelley and Melissa for kicking off our new introduction thread. I'm excited to read through your responses. As promised, I'm dropping a scheduling link for anyone interested in gathering remotely. This meeting will kickoff our first NAAEE Conservation and Behavior Change Discussion Group Zoom of the year.

SCHEDULING LINK: https://lettucemeet.com/l/P3b4n

This meeting will be for NAAEE eePro Conservation & Behavior Change members to gather, learn from each other, and build community.

My hope is that we can gather before the end of February. If there is enthusiasm to keep these virtual group discussions going, we'll schedule a series of meetings throughout the year.

I look forward to seeing you on Zoom!

All the best, Rosemary

Hello, thanks for the welcome for the new year.

1. Where are you based?

Penn State, State College, PA

2. How are behavior change and conservation relevant to your work?

My desired outcomes are to inspire and support conservation behaviors in our audiences' daily lives.

3. What type of content would you like to see posted in this group?

Education leading to action.

4. What animal/s do you identify with or feel a special connection to?

Weasels

5. What is your superpower?

I excel at implementing change in conservation and EE facilities, from refinement to wholesale redesigns.

1. Where are you based? Athens, GA
2. How are behavior change and conservation relevant to your work? I work involving our community in taking ownership of their environment. Primarily in reducing litter and planting. I am most interested in behavior change as it relates to reducing littering behavior.
3. What type of content would you like to see posted in this group?
I would just like to see the ideas of others and share ours in hopes that we can use new techniques in our own communities.
4. What animal/s do you identify with or feel a special connection to? I currently really love seals.
5. What is your superpower? planting to support wildlife.

1. I live in a ponderosa pine forest in Franktown, Colorado, and am thankful to the Ute and Cheyenne ancestral stewards of this land.
2. How are behavior change and conservation relevant to your work? It is integrated into all my projects with educators and organizations. After teaching for many years, I founded Global GreenSTEM (globalgreenstem.com) to work with formal and informal educators and organizations to create purposeful and relevant environmental/sustainable STEM experiences where students apply what they are required to learn to design and carry out solutions to real problems and challenges.
3. I look for any resources and ideas that I can share with educators that help them (and me as consultant) to understand conservation problems and see models of problem solving.
4. What animal/s do you identify with or feel a special connection to? Mountain gorillas-- I have developed educational curriculum and programs-- for Rwandan and Ugandan, and US schools-- with three different international mtn. gorilla orgs since 1987 (starting months after Dian Fossey's murder). I am currently working with Conservation Through Public Health in Uganda with Dr. Gladys.
5. superpower? Empathy. That can be a good and a challenging trait.

Hi Rosemary! Thanks for all of your work moderating this. Excited to be involved (although I can't make the 2/11/21 meeting - I will do my best to be at future ones!).

1. Where are you based? St. Augustine, Florida
2. How are behavior change and conservation relevant to your work? I am the Director of Behavior Change Strategies at the nonprofit consulting firm Impact by Design. I work with clients like the Jane Goodall Institute, zoos, nature centers, and others to help with developing behavior change initiatives.
3. What type of content would you like to see posted in this group? Anything! I am excited to see where the group goes and how we respond to our collective needs and interests.
4. What animal/s do you identify with or feel a special connection to? I am a total cat lady but also love scarlet ibis and hummingbirds.
5. What is your superpower? hmmm... I love public speaking, and that comes in handy a lot!

1. Where are you based? I'm currently in The Bahamas
2. How are behavior change and conservation relevant to your work? I work for a non-profit research organization doing work on coral reef ecosystems and fisheries management, and I am heading up a new program designed to help foster a greater conservation ethic with local communities to ultimately drive local conservation actions through behavior change.
3. What type of content would you like to see posted in this group? Anything and everything. Also happy to find folks doing similar work to bounce ideas off of.
4. What animal/s do you identify with or feel a special connection to? spiny lobsters (10 years of research....)
5. What is your superpower? I've been told that I'm an amazing listener.

Good Morning!

1. Where are you based?
Chatham, New York, in the Hudson River Valley

2. How are behavior change and conservation relevant to your work?
I'm the Conservation Education Manager for a non-profit land trust and my role is to engage and inspire the next generation of conservationists!

3. What type of content would you like to see posted in this group?
Best practices, sharing ideas, successes and all the tools to help people connect and care about conservation.

4. What animal/s do you identify with or feel a special connection to?
Swamp creatures! I did fresh water turtle research and coordinate an Amphibian Migration volunteer group. I like to teach about all the cool adaptations for critters that are generally considered "icky".

5. What is your superpower?
I'm a people person, so I can talk to pretty much anyone and enjoy it!

Hi Rosemary,

Excited to be here and learn about everyone else in the group!

1. Location - Madison Wisconsin and Titusville Florida
2. How are behavior change and conservation relevant to your work? This has been a passion of mine since I learned that people are essential to the conservation of any ecosystem, animal, plant, etc. Currently, I work with conservation professionals to enhance their abilities to serve specific audiences. I also am co-Director of Turtles for Tomorrow, a non-profit dedicated to the conservation of reptiles and amphibians in Wisconsin, particularly rare turtles. And I am President of Snake Conservation Society, a second non-profit dedicated to changing the image of snakes in the public's imagination as well as conserving snakes via changing people's attitudes and behaviors toward them.
3. What type of content would you like to see posted in this group? I'm interested in just about everything because really everything is connected. I'm often surprised by what I end up connecting together.
4. What animal/s do you identify with or feel a special connection to? I really identify with lesser known and/or less well-appreciated forms of wildlife, i.e. unhuggables. Throughout my career, most of my work has centered on bats, amphibians and reptiles. In the recent past, I do most work with snakes and turtles.
5. What is my super-power? I've often been told how passionate I am about what I do and how interesting I can make my presentations/programs featuring unhuggables, so I think sharing my sense of awe and wonder at unhuggables with others is a superpower of mine.

Hello Everyone!
1. Where are you based? Indiana. I live just east of Indianapolis, but cover the entire state in my scope of work.
2. How are behavior change and conservation relevant to your work? As the Forestry Education Specialist for the Indiana Division of Forestry, I am constantly bombarded with misinformation about forest management. My goal is for people to understand what we do and why we do it and listen to the science and not to the emotionally charged misinformation. I like to stay clear of advocacy in favor of objective education.
3. What type of content would you like to see posted in this group? Strategies based on the science of natural resource management to help people understand that it is not a bad thing. I am sure that there will be much great content on this subject.
4. What animal/s do you identify with or feel a special connection to? I have a special affinity to the American Woodcock. It is one of my favorite birds and I get excited when I see one!
5. What is your superpower? Keeping the true goal of education front and center when I teach, whether it is to educators or to kids.

I am Janice Kelley, based in Sacramento, CA.
I am a writer/ editor/researcher. and informal educator. My primary work in conservation and behavior change is founder and leader of Nature Detectives, a weekly nature education program for with kindergarten through third grade children. It is a blend of online learning and exploration at home. Nature Detectives explore the outdoor world by engaging their curiosity, imagination and find evidence to capture in Discovery Journals. I am creating a series of guidebooks so the program can be replicated as a membership benefit.
I want to see in posts: I am interested in what other people in the field are doing and establishing possible partnerships when relevant.
Animal I identify with: I love giraffes. They are slow, deliberate, long necks that are an outstanding feature.
Superpower: Creativity

Hi Rosemary and group!

1. Where are you based?

Portland area, Oregon

2. How are behavior change and conservation relevant to your work?

Directly related to the nonformal education and interpretation at zoological organizations, which is my focus.

3. What type of content would you like to see posted in this group?

Resources, successes, failures (what was tried and what didn't work and why)

4. What animal/s do you identify with or feel a special connection to?

octopus!

5. What is your superpower?

This is a tough questions. I'd say maybe identifying individuals' motivation for behavior to better understand them. Also, I love spreadsheets.

I'm excited for this group, so thank you!

1. Where are you based?
Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida, one of the last remaining stands of old growth bald cypress forests in the world. Before that Phoenix, Arizona, and Southern California.
2. How are behavior change and conservation relevant to your work?
We are looking for ways to fundamentally change the behavior of stakeholders to protect the watershed and habitat used by birds. This includes neighbors, businesses, developers and so forth.
3. What type of content would you like to see posted in this group?
Would like to see effective strategies that can be duplicated. Also out of the box thinking based on human psychology and human nature.
4. What animal/s do you identify with or feel a special connection to?
Those animals that need corridors or flyways and have vast territories highlighting the need for connectivity of landscapes. This includes the Florida panther, and wading birds.
5. What is your superpower?
I rarely get offended…and I am okay with having uncomfortable conversations.

Hi Rosemary!

I am new to EE but so excited to be a member of this inspiring group. Thank you for your leadership in the new year.

1. Suburban Northern Virginia in the shadow of the Capitol to the East and the Shenandoah Mountains to the West.

2. I work within the Office of Exhibits at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum. We practice informal science education for all ages, free of charge, 360 days a year. Our mission is to connect audiences to nature and our place in it. Attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behavior change about science, nature, human impact, conservation, biodiversity are at the core of everything we do.

3. Readings, workshops, discussions, research literature, best practice examples, templates, partnerships to do our work better together as one community of practice.

4. Common sparrows. We have a lot of them in my area and their songs, trills, and calls are the music on my hikes and outdoor experiences. But honestly, my spirit animal would not be an animal, but a plant. Probably an oak, hemlock, ash, or birch.

5. And my superpower is developing a vision or set of goals that inspires others. I have quite a bit of science communication training.

1. Saint Louis Zoo in Missouri, USA
2. Behavior change and conservation are central to the Zoo's mission, which my research and evaluation work strives to measure and share.
3. Best practices and related resources/current research
4. Turtles and tortoises, salamanders, penguins, sea otters, and red pandas. And of course, my own cat and dog!
5. Making the best out of any situation

Hello everyone,

1. Where are you based? Jackson, Mississippi
2. How are behavior change and conservation relevant to your work? I am the Adopt-A-Stream Director for the state of Mississippi and work with nonpoint source pollution and water quality. I try and help everyone understand that we all live in a watershed and we all affect the quality of our water, whether it is for drinking, recreation or wildlife.
3. What type of content would you like to see posted in this group? Resources and different ways to teach others about conservation to motivate behavior change.
4. What animal/s do you identify with or feel a special connection to? Dragonfly, because they are one of the macroinvertebrates that help tell water quality. They are interesting, beautiful, eat mosquitoes and are part of my logo.
5. What is your superpower? Passionate about what I do and I feel I bring that to the programs I teach.

Debra Veeder

1. Where are you based?
Denver, Colorado!
2. How are behavior change and conservation relevant to your work?
I work as the Program Director for an org called Global Conservation Corps, we operate outside of Kruger National Park in South Africa and focus on using EE as a tool to break down the barriers local youth face around gaining benefits from the local wildlife economy. A big part of our program is inspiring behavior change!
3. What type of content would you like to see posted in this group?
Definitely tools around assessing behavior change, M&E, that sort of thing!
4. What animal/s do you identify with or feel a special connection to?
Cheetahs!! I used to work for the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, and cheetahs have been my favorite animal since I was five years old.
5. What is your superpower?
Drawing! Especially big (and small) cats. Here's an Ocelot I recently painted!

Hi Everyone,

1. Where are you based?
Arlington, VA - though my organization is based in Denver, CO

2. How are behavior change and conservation relevant to your work?
Our work is designed to prepare young people to be civically engaged in environmental policy making in their communities. We do this by helping them create action projects that solve problems through direct civic involvement. We believe civic experience will beget civic engagement in the future.

3. What type of content would you like to see posted in this group?
I agree with what I have seen from many others about case studies and resources. I also enjoy conversations that start with an interesting question.

4. What animal/s do you identify with or feel a special connection to?
My dog of course - other than that I have a special place in my heart for any primate.

5. What is your superpower?
Well - I wish it was listening, but my wife says that is not it. :) I think it is probably engaging in deep discussions about the how, what and why of civic engagement of youth.

1. Where are you based?
Cincinnati, OH

2. How are behavior change and conservation relevant to your work?
I work in conservation education and a huge part of everything that we do is to ask the "So what?" question about every program that we do. The reason for this is to ensure that we are leaving the audience with one or more of the three pillars upon which our department was built: Wonder, Knowledge, Action. These pillars are intended to scaffold from toddlers learning awe up to 5th grade - adult who are encouraged to use the wonder and knowledge they have gained to take action. We get people of all walks of life at my institution and strategically framing a message around shared values is our go-to strategy.

3. What type of content would you like to see posted in this group?
I would love to talk more about increasing community partnerships to work together toward a change. I would also like to see more on the social science of change.

4. What animal/s do you identify with or feel a special connection to?
I love spotted hyenas. I tend to root for the underdog and they are often overlooked or unjustly maligned (Lion King did not help) but they are amazing, intelligent animals with a complex social structure.

5. What is your superpower?
My superpower is being able to pivot or reconnect almost any side conversation, digression, or diversion back on topic during programs and meetings.