EECapacity: Bringing New Ideas, Voices, and Innovation to EE

people learning in outdoor setting eeCapacity T3 fellows

From 2011 to 2016, NAAEE worked with Cornell University and a consortium of national and local partners on an exciting training initiative called EECapacity (Expanding Capacity in Environmental Education). EECapacity was funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Education through a cooperative agreement with Cornell University to support professional development, strengthen the field, and share innovative practices from across the country and around the globe.

Through a consortium of partners, EECapacity convened individuals and groups from multiple sectors to strengthen environmental education efforts in communities. NAAEE’s contributions to EECapacity included developing and running the project website and online resource center, managing the 10-state State Capacity Building Consortia project, conducting professional development activities online and during the annual conference, promoting pre-service education, strengthening efforts to establish and accredit state certification programs, and developing a new set of guidelines for working with communities as part of the Guidelines for Excellence series for environmental professionals. Read our final report summarizing the accomplishments of EECapacity.

eecapacity circle Strenthen Grow Diversify
multilevels eecapacity work graphic

This smallish project is creating the framework for us to build authentic working relationships with partners we should have (but have never) reached out to before within our state...those relationships will lead to great things in our future...going well beyond the scope of this project—for that potential I am equally excited! Thanks for believing in our work and supporting us when we do take risks and try new things!!!

—Olivia Griset, Maine State Capacity Leadership Team
President, Maine EE Association

CCC Fellows and T3 Fellows

CCC Fellow

Susan Chung

Susan Chung

Associate Director, co-designgroup

Susan's climate change project will involve equipping young people to collaboratively design their own communities through the process of co-design. The ecological challenges due to urbanization requires an unprecedented collaborative effort from architects, engineers, and landscape architects—a charrette of epic proportions. It's also an educational challenge for teachers to prepare youth for the future. The design solution lies not in buildings, energy efficient cars, or gadgets, but the redesign and re-imagining of a life.
Susan will conduct co-design training for youth so they may have the tools to engage other youth to storyboard a future that does not have to include carbon.  She will teach them to facilitate dialogue with the tip of a felt pen. The collaborative dreams and sketches of like-minded youth will draw new ecologies. 

Susan holds a B.Sc. in Biology, a B.Ed., and an M.Ed. in Science Education. She is a science teacher with the Vancouver Board of Education, an informal educator, member of the Camosun Bog Restoration Group, is affiliated with the Institute for Environmental Learning and the Pacific Spirit Park Society, and is a co-design artist with the Co-Design Group. Susan connects youth to their place by inviting them to visualize themselves as organisms co-designing a new ecosystem. Susan has twenty years experience as a science educator and as a co-design artist. In the past five years, Susan has integrated ecological education into Stanley King's co-design process so that youth may respond to climate change through the art of co-design. 
In 2010, Susan received Architecture Canada's Foundation Bursary as coauthor of the Youth Manual for Sustainable Design (Stanley King and Susan Chung). For her work in youth engagement through co-design, she won the 2011 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Advocate for Architecture award. In 2013, she co-founded the Social Art of Architecture for Youth Society of British Columbia. In 2014, Growing Up Boulder used the Youth Manual to engage young people in design participation in Boulder, Colorado. Susan is also a nature interpreter who conducts teacher training for the Camosun Bog Restoration Group.

Jason Davis

Jason Davis

Climate Stories Project

Climate Stories Project is an interactive forum for sharing stories about the effects of climate change on our lives and in our communities. Too often, we distance ourselves from climate change by viewing it only through the lenses of science and politics. What we need is to tell stories about how climate change is affecting people and communities around the world, heard directly from the voices of those being affected. On climatestoriesproject.org, participants can upload their recorded “climate story” or arrange to conduct an interview about their response to climate change in person or over Skype. Participants may talk about observing changes in weather patterns, seasons, water resources, their emotional reactions to climate change, and the ways in which they and their community are responding to climate change. The structure of the climate stories is ultimately directed by the first-hand experience of the participants themselves.
One goal for the project is to develop an platform where participants can share recorded climate stories and other media such as photos, video, and writing about our responses to climate change, accessed online through an interactive map of the world. Another goal is to use the recorded climate stories as the basis for composed and improvised music, as presented by the group Earthsound. A third goal is to develop Climate Stories Project into an educational curriculum that can be used to teach about climate change in formal and informal education settings. Ultimately, Climate Stories Project represents a unique, artistic, and engaging way for people around the world to understand climate change and its impacts on people, communities, and the natural world.

Jason Davis is a musician and environmental educator based in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the founder and director of Climate Stories Project, an interactive forum for sharing stories about the effects of climate change on our lives and in our communities. Jason is an active musician, performing jazz, classical, and world music in many ensembles as well as teaching music to students in his studio and online. He leads the improvisation/environmental sound group Earthsound, which has recorded Movement, a critically acclaimed CD of original music and natural sound. Jason has a Master’s degree in Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida, as well as a Master’s degree in Music from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. For his thesis, he studied the relationship between local communities and private protected areas around Monteverde, Costa Rica. Jason has worked as a park ranger and educator for National Park Service, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Massachusetts State Parks as well as a course writer for Green Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that develops and distributes online courses focused on sustainability.

Michelle Eckman

Michelle Eckman

In partnership with Common Ground High School (CGHS) in New Haven, Michelle is developing and piloting a high school climate change education curriculum that will incorporate classroom and outdoor activities, professional development workshops, and service-learning experiences. The curriculum will be integrated into several freshman-level courses, including chemistry, biodiversity, environmental justice, world history, and environmental science.
The goal of this project is to increase student and teacher knowledge about the science, economics and social impacts of climate change and to impart conservation practices that reduce climate change impacts. The curriculum will focus on how climate change impacts Connecticut year-round and within seasons, how young people and adults can mitigate and prepare for climate change impacts (coastal resiliency and extreme weather events), and investigate how actions that benefit public health also mitigate climate change. Even at a school like CGHS, a high school, urban farm and environmental education center, this critical issue is not front and center. 
Best practices in existing climate change education programs as established by peer organizations and schools will be incorporated; the NAAEE Excellence in Environmental Education guidelines and adopted science and core curriculum standards will be the project's guides. Ultimately, the project hopes to disseminate this curriculum in high schools across the state in future years; as such, it seeks to design the curriculum so it is scalable to traditional high schools that may not have an environmental or science focus.

Michelle's career in conservation began in college as a wildlife biology student at University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She fell in love with birds, chose them as her vehicle to study ecosystems for 15 years, and studied in many beautiful ecosystems across the U.S. including Massachusetts, Maine, western Pennsylvania, New York, California, Florida, Alabama, and an amazing stint on Andros Island in the Bahamas. She loves field biology, but did not feel a sense of impact, so she shifted her career to environmental education (EE). Michelle went back to school at New Mexico State University where she evaluated an EE program for her master’s thesis. In 2007 she moved to San Antonio, Texas, to start up an outdoor education program for one of the National Audubon Society’s urban centers. Michelle is now the Connecticut Audubon Society’s director of education. In the past 11 years, Michelle has educated over 20,000 students, created several outdoor science programs, partnered with school districts and universities, and participated as a board member of NAAEE's Connecticut EE affiliate. She is on the steering committees of her state Environmental Literacy Plan (ELP) and Green Ribbon Schools programs, and even managed to win a major award along the way. The National Audubon Society honored Michelle with the Tamar Chotzen Educator of the Year Award in 2010. She has participated in other EECapacity projects, including the online learning community, “Measuring EE Outcomes” and short course, “Strategies for Bridging Communities in EE”. Michelle recently participated as a student/e-book contributor in the online learning community "Measuring Environmental Education Outcomes" (MEEO) in 2013. Check out the eBook here.

Trevor Hance

Trevor Hance

Enhanced Farming, LLC

Trevor hopes his students, and graduate-level scientists affiliated with the GK–12 (Graduate Students partnered with K–12 teachers) Program (at the University of Texas at Austin’s Environmental Science Institute (ESI)), will develop a series of hands-on learning experiences designed to foster environmental science literacy in upper-elementary students. With this knowledge, Trevor’s students will have the opportunity to present “the science behind climate change” in their own words at a (tentatively scheduled) Climate Science Workshop, a professional development workshop for educators, in early 2015. These students will also create interactive climate science activities for the community science fair associated with ESI’s Hot Science – Cool Talks outreach series, which is expected to have a climate science talk in the 2014–2015 academic year.

Trevor is a 5th-grade science teacher and outdoor learning specialist in Round Rock ISD (RRISD) where he manages the district's state and federally certified Outdoor Learning Preserve that adjoins the Travis County Balcones Canyonlands Preserve on the Laurel Mountain Elementary Campus. The Preserve includes student-developed and maintained habitats such as a rainwater collection pond system that mirrors the Highland Lakes System in Central Texas, a restored grassland/wildflower prairie, a butterfly habitat, and a densely wooded area that has been home to at least one pair of endangered Golden Cheeked Warblers per year since the Preserve was created. 

In addition to their design and maintenance work, Trevor’s students collect and analyze data pertaining to the wildlife in the Preserve through fieldwork and a series of wildlife cameras. Trevor’s innovative application of proven educational methodology incorporates place-based, project-based, and service-learning. This results in a "school without walls," where public school students are afforded a truly unique opportunity to wonder about the world. Students follow through on their questions by designing and conducting restoration projects and extended scientific field studies that connect their interests to the required state standards.

Marna Hauk

Marna Hauk

Faculty, Southwestern College & New Earth Institute

Women Empowering Climate Action Network (WE-CAN) is kicking off a certificate program in community-based Climate Justice and Gaian Thriving. A project of the Institute for Earth Regenerative Studies, with a maiden cohort in Fall 2015 in Portland, Oregon, the WE-CAN program is recruiting a first cohort of 9-12 women and queer women activists interested in arts-based, ecopreneurial, and/or regenerative design/permaculture approaches to community-based climate resilience. We are connecting with project sponsors, partners, internship sites, and mentors while generating a nexus of support for our experiential, project-based programs for Cascadian Climate Resilience.
The WE-CAN Program year offers a dynamic, interactive learning and action context for community-based climate change resilience projects. Whether projects such as increasing community-based organic gardening or food forests, bootstrapping a public-benefit enterprise in transition skills, or increasing community climate behavior change through large puppetry or murals, we nurture Gaian thriving, in learners' growing vision, along multi-disciplinary dimensions. Our mentor match program is excellent.
Supportive Circles of Mentoring – Model
Meet regularly with the cohort with guest presenters and demonstrations.
Meet monthly with project mentors.
Meet monthly with the entire circle of action learners and mentors.
Custom design of a project inside a circle of support.
Field trips and site visits as well as intensives for immersive learning.
Mentoring one-on-one and the mentor learning circle bridges generations of successive waves of contribution, talent, and creativity. All this with the intention of creating planetary thrivability.
Other Features
The program in Women Empowering Climate Action Network (or WE-CAN) will feature research based and culturally responsive vibrant practices for learning and collaboration, including regenerative creativity inspired by biomimicry and fractal patterns from nature and bioculture as well as sustainability education, complex living systems, and ecoliteracy combined with approaches for environmental justice. Cohort members will also study and practice agile project management and collaborative leadership. The project hopes to nurture each learner with a project mentor, internships, and accelerator-style resources and micro-investments in project start-up. The Pacific Northwest women's community will be an amazing hothouse of support and social incubation for these practical visionaries. 
Our community is uniquely positioned to interconnect and galvanize action: Innovators, mavericks, healers, dirt-builders, ceremonialists, and tree-huggers mixed with tech-savvy social mediums, creatives, and connectionists. Together, we can make space for Earth thriving.
The Institute for Earth Regenerative Studies is a learning organization for Gaian thriving at the intersection of creativity, ecological restoration, and the living wisdom traditions in the Pacific Cascadia bioregion. The living Earth system is our first teacher. 
We look forward to collaborating with you to bring this and other amazing projects to life in the heart of Cascadia. 
Program Key AttributesTech-savvy
Our programs help build literacies in project delivery utilizing decentralized and appropriate technology.
Quick launch
Learn what you need to launch your climate resilience project catalyzed by a deeper understanding of how you can collaborate to make a difference.
Deep insights
Alternatives to industrial growth culture include, according to Joanna Macy, a mixture of the hands, the head, and the heart (resistance, embodied alternatives, inner work). The body becomes a source of clarity and strength.
Unearth the gifts
Leaders shift from crisis thinking and learn to catalyze gifts during times of intense transition. Critical place-based experiential learning encourages decolonization and reinhabitation.
Agile & writing
A balance of writing, art, and action, within a flipped curriculum supports whole-mind intelligence. Learn agile project management to prototype, iterate, and organize.
Practical magic
Harness the power of the circle to help bring your visions to life. Group genius and earthflow practices infuse enthusiastic support from the living Earth.
Strengthening community
Climate justice includes actions of solidarity, intersectionality, and resourcery. We learn to look at our own privilege as well as heal the wounds of oppression and internalized oppression to catalyze projects that liberate.
Webs of learning
Creating space to empower the potentially underutilized potentials of the current and next generation. Bridge across cultural divides to mentor, inspire, and connect.
Investing in women
The UN confirms that women are the best investment for ensuring survival through climate change. From the circle song, "Women's voices, raised up the silence can be heard a long way": "We believe in the power of women to turn this world around."

Marna Hauk, Ph.D., is a professor, regenerative designer, and collaborative creativity catalyst. She innovates experiential educational programs for wild Gaian thriving. Marna serves on the faculty of Prescott College where she mentors graduate students and teaches courses in group genius, biomimicry, regenerative design, and women’s voices. Marna directs the Institute for Earth Regenerative Studies at the convergence of creativity, ecological restoration, and the living wisdom traditions in Portland, Oregon. Marna graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Reed College, with an M.A. from the Sophia Center at Holy Names University, and from Prescott College with a doctorate in Sustainability Education. She has been studying, designing with, and teaching permaculture and natural building for twenty-seven years. She has advanced training in contemplative listening and poetic medicine. Marna is also an agile process architect and strategic consultant for small and large corporations and organizations.  Marna publishes and presents internationally. Her research interests include regenerative creativity, wisdom school design, complex living systems, queer studies, social justice, Gaian Methods, terrapsychology, and community-based climate action and resilience.

Tara Hostnik

Tara Hostnik

Sequoia Field Institute Manager, Sequoia Parks Conservancy

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are not only home to the largest living trees on Earth but they also contain some of the darkest skies in California. The first ever Dark Sky Festival during the weekend of July 25-27, 2014, in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks hopes to promote this incredible, scenic wonder to Park visitors, amateur astronomers and wilderness enthusiasts. Activities range from speakers on robotic mars missions to current and former astronauts; water rocket launches to Junior Sky Ranger programs. 
Sadly, we are losing our ability to see the stars with increasing light pollution and only one-third of Americans can see the Milky Way with the naked eye. This event hopes to inspire people to preserve dark skies in their homes and communities through action. The International Dark Sky Association, also attending the Festival, will showcase actions to help share this message such as changing outdoor light fixtures to direct light downward, creating community ordinances, and simply turning off our lights when we don’t use them. If successful, this event will return for 2015, and continue as an annual event for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

Tara has been living and working in Sequoia National Park for almost 5 years. Arriving to the Park with a degree in Biology from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, and experience in outdoor guiding and non-profits, a certain cross-country road trip inspired her to move to the west coast to pursue a career in environmental education. In the Park, Tara leads hiking tours for school groups, and private tours for the general public. She also manages astronomy, living history, campfires, and other naturalist programs and has organized the first ever Dark Sky Festival for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Apart from teaching, Tara also enjoys skiing, backpacking, biking, and traveling. 

Jennifer Hubbard-Sanchez

Jennifer Hubbard-Sanchez

Recreation Manager, Raven Run Nature Sanctuary

Jennifer’s project is designed to engage college-aged students in climate change education and action by working with members of the KSU chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS) to continue a project that started in 2013. In the fall of 2014, MANRRS students will receive in-depth trainings on climate change basics, as well as workshops on how best to teach the basics of climate change. The MANRRS group is a motivated bunch of students who are ready and willing to share knowledge gained with faculty, staff, and other student members of the community. A group of MANRRS students on KSU’s campus will be trained so that they may design and create an educational campaign about the simple changes individuals can make to reduce CO₂ emissions on campus and in the community. Throughout the trainings on climate science, students will learn how to identify common daily behaviors that could be modified to curb CO₂ emissions and will learn how to lower their energy use at home and in their vehicles to become better stewards of our climate. At the culmination of trainings, MANRRS students will select an area of focus and develop an educational campaign, presentations, and materials that they will work to disseminate throughout the remainder of the 2014-15 academic year. The goal is for the group to do community and public school presentations, as well as to disseminate information at KSU campus events such as Earth Day, campus open houses, and other local, regional, and national events where MANRRS has a presence. 

Jennifer Hubbard-Sánchez serves as the State Specialist for Sustainable Programs for the College of Agriculture, Food Science, and Sustainable Systems at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, KY. She holds an M.A. in Mexican Anthropological Studies from the Universidad de las Américas in Puebla, México, and a B.A. in Spanish and Liberal Arts from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, VT. She will complete her M.S. in Environmental Studies in 2015. Her thesis research is on the social construction of climate change and education in Kentucky. Jennifer’s work at Kentucky State University focuses on creating and implementing sustainability, environmental, and climate change education with a broad range of communities. Her focus is on providing opportunities for diverse and multilingual audiences so that all people can be empowered through access to culturally relevant ways to live greener, healthier lives, while appreciating and learning more about the physical environment that sustains us. Through her work at KSU, Jennifer has been involved with the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education (KAEE) by serving as a Board Member since 2013, and is co-leader of the KY Environmental Education Consortium. She is a member of the 2014 graduating class of Kentucky’s Professional Environmental Educator Certification course and has been a member of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Steward’s Education Project since early 2013. She has lived and studied in Spain, México, and Costa Rica, has implemented youth development programming in México and Honduras, and traveled several times to visit her husband’s family in Perú. Jennifer lives in Lexington with her husband Richard, and their two children: Diego, who is 8, and Kaira Luciana, who is 2.

Nicole Jackson

Nicole Jackson

Environmental Educator, The Ohio State University - School of Environment and Natural Resources

Climate Change and Food Systems:In 2010, around one-third of the food produced in the United States was not consumed, and ended up being wasted. Food waste is the main source of garbage in landfills and producing the food we throw away generates more greenhouse gases than most entire countries do. In addition, the impact of climate change on food production can already be seen, and will worsen as climate change gathers pace. First, slow-onset changes in mean temperature and precipitation patterns are putting downward pressure on average global yields. Added to this are crop losses resulting from more frequent and intense extreme weather events. With cities growing bigger and climate change affecting food access for many around the globe, this concerning information will continue to hinder families financially.My action plan will consist of developing a 6 to 9-month community-based program that will look into how reducing food waste could ease the effects of climate change in urban environments. I would like to work with local food banks, urban farmers, CSAs and organizations to collect data regarding food security. Topics covered will include climate change, food production, food waste, and the food transportation system (i.e. harvesting, distribution, packaging, etc.) With this program, I hope to teach my community about the importance of not only having access to healthy foods, but learning how to reduce food waste in the home.

Nicole is an environmental educator and is currently working as an Educator and Camp Coordinator at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Her duties include creating, planning, and implementing garden adult education and school programs for grades pre K-12. She also manages high school interns and coordinate summer camps that focus on butterflies, environmental education, horticulture, and botany.  She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources from The Ohio State University in 2011. She majored in Parks, Recreation & Tourism and her studies focused on Environmental Education and Interpretation, which allowed her to learn more about topics such as environmental stewardship, environmental literacy, and capacity building.After college, Nicole was determined to find more opportunities relating to connecting her community to nature and the environment. Since 2012, Nicole has taken a few non-credit online courses through Cornell University’s Civic Ecology Lab. Some of the topics included Urban Environmental Education, Environmental Education in faith-based communities, and capacity building.  Some of her other endeavors included creating a bird conservation action plan as a youth fellow through TogetherGreen, participating in the 2013 Natural Leaders Legacy Camp of the Children & Nature Network, and receiving a scholarship to attend the 2013 North American Association of Environmental Education conference in Baltimore, Maryland.  These opportunities were made available to her because of her great networking skills. Connecting people to each other and the environment has always been a passion of Nicole’s and she wants to continue helping others in her community become better environmental stewards.Last year Nicole was selected to be a fellow for the Outdoor Afro Leadership Team. The mission of Outdoor Afro is to get more people of color connected to the outdoors and nature. Fifteen members were selected from major cities across the U.S. including Ohio, which has been chosen for the first time since the team was created in 2009. Nicole’s hobbies include birding, hiking, and leading informal environmental education programs.

Roy Jantzen

Roy Jantzen

University Instructor, Nature Venture Tours Ltd.

Roy’s project is to design an environmental communication product for locals and visitors of the Yukon, aiming to educate them about climate change impacts along the corridors of the Alaska & Klondike Highways. Using geological, ecological, climate, and aboriginal culture research, Roy will create a story to help travelers understand the alterations happening in the North. The project is titled, “A Personal Experience Toward Understanding Climate Change in the North” and aims to ensure travelers are not passive, but rather get out of their vehicles to actively engage in the effects of climate change first hand. The story will be designed to make climate change relevant to the travelers' experiences and to their lives, and ultimately build a "bridge" between themselves and climate change, that ideally will lead to action and behavioral change. To have a sense of what this "road trip story" could be, consider the following: One week, and two thousand miles from their home in Des Moines, Iowa, Don and Rita are pulling their 27-foot RV into Dawson Creek, BC to refuel. Knowing mile 0 of the Alaska Highway begins here, they visit the local visitor information centre to ask about road conditions. Noticing a poster for a free Alaska Highway climate change app, Rita uses the centre’s wireless to download it onto her iPad. As they begin their next 1100 miles to the Alaska border, they learn about how permafrost melting is affecting the highway and the foundations of some homes bordering it. They gain an understanding of the how centuries-old subsistence hunting practices have changed for the nearby aboriginal communities. They observe roadside species that are new to the Yukon and known to be invasive next to landscapes affected by new fire or flood regimes. By the time Don and Rita arrive at the Alaska border they have considered the economic impacts of climate change, along with decisions they make in their everyday lives. They understand that to know the land and experience the beauty of the North is an honorable journey, but the decisions they have made to get here have far reaching effects--both positive and negative. Rita and Don have had “A Personal Experience to Understanding Climate Change in the North."

Roy has a diploma in Outdoor Recreation Management and a Master's of Environmental Education and Communication. He is the owner of an ecotourism business and a professor of natural history, environmental stewardship, and leadership at a university in British Columbia. Roy’s passion is connecting others through experiential education and interpretation. Therefore, on any given day, he may be donning scuba equipment to bring up sub-tidal creatures to interpret for a class of college students, using a driftwood ‘pencil’ to map out coastal weather systems on a sandy patch of beach to seniors, or in hip waders in a river sampling invertebrates with school children. Ultimately, Roy seeks, not just to educate, but to inspire. Roy loves to hike with his wife, adventure with his four boys ages 18-22, and lives at the edge of a forest, a lake, and the Yukon River. In his community, Roy is always looking for ways to connect the public to the important issues of the day, including climate change, habitat loss, and species decline.

Stew Jenkins

Stew Jenkins

Education Coordinator, Coastal Watershed Council

The COOL Earth Schools project sees schools as laboratories to study and respond to climate change. Schools are supposed to teach students skills that will serve them the rest of their lives. Those skills should include seeing nature and the environment around them as their home and life support system. If people keep the environment healthy, it will meet humanity's needs for oxygen, water, and food. Students, teachers, and parents will learn about the greenhouse effect and the earth’s systems of cycles and balances (the oxygen cycle, the water cycle, and the carbon cycle) and how those cycles have been disrupted by the input of carbon from humans' power plants, transportation, and manufacturing processes. Students and parents will identify ways they can reduce their carbon footprints and take action to reduce them. Students and teachers will design and implement a project to reduce the carbon footprint of their schools. The goal is that successes and challenges will be shared between schools and families.

Stew has been leading students on environmental outings for 22 years. He has taught kids to milk goats in Marin, led sixth graders through redwood groves, and assessed the health of the rivers and creeks of Northern California through water quality monitoring and biological monitoring with elementary and middle school students. The more he learns about the intricate relationships between plants, animals, bugs, micro-organisms, and the earth, the more amazed he becomes. Stew has taught in a diverse number of public schools in Oakland, Berkeley, Watsonville, and Santa Cruz County, California. He enjoys photographing the minute details of leaves and the interplay between trees and light. He lives in a coastal live oak grove with his wife and two children.

Veronica Kyle

Veronica Kyle

Statewide Outreach Director, Faith in Place

After working as an environmentalist in many parts of the world and especially in urban settings, Veronica was convinced that many people still do not know what climate change is, nor are they convinced that it exists. Even the very vocabulary that is often associated with climate change- carbon footprint, CO2 emissions, adaptation, biofuels, carbon sequestration, greenhouse effect and the like- are not a part of the conversations that are taking place in the communities she engages with regularly.  Veronica is a firm believer in the motto, “if we ‘really’ knew better, we’d do better”. Therefore, she is developing a project that engages community and congregational leaders (youth and adults) in both the African American and Latino communities across Chicago to become Climate Change Educators (CCE).  The CCE would facilitate group discussions on the effects of climate change on their perspective communities/neighborhoods and how they can began to make both individual and communal behavior changes to offset the impact of climate change.The project will focus on educating community leaders from both groups on the definition and implications of climate change, the contrasting opinions about its reality, as well as the strong evidence of its existence. The CCEducators would be trained to conduct workshops, facilitate discussion groups and promote educational events such as green movie matinees, green drink meet-ups, speaker forums, engaging and collaborative sessions with local artists and other environmental groups to get their message across. Cultural relevancy will be at the forefront of the project; it is important that this work speaks with and to the communities involved. Her hope is that communities will benefit from engaging with ‘ecological ambassadors” from their own communities. It’s about trusting the messenger.

Veronica has spent the past 35+ years in many parts of the US as well as Southern Africa and the Caribbean working on community development/human capacity programs and projects, many of which she developed. Creating projects that provide people with the tools to be better caregivers of the earth while building their human capacity has been her primary objective.  For the past 6 years she has worked as Congregational Outreach Director for Faith In Place, engaging communities across Illinois on issues related to sustainability; water, energy, food/land use, environmental policy and advocacy.  Veronica is also currently a Toyota TogetherGreen Fellow, serves on the Illinois Vital Land Working Group and is an Environmental Justice Commissioner for the State of Illinois.

S L

S L

PPF

Sam is an urban environmental educator living and working in the Charm City - Baltimore, Maryland. He works for the Parks & People Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to uniting Baltimore through parks, where he facilitates meaningful outdoor experiences for youth of all age’s in-school, after-school and in the summer. His work includes guiding Baltimore youth through the one of the largest urban wilderness parks east of the Mississippi—Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park. Visits to the park include everything from 2nd graders monitoring freshwater benthic macroinvertebrates (A.K.A. who can catch the biggest crayfish) to high school-aged interns learning the basics of outdoor recreation (e.g. hiking, biking, geocaching, etc.). Much of Sam’s time is dedicated to the young people participating in the BRANCHES program. BRANCHES is a year-round paid internship program for high-school youth where team members work after-school and in the summer…

Nadine Lefort

Nadine Lefort

Education & Outreach Manager, Mi'kmaq Environmental Learning Centre

It is important for everyone to understand climate and people's role within it, however, climate change education is not always accessible for Aboriginal learners, even though Aboriginal communities are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.  Climate change education is already established as an important community need, so the goal of this project is to help individuals in Mi’kmaq communities understand the science of climate change, how human activities influence climate, and how individuals can take culturally-relevant action to mitigate the damage of climate change and make their communities more resilient to changing climate.This project will:1. Consult with Elders, youth, educators, science experts, and community organizations to determine relevant content and context of a climate change education project.2. Develop a climate change curriculum package based on existing activities and lesson plans, integrating local traditional knowledge and examples of climate change issues and actions.3. Develop a workshop on climate change for community organizations to better understand climate change and to commit to hands-on climate change action.4. Follow up with schools and community organizations to support climate change actions in the community.By early 2016, it is expected that the project will complete a curriculum package with activities and lesson plans, which will be made available to teachers in Mi’kmaq schools (through Mi’kmaw Kinamatnewey), and schools in the Cape Breton Victoria and Straight Regional School Boards, as well as three completed community workshops engaging local organizations and businesses in climate change education and action.Throughout this project, we hope to see more citizens engaged in environmental action in their communities through individual, organization, and local government changes to reduce ecological footprints and become more resilient to climate change. We hope to see Mi’kmaq communities become regional leaders in community climate change action.Please visit our sister organization, the Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources.

Nadine grew up skipping stones, climbing trees, and playing in lighthouses on Cape Breton Island in eastern Canada. She didn’t realize it at the time, but that strong relationship with nature would strongly influence her life. She studied ecology and environmental education, with a focus on ways to foster relationships with nature through deep ecology practices.She spent several years managing a province-wide Environmental Education Program in British Columbia. She has worked with First Nations communities across Canada to develop culturally relevant learning tools that integrate traditional ecological knowledge and science that foster (re)connection with culture and our environment. She is currently Education and Outreach Coordinator with the Mi’kmaq Environmental Learning Centre in Eskasoni First Nation. She develops programs and resources that share and promote Mi’kmaq traditional knowledge on environmental sustainability.She sits on the board of the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication, as well as a local environmental organization.  She spends her free time with her family on hiking trails, on beaches, and playing in their backyard.

Rocio Lozano-Knowlton

Rocio Lozano-Knowlton

MERITO Program Cooridnator, NOAA CINMS & CDE

The ‘My School’s Energy Diet’ project’s primary audience are 8-12th grade students. The secondary audiences are the students’ teachers and school administrators. The project will launch in January 2015 and end in June 2018 (3 year project). The primary goal is to increase students’ knowledge of climate science, awareness of anthropogenic climate change, and stewardship for Earth and oceans, as indicated by at least a 50% increase in pre- and post-project evaluation surveys of participating students and delivery of the end of school year project proposal. The secondary goal is to help schools reduce their carbon footprint. Students will be immersed in climate science and the engineering practices of energy management to deeply understand and consciously address climate change. Students will assess their school’s carbon footprint in teams of 4 to 5 students per class and present their findings of energy audits in Kilowatt units. Their findings will show energy consumption per activity and/or processes over time. They will research energy saving methods and practices. Schools' energy diet solutions may include, among others: methods further reducing, reusing, recycling, and composting waste products; changing the school’s landscape to native and drought tolerant plants; changing cafeteria materials to reusable or compostable plates and utensils; and cost-effective solar energy options. Students will present their findings to their peers during an end-of year science fair, then the best projects of each school will be presented to school district administrators, and at science fairs, Sanctuary Advisory Meetings, and/or City Council meetings. 
By working primarily with Title 1 schools, we will target mainly economically disadvantaged and Hispanic students who are severely underrepresented in STEM careers. Students will have pride and ownership over their project outcomes while learning and using the most up to date climate and environmental science in EPA, NOAA, and other agencies. Partnering organizations include EPA, NOAA weather service, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, Jean-Michael Cousteau Ocean Futures Society, CREEC, Ventura County Office of Education, and CSU Channel Islands. This project closely relates to students’ and schools' personal daily actions at school premises at which they can make a difference.

Rocío is the Director of the MERITO (Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans) Foundation, a recently formed non-profit organization dedicated to ocean protection by providing programs and products to multicultural audiences that build ocean and environmental stewardship, help increase understanding of ocean-related threats, and motivate culturally diverse students to pursue careers in ocean science or resource protection.
From 2004 to 2013, Rocío worked for NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary as the MERITO Program Coordinator providing bilingual ocean conservation education and outreach services to over 6,000 underprivileged and culturally diverse students. Her work included co-development of the MERITO curriculum (now adapted by various school districts in the Southern California); leading hundreds of island, coastal and watershed field experiences for students, professional development for more than 200 teachers and raising 60-70% of program costs by leveraging federal dollars, landing critical grants and eliciting substantial in-kind contributions from local partners.  Rocío has also helped create impact for ocean conservation through other NOAA programs including at International Marine Protected Areas Capacity Building Program’s workshops in Central America, Indonesia, and more recently Korea.  In 2010, Rocio led a first-ever Spanish programming component of a research and education mission from the Aquarius underwater habitat in Key Largo during theAquarius 2010: If Reefs Could Talk. This mission brought the underwater world via live Internet and point-to-point broadcasts beamed directly into schools and aquariums across USA and to four Spanish-speaking countries.
Prior to her work in California, Rocío worked as a marine resource protection consultant for various marine conservation organizations in Mexico while she co-owned and directed Baja Quest, an ecotourism and SCUBA diving business from 1995-2004. Rocío has a B.Sc. in Oceanography from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California in Mexico, and a M.Sc. in Marine Resource Protection from Herriot Watt University in Scotland. She is an outdoor enthusiast, loves to travel, SCUBA dive, and, with her family, strives to live in an environmentally sustainable manner.

LAURA MACK

LAURA MACK

Founder and Executive Director, Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance

“Cool,” or highly reflective roofs, reduce urban heat island effects, cut cooling energy use by up to 20%, reduce carbon and air pollution, and improve public health and safety—all at little to no additional cost above conventional roofs. There is a great need to accelerate the adoption of cool roofing material, especially in urban communities with high populations of socially vulnerable residents, and increasing exposure to extreme heat days due to climate change, such as the City of Los Angeles.
In 2013, Los Angeles became the first major U.S. city to enact a residential Cool Roof Ordinance. For the EECapacity project, Laura is working with Climate Resolve, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that championed the L.A. ordinance, to support development of a cool roof toolkit and education campaign for local governments that will promote awareness and action related to cool roof opportunities in other climate-vulnerable regions of California.

Laura Mack, CSBA, LEED ID+C, is an experienced facilitator of green building, climate resilience, and other sustainability initiatives that engage organizations and communities. She serves on the steering committee for the L.A. Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability, the City of Los Angeles Sea Level Rise Stakeholder Working Group, the Pacific Palisades Community Council, and the San Fernando Valley Branch of the U.S. Green Building Council, Los Angeles Chapter.  
Laura is the lead author of Building Efficiency Guide for Governments: How Governments Can Take Action to Create Significant Cost and Energy Savings from Buildings (2013). She has served as a research fellow for the nonprofit R20 Regions of Climate Action, and directed multiple climate resilience, environmental, health, and safety programs for Mercury General Corp. She completed graduate studies in social psychology at the University of Bergen, Norway, and holds a Certificate in Global Sustainability from UCLA. 

Luis Morales

Luis Morales

Director, San Pancho Bird Observatory

As part of the Climate Change Community Fellowship, Luis is coordinating the development of the Selva Escuela (Jungle School) project. This project intends to create an alliance with private land owners to develop state-of-the-art facilities for a Montessori School and the San Pancho Bird Observatory. Such facilities will integrate all the possible elements, methodologies and techniques for sustainable practices. The Selva Escuela project will integrate a full life-cycle educational model, one where people from all ages can teach and learn in a continuous process, with recreational and scientific research activities that will educate, train, and inform both the domestic and international communities on issues such as climate change, sustainable community development, and conservation.

Luis studied Marine Biology at Universidad del Mar in Puerto Angel, Oaxaca, Mexico, with a major in coral-reef ecology. During his undergraduate studies, Cornell University awarded him with a Tropical Marine Ecology fellowship in 2000. More recently, in 2012, the US Forest Service awarded Luis the opportunity to be a part of their international program, Wings Across the Americas, working on 4-month internship bird-banding at the Klamath Bird Observatory in southern Oregon. His work experience has been oriented towards environmental education and conservation. Luis has worked in multiple sectors including governmental, private, academic and social. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the San Pancho Bird Observatory (SPBO). As part of his job Luis helps integrate, coordinate, and conduct SPBO´s programs as well as leading birding tours for national and international tourists. As a leader of the SPBO team, he has helped to establish partnerships with government agencies and stakeholders, including the USDA Forest Service International Programs and Environment Canada, with whom SPBO works on population recovery of Species at Risk.

Jacob Park

Jacob Park

Professor of Strategy, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, Green Mountain College

Jacob's project seeks to educate and engage local farmers and food producers on the emerging relationship between global climate change and the local food system, in partnership with the Rutland Area Farm and Food. Vermont has an amazing network of sustainable food producers, marketers, educators, as well as citizens interested in local/sustainable food and agricultural issues (most notably the Vermont Farm to Plate Network) and Jacob hopes to utilize this abundant energy/resource every possible way in the project. Vermont Food System Atlas is a great starting point for anybody who is interested in food system issues and/or Vermont.     Jacob is very proud of the community-based research and engagement work that his students and peer faculty members at Green Mountain College are involved in every year. Check out this three minute video from the final student presentation (“Roadmap for Flood Resiliency: From Understanding Risks to Devising Community Action”) from a climate change and flood resiliency service learning project from the Spring 2014 semester. 

Jacob is a Vermont-based academic who specializes in research and teaching of the important links between business management, public policy, and global environmental change, most notably climate change. He is actively involved in a wide range of Vermont-based, national, and international scientific, business, and educational initiatives, including as a member of:  
Edmond J. Safra Network Fellow at Harvard University's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics
Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Change (REACT) Investment Committee of the Kenya-based Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund
Thematic Lead of the IUCN/World Conservation Union’s Commission on Ecosystem Management’s Ecosystem and Private Sector Group
Senior Fellow and former Board Member, Environmental Leadership Program  
Chair, Program Committee and Board Member, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility 

Elizabeth Pickett

Elizabeth Pickett

Executive Director, Hawaii Wildfire Management Org; Malama Kai Foundation

Hawaii is, by definition, an insular place. As island communities, they oscillate from being extremely well connected (in that ‘small town’ way where everyone knows each other and wears multiple work and community “hats”), to isolated and disconnected from both each other and the continental world (in that they are separated by ocean, geographic identity, demographics, education level, and much more).   Elizabeth works for two organizations that allow her to connect people to each other and to places in new ways. She works on wildfire and coastal issues that are caused by a changing world (climate change, drought, invasive species, development, social inequities). She works with people of all ages, demographics, and sectors.  And this all means that she works a lot (two full time jobs)! Yet the more she works, the more she feels like there are some pieces missing.  As Elizabeth sees it, what is needed are some fun, supportive, non-threatening, inclusive, and interesting new ways to connect lives and roles within communities to people, to people’s work and passions, and to address the climate change impacts increasingly faced in Hawaii and the Pacific.The overarching theme of Ocean Warriors— the youth program that Elizabeth created and co-coordinates— is “It’s All Connected.” So in designing her project, she thought to herself… what and who haven’t we connected yet? Whose voices are missing? What experience could be created that would support the many people and entities working on seemingly disparate issues like natural resource protection, substance abuse prevention, job opportunities, Hawaiian language and culture, education, and the whole variety of things people care about in Hawaii? What kind of experience could bring together diverse people and disciplines to celebrate place— their place, this place, Hawaii— and share new conversations in new ways, especially as we begin to face the impacts of a changing climate? And how can we make it fun, supportive, non-threatening, inclusive, interesting, and awesome?Thanks to the innovative, enthusiastic, and thoughtful participants in the EECapacity fellowship, Elizabeth is now in the midst of designing an experience that will aim to bring the people of Hawaii together in new ways, to discuss climate change and Hawaiians' connections to each other and to the lands and waters of Hawaii through art, story, and music. She is currently in conversations with local artists, poets, dancers, musicians, teachers, land managers, scientists, people of faith, and more about what this concept might become in real life. It is continually taking shape as more and more people offer their ideas and willingness to participate. Right now it is looking to be an event that will host art, music, dance, video, and theater exhibitions around the theme of climate change and the people and places of Hawaii. Local conservation and other community efforts will be invited to get involved and share more about their work and opportunities for community members to get involved.

Elizabeth works both mauka and makai (toward the mountain and toward the sea) in Hawaii, and has recently expanded her work to include US-affiliated Pacific islands. A resident of Hawaii Island for more than 12 years, Elizabeth cares deeply about the people and places in Hawaii and the Pacific. To this end, she focuses her efforts on boundary-spanning projects that aim to bring more connectivity between people, disciplines, and geographies. As Executive Director for Hawaii Wildfire Management Organization, Elizabeth works with incredible Board and staff members to implement wildfire prevention, mitigation, planning, and education projects throughout Hawaii and the Pacific. Wildfires are an under-publicized problem in Hawaii, yet impact watershed forests, community safety, human health, coral reefs, fisheries, municipal resources, and local economies. Elizabeth loves working collaboratively and across sectors with land managers, emergency responders, and communities to address the wildfire issue. Elizabeth also coordinates an extra-curricular youth program for the Malama Kai Foundation. The program, called Ocean Warriors, is an environmental education and service-learning program that is based on substance abuse prevention strategies. “The beauty of Ocean Warriors,” says Elizabeth, “is that students are mentored and involved in experiential learning that is directly connected to real-life conservation and community projects in their neighborhoods. In many cases, their enthusiasm leads the way for all-age level community involvement in local service projects. We just support the kids to be healthy, informed, courageous, and to lead the way in their communities.” Elizabeth earned a Masters of Environmental Science degree from Yale School of Forestry in 2007, where she focused her research on public impact on and contributions to natural resource management in Hawaii, and a Bachelors degree from U.C. Berkeley in 2000.  When not working, Elizabeth can be found kitesurfing, making art, and sharing time with friends

Jatnna Ramirez

Jatnna Ramirez

Trainer/Educator, Global Kids and EE Capacity Fellowship

Young students from underserved communities have the right to know about climate change and climate solutions, and to be part of the policy making process to address climate change. The Climate Action Institute will enable 20 high school students to do just that. Through interactive workshops, field trips and engaging experienced speakers, participants of the Climate Action Institute will explore climate and environmental justice issues—and possible solutions— affecting their local and global community. Moreover, the students will take action by organizing for and attending the People’s Climate March on September 21, 2014. At the end of this one-week institute, the students will be climate literate, understand the power of social movements, and feel like they are part of the climate justice movement.

Jatnna Ramirez is a human rights and climate activist educator at Global Kids, a non-profit educational organization working to develop youth leaders for the global stage through dynamic global education and leadership development programs. Through interactive workshops and youth campaign building, Jatnna supports Global Kids in reaching New York City public high school students from underserved communities to teach them about environmental justice and climate change as a local and global issue. As a lead trainer for Global Kids’ Human Rights Activist Project, she provides Global Kids students with activities and opportunities that serve as a platform for their development as climate and community leaders.

Adam Ratner

Adam Ratner

Associate Director of Conservation Education, The Marine Mammal Center

2021 EE 30 Under 30 Changemaker Grant Project
Climate Literacy Collaborative

The Marine Mammal Center identified a gap in support for environmental educators and a continued need for capacity-building and created the Climate Literacy Collaborative. New capacity-building initiatives will develop a series of workshops and a climate solution toolkit that address current deficiencies in environmental education and will support resilient communities and healthy ecosystems through climate adaptation and mitigation strategies. The Climate Literacy Collective will serve as a resource for capacity building, program exhibit design, and message development. It will also serve as a community-scale model for efforts to tackle climate change education at a collective level.

**********

2019 #WhereAreTheyNow Update

I just entered my 11th year at The Marine…

Elvia Rodriguez-Ochoa

Elvia Rodriguez-Ochoa

Openlands

In many ways Midwesterners—and especially Chicagoans—take water for granted. Chicago sits at the edge of the largest group of freshwater lakes on earth.  Yet, to meet the needs for the future it is essential to be wise in current use and to promote a culture of conservation around water. As Neighborhood Program Director, Elvia is responsible for the GardenKeepers Program where residents are taught how to create and maintain a community garden in an eco-friendly manner. She also manages the Neighborhood Open Space Planning (NOSP) program, where residents are assisted with creating a plan for their community to increase green spaces including gardens, trails, and parks. Elvia's project proposes to update the GardenKeepers Manual and the NOSP Workbook to more explicitly make the case for conservation without using jargon, heavy explanations, or scolding doom-and-gloom language; all of which turn people off from wanting to participate in environmental stewardship. In addition, the materials will be translated into Spanish so the organization can engage community residents to help spread the message of wise water use to protect one of earth's greatest assets.

Elvia Rodriguez Ochoa is a multi-disciplinary artist, educator, and administrator with over 20 years of experience working in nonprofit community settings. As a lifelong city resident, Elvia enjoys visiting the diverse neighborhoods that make up Chicago and learning about the impact each ethnic group has in shaping this dynamic region. She also believes the happiest communities are the ones where residents train and engage in local politics with the same fervor they have for city sports teams. Elvia is a proud graduate of Whitney M. Young Magnet, and holds a B.A. from Trinity Christian in Palos Heights, and an M.A. from the Interdisciplinary Program at Columbia College Chicago.

Kristen Scopinich

Kristen Scopinich

Director of Education and Engagement,

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: 
http://www.massaudubon.org/our-conservation-work/climate-change
http://www.massaudubon.org/our-conservation-work/climate-change/leading-...

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.

Margie Simon

Margie Simon

Director, CICEANA

In the past four years, 15 climate theaters have been built in various locations throughout Mexico. Several more are in the process of being built.  All of them contain the "science on a sphere,” technology developed by NASA and NOAA. This includes a round projecting screen of 2 meters in diameter and all the necessary equipment to project in a 360 degree view. These theaters have the capability to showcase over 300 presentations developed by the aforementioned organizations on a variety of topics relating to climate change. They can also project a view of the earth in real time (15 minutes delay), as they are connected to a worldwide satellite system. Currently, each theater is run as a separate entity, with varying success and results. There is little consistency in content, logistics, management of the project, and staffing. Funding is haphazard due to its reliance on political will and donations. This project strives to develop a network to better manage these programs, sharing content, supervision, and funding. Specific goals include 1) development of content and didactic material for the education program; 2) develop and carry out a management plan for hiring, training and supervising each center’s staff with a centralized management team; 3) initiate the program for all classes of visitors; 4) explore the possibilities of, and obtain funding for this project; 5) obtain more partners for this project; and 6) insure the continuity of this project in an unsure and ever-changing political and financial environment.

Margie Simon has ample experience in the management of environmental education and communication programs, sustainable development, solid and hazardous waste management consulting, urban and regional planning, policy and institutional analysis, project management and administrative support, and fundraising and management of these funds for non-profit organizations. During her time as CICEANA’s Director, the organization has directly benefited more than 6,000,000 persons through its many programs. CICEANA has developed a rooftop botanical garden at its headquarters that is recognized by the Secretary of the Environment (SEMARNAT), since the year 2002, as an UMA (environmentally managed space). In addition, during her period as Director, CICEANA has received various distinctions, the last three from SEMARNAT through The Center for Environmental Education and Capacity Building (CECADESU). They include; The National Prize for Environmental Merit in the category of environmental communication (2012); an honorable mention for the National Prize for Environmental Merit in the environmental education category (2011), and the accreditation of CICEANA as a Quality Center for Environmental Education (2010), for receiving the highest national evaluation in the five aspects of the model for evaluation and accreditation employed by CECADESU in the evaluation process.

Maria  Talero

Maria Talero

Climate Courage Education and Organizing

With each workshop, Maria's conviction grows that being an effective climate change educator means that she must also be a community organizer. She has created a small-group organizing format called Climate Courage Resilience Circles (CCRCs). CCRCs are small-group networks that increase members' psychological and emotional resilience in the face of climate change while also increasing their effectiveness on climate change action. Her target audiences are people who are already taking action to make the world a better place and who want to expand their efforts to address climate change. In Colorado, this group includes youth leaders, students, teachers, religious and spiritual communities, activists, nonprofit staff, urban agriculturists, energy efficiency professionals, and scientists.
Maria's long-term goal is to establish thriving Climate Courage Resilience Circles throughout the Front Range area of Colorado, which serve as community hubs for learning, mutual aid and social action on climate change. Cultivating and nurturing these CCRCs will expand the grassroots "people power" of the climate change movement, while reducing feelings of isolation and stress for CCRC members by helping them to realize their collective capacity to take local action on climate change.
Partner Organization: http://www.boldleaders.com/

Talero believes the key to unlocking hearts and minds on climate change lies in our highly social brains, in the way that we form our views by observing the behavior and values of others.
In 2009, she transitioned from a full-time academic appointment to part-time teaching and launched herself as a freelance climate change educator in the Denver, CO community. Since then, she has been working with youth and adult community leaders from Africa and the Caribbean, as well as other local Colorado non-profits and churches, to present interactive Climate Courage Workshops based on principles drawn from her research in an emerging sub-field within cognitive science called "enactive cognition."

Maria's Climate Courage Workshops establish a mood in which scientific evidence can be heard from a place of social connectedness, strength and courage. She takes great care to build each step towards taking action, helping participants to absorb a richly detailed picture of how others like themselves are taking action, and precisely how they can get involved.

Karen Temple-Beamish

Karen Temple-Beamish

Science Teacher and Sustainability Coordinator, albuquerque academy

As climate change intensifies in the Desert Southwest, growing food in a desert system will become more challenging.  The goals of the Desert Oasis Teaching Garden (DOT) are to teach the community how to grow food in a hotter, drier land using fewer resources, increasing soil fertility, enhancing pollinator habitat, and integrating ancestral knowledge. The DOT garden will teach these goals through school curriculum, workshops, community workdays and events, and presentations. Karen's hope is to provide organic, campus-grown food for the school dining hall, campus farmer’s market, and local food banks. She hopes to empower students to teach agro-ecology, the impacts of climate change on food security and water resources, a water and land ethic, and to help the community implement the skills and knowledge gained into homes, business, schools and gardens. Currently, the school composts all food waste onsite. The DOT garden will use this compost to increase soil fertility and water holding capacity, which promotes carbon sequestration and uses less water for irrigation. The DOT garden will harvest rain water from the school’s science building and reduce water consumption using drip irrigation and water harvesting earth works. The DOT garden will satisfy a community need, as most area school gardens do not have the capacity to reach beyond their school grounds to teach the larger community. In addition, the focus on food production using less water, local resources, ancestral knowledge and low-tech solutions to resource conservation is not yet well-developed in the community.

Karen Temple-Beamish has taught environmental science and earth systems science at Albuquerque Academy for 17 years. In addition, Karen has mentored students in grades 6 through 12 in the school's environmental clubs and directed the school’s sustainability program. As Karen’s mastery for teaching environmental science has grown and matured, she has been recognized as a leader in her field. In 2010, Karen was selected to participate in the Japan Fulbright Teacher Exchange for Education in Sustainable Development. Most recently, Karen was awarded the 2013 New Mexico Finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Math Teaching. Karen has created sustainability projects including campus-wide food waste composting and materials recycling, energy audits, xeriscape gardens, water conservation, and sustainable food education programs. Her teaching focus is providing opportunities for student leadership and experiential learning. As one of the 2014 Community Climate Change Fellows, Karen hopes to share with the global community her experiences teaching her students how to be agents of change. Her hope for the future lies in the super smart kids that she teaches. Karen finds solace from the crazy-scary environmental destruction by walking in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains and digging in dirt of the gardens that she grows.

Carlos Velazquez

Carlos Velazquez

NC Environmental Justice and Equity Board

While living for months in the newly formed Canadian Territory of Nunavut, Mr. Velazquez was invited to learn about the lives and environmental conditions of the Inuit people, sharing some of the work being done by U.S. state, federal, and environmental agencies to protect the environment. Carlos is currently in correspondence with members of the Sustainable Development Department in the Nunavut Territory. Currently, Carlos works with the North Carolina Environmental Educators (EENC), the Center for Human-Earth Restoration (CHER), and the Raleigh Parks Recreational and Cultural Resources. Many of his lectures are listed on Google under Carlos Velazquez Inuit.

Carlos Velazquez, an Otomi Indian, is a retired Mechanical Engineer, recipient of the Environmental Educators of North Carolina Outstanding Partnership Award, Environmental Educator of the Year from Wake County, NC, and winner of the NAAEE 2011 Rosa Parks and Grace Lee Boggs Environment Award. Mr. Velazquez has worked with environmental groups in Alaska and Canada, and in China as a project engineer, where he met with the Chinese Environmental Department. Mr. Velazquez was the first westerner to give a talk on Preserving the Environment and the Ways of China's Minorities, at Dalian University, in mainland China.

T3 Fellow

Melissa Arthur

Melissa Arthur

Director of Operations, Kansas Assn. for Conservation & Environmental Education (KACEE)

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.

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.

Josh Falk

Josh Falk

Manager of Children and Nature, National Wildlife Federation

Josh’s project will be an interactive webinar series focused on greening STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). The environment is a compelling context for teaching STEM as it provides teachers with a diverse range of real-world challenges that engage students in hands-on opportunities to apply and reinforce STEM concepts across multiple subject areas. Each broadcast in this series will be interactive, engaging, target both formal and informal educators, and will include a downloadable resource.

Josh Falk joined NEEF in December of 2014. Prior to that, he worked for two years as Director of Education at the Annapolis Maritime Museum, running a regional educational program. Previously, Josh worked as an educator at The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, coordinating both high school research projects and an international citizen science project focused on climate change. Josh also spent four years living on and running a residential environmental education program for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation on Smith Island, the only offshore-inhabited island in Maryland. Josh holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Drew University. When not at NEEF, you can find Josh in his canoe with his sons, Finn and Jackson, and his wife, Hilary.

Queta González

Queta González

Executive Director, Center for Diversity & the Environment

Queta González is the Director of the Portland-based Center for Diversity & the Environment (CDE). CDE has been committed to diversifying the environmental movement since 2008. Today nearly 400 alumni representing 250 organizations have graduated from our trainings, with a broader program reach that includes over 3,500 individuals from nearly 300 organizations. CDE’s work focuses on the challenge and opportunity we have before us in our efforts to align the environmental movement with an increasingly multicultural and diverse society.

Mary Leou

Mary Leou

Director Environmental Conservation Education, New York University

The NYU Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education, established in 2000 at New York University, focuses its efforts on environmental literacy through courses, workshops, trainings, and field experiences. Recently, the Collaborative has developed service-learning programs for K-12 students and professional development opportunities for teachers. The online course developed through T3 will focus on K-12 teachers and non-formal educators who want to create and engage in service-learning projects. The course will introduce them to the concepts of service-learning and will expose them to examples and lessons learned from other teachers who have successfully pursued these types of projects. The online platform will serve as a support system and hopefully as an inspiration as everyone shares their projects. This program will help to promote environmental literacy and engage teachers and their students in meaningful learning while also providing a service to their communities.

Mary Leou is Clinical Professor of Teaching and Learning at the Steinhardt School of Culture Education and Human Development at New York University and directs the graduate program in Environmental Conservation Education. She is also director of the Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education, which serves New York City teachers with environmental education opportunities and resources. Mary has over 25 years of experience as an urban environmental educator in New York City, developing numerous outdoor education programs for NYC schoolchildren and classroom teachers. Prior to joining NYU, Mary was Director of Education of City Parks Foundation, where she developed programming, nature centers, and worked on one of NYC’s largest urban forest restoration projects funded by the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund. She received her undergraduate degree from Columbia University, and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University. She also served as chair and vice chair of the Environmental Education Advisory Council and is the recipient of numerous awards for her work in environmental education. Mary’s area of interest and scholarship has focused on experiential education and place-based learning.

Hillary Mason

Hillary Mason

Educator, University of Colorado Denver

Colorado has established a lead role in advancing environmental education across the nation. In 2012, the State Board of Education adopted the Colorado Environmental Education Plan with bipartisan support. The Colorado Environmental Education Leadership Council is responsible for implementing the plan’s strategies. This is the first collaborative group in the nation specifically designed to engage in cross-sector partnerships to advance environmental literacy in Colorado’s PreK-12 schools. The primary objective of this project is to develop a community of practice where Council leaders and environmental education partners are equipped with effective tools for network building, leadership, and communication. Using a suite of online learning tools, this community of practice will allow Council members to share research and best practices in environmental education. This includes telling the story of environmental education in Colorado through multiple media, hosting a series of webinars aimed at professional development in environmental education leadership, and creating a networking space to build a strong infrastructure of partnerships across all Colorado communities.

Hillary Mason is an environmental educator and researcher at the University of Colorado in Denver. She is the Environmental Literacy Coordinator at the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education, a professional organization aimed at advancing environmental literacy by connecting communities with environmental education materials and resources. Hillary is a member of the Colorado Environmental Education Leadership Council, a select team of leaders charged with implementing strategies in the Colorado Environmental Education Plan adopted by the State Board of Education in 2012. Hillary has a master’s degree in Environmental Science and is currently working on her Ph.D. in STEM Education. Her research focuses on environmental identity development and its relationship to science learning across different cultures and communities. Hillary has worked as a middle grades science teacher and is currently a lecturer in the School of Education and Human Development and the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado in Denver. As a fellow in the T3 Accelerator program, she is utilizing a peer-to-peer learning model to develop an online platform for Council members to build capacity and partnerships that will strengthen efforts to provide environmental education in Colorado’s PreK-12 schools.

Jan Sneddon

Jan Sneddon

Director, GM GREEN, Earth Force,

Earth Force is developing an easily accessible blended learning platform for Earth Force educators. The goal is to provide virtual support and informational resources that help educators complete the full 6-step Earth Force Process with their students. The program follows the guidelines of The Lean Startup, by Eric Reis, to develop a variety of online products for a select cohort of early-adopter Earth Force educators to test and provide feedback. The products currently include videos and slideshows that explain and reinforce each key element of the six steps in the Earth Force process. This will grow to include a variety of supplemental materials of additional videos, activity templates, other online documents, and links to relevant materials from other organizations.

Jan Sneddon is passionate about building relationships that help bridge the gap between environmental and civic education and improve the educational experience for young people. Jan works for Earth Force, a nonprofit based in Denver, CO, that strives to engage young people as active citizens who improve the environment and their communities now and in the future. Jan has been with Earth Force for 10 years and directs the GM GREEN program, where young people work with engineers from General Motors to conduct water quality monitoring and use their findings to create lasting solutions for pressing water quality issues in their community.
Ever since her years as a Peace Corps science teacher in Ghana, West Africa, Jan has been convinced that environmental health and stability can only be achieved if the world’s populace is informed about environmental threats and equipped with the knowledge, skills, and motivation to be active problem solvers in addressing those issues. Post-Peace Corps, Jan obtained a Master of Science in Environmental Science from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She then joined the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to co-coordinate the Hoosier Riverwatch volunteer monitoring program. Through Riverwatch, Jan discovered Earth Force and the perfect path for working to educate and empower young people to interact with, enjoy, and protect the environment. Hobbies have been on the back burner for the past 5 years in favor of raising her two little ones – Ian, 5, and Gracelyn, 3. When Jan is not working or spending time with her children, her hobbies include reading, kayaking, biking, running, and gardening.

Donna Stowe

Donna Stowe

VP of Programs, Earth Force

Earth Force is developing an easily accessible blended learning platform for Earth Force educators. The goal is to provide virtual support and informational resources that help educators complete the full 6-step Earth Force Process with their students. The T3 project follows the guidelines of The Lean Startup, by Eric Reis, to develop a variety of online delivered products for a select cohort of early-adopter Earth Force educators to test and provide feedback. The products currently include videos and slideshows that explain and reinforce each key element of the six steps in the Earth Force process. This will grow to include a variety of supplemental materials, such as videos, activity templates, other online documents, and links to relevant materials from other organizations.

Donna Power Stowe’s extensive experience in education – as a classroom teacher, teacher trainer, and curriculum and program developer for several nonprofits, schools, and districts across the country – allows her to create authentic connections between classrooms and the real world. Focusing on developing and supporting opportunities for civically engaged youth, Donna understands the importance of youth voice when working to create life-long environmental citizens with the skills and attitudes to make positive lasting change in the world around them.
To balance out her hard-working lifestyle, Donna practices yoga, hikes in Virginia’s beautiful parks, gardens, and travels. One of her personal goals is to learn one new skill or take on a new challenge each year. The goal for spring 2016 is to ride in the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic.

Amy Stubbs

Amy Stubbs

Green Teacher

Green Teacher is the only North American magazine focusing on environmental education for educators of youth in kindergarten through grade 12. In addition to a quarterly magazine, Green Teacher continues to host educational webinars and has an archive of 50 one-hour sessions covering a variety of environmental education topics. These webinars come from diverse and widespread educators that offer up their personal experience and expertise in the field of environmental education. Some recent topics include school food gardens, risky play, invasive species, eco-crafts, citizen science, and Envirothons. These free webinars have become an integral part of what makes a subscription to the magazine much more than four new issues a year, but rather a “professional development package”. Over the next several months, with the support of T3, Green Teacher will work with guest presenters to make their webinars more interactive and engaging. They hope this will allow more educators to use the sessions towards their continued education hours or credits. By increasing engagement, Green Teacher also hopes that the teachers who participate in the webinars will take more away from the sessions than ever before.
After being inspired by discussions at the T3 accelerator boot camp at Cornell University, Green Teacher has decided to launch a YouTube channel. They hope this channel will provide additional value to viewers, attract new audiences, increase content between quarterly issues, and provide opportunities for new collaborations. Similar to the webinars, experts in the field will create these videos, and may often be in conjunction with a recent article. However, unlike webinars, these will be quick videos, ideally four to eight minutes, to fit easily into packed schedules.

Amy Stubbs is an editor and photographer based in Toronto, Ontario. She is the editorial and marketing assistant at Green Teacher, a nonprofit magazine dedicated to helping environmental educators promote environmental awareness in young people aged 6 to 19. Amy has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts from York University and an advanced diploma in Print and Broadcast Journalism from Humber College. She has written for the National Post and Culture Toronto. Amy writes her own blog, HappyHealthyHerbivore, as well as runs several additional social media accounts.
When Amy isn’t busy with the magazine, she is an avid photographer and yogi who loves taking both of her passions out into nature and sharing her experiences on social media. She is always looking for her next great adventure and loves to travel our beautiful Earth. When visiting a new location, Amy prefers to immerse herself in the local culture by wandering their streets and green spaces rather than hopping from one tourist destination to another. Even though her scholarly background is not in environmental science or education, she thrives on the constant challenges and learning involved in working in the field. In everything Amy does, she hopes to inspire others to lead a healthy, active, and conscious lifestyle.

Joel Tolman

Joel Tolman

Director of Impact & Engagement, Common Ground High School, Urban Farm, and Environmental Education Center

Teach City – a new project of Common Ground – aims to build the capacity of urban public high schools to grow a new, diverse generation of powerful environmental leaders and successful college students. Over the next two years, Common Ground will bring together educators, leaders, partners, and students from urban environmental high schools across the United States, with a particular focus on schools in the Northeast–creating a community of practice that both builds schools' capacity and documents their emerging best practices. Daylong, face-to-face learning exchanges among these schools – hosted by Common Ground and other partner schools – are the core of this project.
With the help of the T3 Accelerator, Common Ground is developing the online learning and exchange opportunities that complement these face-to-face experiences. These online resources will include a new Teach City web site built in Drupal, paired with tools for collaboration and learning provided by Google applications for education. The Gould Foundation, the Dalio Foundation, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s environmental education grant program provide funding for Teach City.

Joel Tolman leads work to make Common Ground a more effective and inclusive organization – with a focus on strategic planning, evaluation, community engagement, and work in partnership with like-minded organizations locally and nationally. Joel came to Common Ground as a classroom teacher in 2003. Through classes including Architecture, Documenting New Haven, El Caribe, and Power, Joel’s students explored and documented New Haven’s neighborhoods, monitored urban air quality, created bilingual oral histories of community elders, secured start-up funding for small social ventures, and presented policy proposals to state legislators.
In 2008, Joel became Common Ground’s Director of Development and Community Engagement. In this capacity, he more than doubled grant revenue and individual giving, helped to launch a major capital campaign, and secured the resources necessary to grow organizational reach significantly. Before joining the Common Ground staff, Joel worked for 5 years on high school reform and youth policy issues in Washington, DC – providing technical assistance to school districts and municipalities, writing a number of publications on youth leadership and development, and managing multi-site initiatives related to school reform and out-of-school time. He has a degree in environmental studies from Williams College, and a Master of Education in social studies education from George Washington University.

Dianna Ullery

Dianna Ullery

4-H Youth Development, Washington State University

4-H Youth Development is the youth development program of the Cooperative Extension and land grant universities throughout the US. Over 6 million youth, ages five to19, are engaged in 4-H in the United States, making it the largest youth development program in the country. 4-H is a program that relies heavily on adult volunteers to provide programming and develop opportunities for experiential learning. The youth development professionals who work with those volunteers seek the most appropriate and effective methods of educating volunteers, relying on evidence-based research in best practices and new approaches. Adult 4-H Volunteers, like everyone else, have busy lives, minimal time available for training, and in many cases live in rural or urban areas where training opportunities are limited by available transportation or by distance.
The Washington State University 4-H Youth Development’s T3 project will address enhancement of in-person training experiences, the creation of hybrid online and in-person training, and development of a library of online resources for use by volunteers and staff, to facilitate highly effective, hands-on learning experiences for 4-H youth.

Dianna Ullery has been involved in environmental education for several decades, working for the National Audubon Society at the Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm in Ohio, as well as various private, public, and outdoor schools. Dianna earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Master of Science in Recreation and Parks from the Pennsylvania State University, and completed an internship at the Sharon Audubon Center. Dianna was among the first group of naturalists to visit the wintering site of the Monarch butterflies in Mexico, and has had wonderful birding experiences throughout North America. Dianna has had extensive experience working with youth in the out-of-doors and 4-H Youth Development has been a natural fit with its historic focus on hands-on, experiential learning. In Dianna’s free time, gardening, birding, baking, and music provide recreation, spiritual renewal, and opportunities to share experiences with her husband and three children.