ee360+ People

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Learn about the people working to strengthen the field and support professional development. This effort supported innovative leaders in the environmental education field through leadership training, state-of-the-art education materials and research, networking opportunities, and an online hub where educators can share new approaches and best practices. 

ee360+ People

Julia Beck

Julia Beck

VP of Networks, Project Wet
Judy Braus profile picture

Judy Braus (she/her)

Executive Director

Judy Braus brings to her role as NAAEE Executive Director a wealth of experience in the environmental education profession, with a focus on conservation education, diversity and inclusion, and using the power of education to help create healthier communities that empower local communities, stakeholders, and individuals to help restore and protect the environment. She comes to NAAEE from the National Audubon Society, where she was the Senior Vice President of Education and Centers, overseeing an extensive nationwide network of nature centers and educators. Prior to that, she led the education programs at World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the U.S. Peace Corps, and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).

 

 

Cheron Davis

Cheron Davis

Associate Professor, Florida A&M University
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Kimberly Davis

Extension Educator, Florida A&M University Coop Extension

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Laura Downey

Laura Downey

Executive Director, Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE)

A former Chicago Public School Teacher, Laura moved to Kansas about 25 years ago and continued teaching K-8 students. In 1998, Laura was fortunate to join the staff with the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE) and in 2000 became the Executive Director for the organization. KACEE is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization with the mission of promoting and providing quality, non-biased and science-based conservation and environmental education for all Kansans. Laura currently sits on the steering committee for the Affiliate Network of NAAEE, the Educational Operating Committee with PLT, and is active with the National Science Teachers Association. She holds a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education, a Master’s in Administration and Supervision and a Doctorate from Kansas State in Curriculum and Instruction for Math, Science and Technology.

John Etgen

John Etgen

CEO, Project Wet Foundation
Rebecca Franzen

Rebecca Franzen

Higher Education Group Moderator, Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education
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.

Donnie Hale

Donnie Hale

Executive Director, Florida Memorial University
Ashley Hoffman

Ashley Hoffman

Executive Director, Kentucky Association for Environmental Education

Ashley Hoffman has served as the Executive Director of the Kentucky Association for Environmental Education since 2010 and currently serves as the NAAEE Affiliate Chair and the part-time Executive Director of the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance (SEEA). The Affiliate Network represents the state, provincial and regional environmental education organizations of NAAEE. The SEEA is a collaboration of environmental education organizations in the eight southeast states (AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, and TN). Ashley Hoffman holds a B.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida and a Masters in Nonprofit Administration from North Park University School of Business and Nonprofit Administration. Prior to her work with KAEE, Ashley served as a Biologist for the Wetlands Reserve Enhancement Program, a partnership between The Nature Conservancy and the Natural Resource Conservation Service. Ashley is a Certified Professional Environmental Educator in Kentucky. She serves as the Kentucky State Coordinator for Project Learning Tree and is a certified member of the NAAEE Guidelines Trainers Bureau. In her free time, she enjoys traveling to new places and enjoying time in the outdoors with her husband and children.

Jessica Kaknevicius

Jessica Kaknevicius

VP, Education Sustainable Forestry Initiative

Currently working at the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, heading up Project Learning Tree (PLT) and PLT Canada, connecting young to young adults to our forests, through meaningful school experiences, green jobs, and mentorship

Jean Kayira

Jean Kayira

Antioch University New England

Jean Kayira, Ph.D. is Associate Director of the Environmental Studies Ph.D. program at Antioch University – New England. Jean has a strong commitment to and passion for socio-ecological justice issues, community-based education, and collaborative inquiry. In engaging with these concerns, her work has focused on education as a sociocultural and critical practice, with an additional focus on epistemological and methodological issues of qualitative research. These foci draw on the practice of anti-oppressive education, social and cultural theory, postcolonial theory, and empirical research, which engage directly with educators as well as students.

Kathayoon Khalil

Kathayoon Khalil

Associate Vice President of Conservation Learning, New England Aquarium

Kathayoon Khalil, PhD is the Associate Vice President of Conservation Learning at the New England Aquarium. Prior to joining the New England Aquarium, Kathayoon was the Director of Engagement for Canopy Strategic Partners. She has also held positions as the Conservation Impact Manager for the Oregon Zoo, the Principal Evaluator for the Seattle Aquarium, and the Director of Evaluation for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. She received her PhD in Learning Sciences and Technology Design from Stanford University, her Masters of Environmental Science from the Yale School of the Environment and her Bachelors in Organismal Biology from Claremont McKenna College. 

Marcey Kinney

Bethune Cookman University
Marianne Krasny

Marianne Krasny

Cornell University
Alex Kudryavtsev

Alex Kudryavtsev

EE in Urban Settings Group Moderator, Extension Associate, Cornell University

Alex Kudryavtsev, a Russian citizen, completed his MS (2006) and PhD (2013) degrees at Cornell University. He explored urban environmental education and sense of place among students in community-based organizations and schools in the Bronx, New York City. Alex has a BS degree in environmental conservation from a Russian university, and worked in a Siberian environmental NGO for eight years. Through the EECapacity project run by NAAEE and Cornell University, Alex teaches online professional development courses for educators, and conducts environmental education research. Alex's personal website: https://www.alexruss.org/

Yue Li

Yue Li

Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Yue Li recently finished her PhD in the Department of Natural Resources at Cornell University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in soil and water conservation from Beijing Forestry University and a master’s degree in natural resources from Beijing Normal University. Through her research and outreach, Yue seeks to understand how networking among diverse environmental educators fosters innovation in their environmental education practice.

Lori Mann

Lori Mann

Director of Conferences and Programs

Lori Mann has nearly 40 years of experience in environmental education at the local, state, and national levels. Lori joined the NAAEE staff in 2012 as Program and Conference Manager and now serves as Director of Conferences and Programs. In this capacity, she manages all aspects of the NAAEE annual conference and coordinates several national projects related to building capacity to deliver high-quality environmental education. 

Libby McCann

Libby McCann

Core Faculty & Director, Environmental Education, Antioch University New England

Elizabeth ‘Libby’ McCann, Ph.D. is Director of Environmental Education Concentration, Environmental Studies at Antioch University – New England. Libby received her Ph.D. in adult education, with an emphasis in environmental education, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her dissertation, “Passion and Persistence: A Study of Communities of Practice in Schools,” earned her the Russell J. Hosler Award for Outstanding Dissertation.

Vince Meldrum

Vince Meldrum

President/CEO, Earth Force

Vince Meldrum is President and CEO of Earth Force. Vince is an experienced nonprofit leader who has worked in environmental and civic education for 20 years. Vince leads Earth Force, a national organization with a unique focus on combining active civic education with environmental education to prepare young people with the civic skills, scientific knowledge, and motivation to improve our local environment.

Christy Merrick

Christy Merrick

Director, Natural Start Alliance

Nearly 20 years ago, Christy took her first job in environmental education at a conservation summer camp, and she hasn't looked back. She has worked in universities, international nonprofits, local organizations, state agencies, and private companies—always with an eye toward helping people build environmental literacy and meaningful connections to nature. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida and a Master's Degree in Environmental Management from Yale University. When she's not working, Christy likes to swim, surf, and play with her family on the beaches of South Florida, where she lives and works.

Martha Monroe

Martha Monroe

Professor, University of Florida

Having co-authored 12 books and manuals (including three for NAAEE); published 33 book chapters, 80 peer-reviewed journal articles, and 198 extension fact sheets; and served on 160 graduate student committees in her 20 years at the University of Florida, Dr. Martha Monroe is a prolific leader and contributor for catalyzing environmental education research. Her accomplishments working at the nexus of EE research and practice are as diverse as they are numerous, blending expertise in program evaluation, learning, professional development, and behavior change to help build capacity and empower people to participate in addressing environmental issues.

Katie Navin

Katie Navin

Executive Director, Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education

Katie has been active in the field of environmental education for over 10 years. As the executive director of the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education, she leads environmental literacy planning and implementation efforts and is active both locally and nationally.

Mary Ocwieja

Mary Ocwieja

Director of Technology

As the Director of Technology since 2011, Mary serves as the project lead for NAAEE online technology, including the NAAEE website and eePRO, the hub for professional development. She collaborates with developers, designers, staff, leaders, and end-users in building out features and improving user experience; coordinates with NAAEE project managers to support the technology used to deliver their programs, including the in-person and virtual conferences; and leads and collaborates with the communications team on association newsletters, web content, and community outreach. Mary has been on NAAEE staff since 1999 and her extensive background in technology, website development, outreach, multi-stakeholder collaboration, security, systems support, and project management experience consistently provides the highest level of support to NAAEE’s team, leadership, and members. 

 

Stacie Pierpoint

Stacie Pierpoint

Manager, Communications and Engagement

Stacie joined the NAAEE team in April 2020 as the Communications, Marketing, and Membership Specialist. Stacie has worked in the education field for almost two decades. Prior to joining NAAEE in April 2020, she managed communications for Annenberg Learner, a leading national nonprofit that connects K–12 educators with classroom content and professional development to support and strengthen their practice. She also taught Spanish at a high school in Washington, D.C. for six years. She holds an M.A. in Spanish and Latin American Studies from American University, and a B.A. in Modern Languages and Linguistics, and Certificate in Secondary Education from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She recently completed a Certificate in Social Impact Storytelling at Georgetown University. Throughout her career, she has been committed to bringing exceptional educational opportunities to underserved areas and educating to promote civic engagement.

Stacie was born and raised in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay watershed, instilling her connection to the environment, and has volunteered in parks since high school. She enjoys birding, hiking, writing, and drawing in her free time.

Drew Price

Drew Price

Consultant

Drew is an organizational and logistics specialist with nine years of project and program coordination. Drew has expertise in creating and implementing systems to ensure program success and federal regulation compliance, including budget management, reporting, and program activity coordination. Drew started working for NAAEE in 2012. Prior to that, he worked for ChemStewards, an environmental, health, and safety program, and as a Sustainability Assistant for the City of Sioux Falls in South Dakota, focusing on data management as well as community engagement. He has a bachelor's degree in Political Science, with a minor in biology, from the University of South Dakota.

Luciana Ranelli

Luciana Ranelli

ee360 Antioch Project Manager; Education Coordinator, Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve; Antioch University New England

Connections. Luciana Ranelli’s personal and professional life revolve around the theme of connections as she fosters relationships among people, sees connections between ideas, and invests in connection to place. Joining the ee360 project ties in her passions for communication, social justice, inquiry, outdoor exploration, and education. Luciana is currently at Antioch University New England working toward a Master of Science in Environmental Studies with an Environmental Education concentration. Prior to Antioch, Luciana dove deeply into environmental education practice as a Naturalist at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Northern Minnesota for three years. She’s particularly proud of her role at Wolf Ridge in which she facilitated educational culture and curricular shifts to include formative assessments and research on how people learn. Luciana holds a Graduate Certificate of Environmental Education from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and a BA in Biology and Secondary Education from the University of Minnesota, Morris. An ice skating adventure on a pristine lake in Vermont stands among the most magical of adventures in her most recent memory...and she is always on the lookout for more.


Pro Picks Topic Expert

Youth and Family Programs Director, Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center

Rocco Saracina

Rocco Saracina

Senior Manager, PLT Network

Leslie Sena

Bethune Cookman University
Bora Simmons

Bora Simmons

Director, National Project for Excellence in Environmental Education

Bora Simmons serves as the founding director of the National Project for Excellence in Environmental Education. The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) initiated the Project in 1993 to help educators develop and deliver effective environmental education programs. The Project has drawn on the insights of literally thousands of educators across the United States and around the world to craft guidelines for top-quality environmental education.

Elena Takaki

Elena Takaki

Director, Project WILD/Interim Director Mgmt. Assistance Team Assn. of Fish & Wildlife Agencies

Elena was an EE Specialist for NAAEE supporting the state capacity building program, Guidelines for Community Engagement, and Community Climate Change. Prior to coming to NAAEE, Elena was the Program Manager for National Geographic’s Chesapeake Bay FieldScope program and the co-lead staff for Maryland's Partnership for Children in Nature at Maryland DNR. With a B.S. in Natural Resource Management (Environmental Education concentration) from the University of Michigan, Elena has had the privilege of working with Dr. Bill Stapp, who has profoundly influenced her life and career. Additionally, she has an M.A. in Science Education from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in Environmental Science from Johns Hopkins University. Before working at National Geographic, Elena worked at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Michigan. In her spare time, Elena is training to be a teacher of hula.

Hector Torres

Bethune Cookman University
Anne Umali

Anne Umali

Director of Professional Development

Anne Umali has been working in the environmental education field since 2000 and has built a strong passion for teaching and training others, especially when it comes to leadership training, community engagement, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Anne is the Project Manager for the ee360 Project at the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), U.S. EPA’s most recent National Environmental Education & Training Program. Before NAAEE, she was the Project Manager for EECapacity, the U.S. EPA’s National Environmental Education & Training Program housed at Cornell University 2011–2016.

Helena Walrond

Bethune Cookman University
Tyffany White

Tyffany White

Director of Teacher Ed and Grad Studies, FL Memorial Univ.
Bruce Young

Bruce Young (he/they)

Affiliates Relations Specialist

Prior to coming aboard with NAAEE Bruce worked as a freelance environmental education consultant, educator, and volunteer for a variety of schools and organizations including the Rivanna Conservation Alliance, Greensboro Science Center, Tandem Friends School, and Free Union Country School. 

ee360+ Advisor

Janet Ady v2

Janet Ady

Division Chief, Retired

Janet Ady is the Chief of the Education, Interpretation, and Partnerships Division for the Bureau of Land Management’s National Conservation Lands and Community Partnerships directorate. The division provides national level program support, training, and products for environmental education, interpretation, volunteer management, and partnership programs; leads the Junior Ranger initiative to connect people with nature; and coordinates the BLM youth and stewardship programs. Previously, she worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a national wildlife refuge in California, in the Alaska regional office, in the Washington, DC headquarters, and at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, West Virginia as an environmental education and training specialist, the Chief of the NCTC Division of Education Outreach, and a Senior Advisor.

Janet received a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Planning and Interpretation, with an emphasis in Environmental Education, and elementary school and high school biology teaching credentials from Humboldt State University. She obtained a Master’s degree in Natural Science and Environmental Education from San Jose State University, in California, and a doctoral degree in Sustainability Education from Prescott College in Arizona, with a focus on engaging youth in conservation science.

Nicole Ardoin

Nicole Ardoin

Associate Professor, Stanford University

Nicole Ardoin is an associate professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and a senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University. She is also Stanford's lead researcher on the eeWORKS initiative in partnership with NAAEE. Professor Ardoin´s research focuses on environmental behavior as influenced by environmental learning and motivated by place-based connections. In particular, she is interested in considerations of geographic scale, which is an understudied yet crucial aspect of people-place relationships in a rapidly globalizing, urbanizing world. Professor Ardoin has current studies on the use of education, communications, and other social strategies in informal and community-based settings, including nature-based tourism programs, to engage individuals and communities in deliberate dialogue, environmental decision-making, and informed conservation behavior.

Professor Ardoin also researches the effectiveness of a range of environmental education and social science endeavors in achieving measurable and meaningful conservation results. To this end, she conducts evaluations with informal organizations, including museums, zoos/aquariums, parks, and residential environmental education programs, with an emphasis on using innovative, non-traditional metrics and adaptive management approaches. She is also interested in philanthropic support of environmental education and emergent trends in the field of environmental education research.

Parker McMullen Bushman

Parker McMullen Bushman

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Group Moderator, CEO / COO, Ecoinclusive Strategies /Inclusive Journeys LLC
Gus Medina

Augusto Medina

EE Consultant Independent

Dr. Medina is an independent consultant specializing in environmental education. His areas of proficiency include program design, project management, proposal writing and review, professional development, cultural competency and inclusiveness, strategic planning, and facilitation. Dr. Medina has worked extensively at both the national and international levels. Until early 2014 he was Project Manager of the Cornell University-led Expanding Capacity in Environmental Education (EECapacity) Project funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Environmental Education. Between 1995 and 2010, he managed the National Environmental Education Training Program (EETAP). Within the last few years, he has facilitated professional-level environmental education courses and workshops in Thailand, India, and Chile.

Diego Román

Diego Román

At Large Board Member

Dr. Diego Román is an Assistant Professor in Bilingual/Bicultural Education at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to this appointment, he was an Assistant Professor in Bilingual Education at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Román holds a B.S. degree in Agronomy from Zamorano University in Honduras and an M.S. degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He also earned an M.S. degree in Biology, an M.A. in Linguistics, and a Ph.D. degree in Educational Linguistics, all from Stanford University. At the K-12 level, Dr. Román taught middle school science to English Learners and newcomer students for seven years, first in rural Wisconsin and then in San Francisco, California.

Billy Spitzer

Billy Spitzer

Executive Director, Hitchcock Center for the Environment

William ‘Billy’ Spitzer, Ph.D., is Vice President for Programs, Exhibits, and Planning at the New England Aquarium. He is responsible for oversight of exhibit design, visitor experience, volunteer, and education programs as well as institutional strategic planning. He has served as Principal Investigator for numerous informal science education projects funded by the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Environmental Protection Agency. He is currently PI for the 5-year NSF-funded National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation, as well as the 3-year NOAA-funded project Visualizing Change: Training and Tools to Support Informal Educators.

Marc Stern

Marc Sern

Professor, Virginia Tech
Dilafruz Williams

Dilafruz Williams

Professor, Portland State University

Dilafruz Williams is Professor and co-founder of Leadership for Sustainability Education and Fellow at the Institute for Sustainable Solutions, Portland State University. Among her long-term partnerships are the founding of: an Environmental School, several school gardens, and a Learning Gardens Laboratory on a 12-acre property that functions as a research and education site serving educators and their students many of whom are low-income, immigrants, and/or refugees.