Environmental Education & Outreach
Environmental education has always been at the center of my teaching philosophy and has guided my career and my own education. I believe that all students have the right to be exposed to the natural world in a safe, positive learning environment. I went into teaching because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of my students, but also because I wanted to instill in them a sense of stewardship and a connection to the natural world. I have seen positive transformations in so many students over the years from the passion they have developed for conservation and environmental protection, and the confidence that they have gained through designing and executing their own scientific experiments and projects.
I was so inspired by the work that I have done over the years with a team of dedicated teachers and thousands of students, that I went back to school myself to deepen my understanding of the natural world and the scientific process. I completed a Master of Science degree in Biology focused on Plant Ecology. I examined the same relationships that we saw in our environmental education projects - the importance of biodiversity and native plants in ecosystems, problems caused by invasive species, the environmental impacts of these relationships, and their effects on human health. I aligned my studies with education and outreach practices, focusing on ways to integrate standards-based lessons into real-world experiences through STEM outreach and community science projects.