Environmental and Conservation Educator

Teachers practicing how to do a nest check during a workshop I organized and taught on how to use Project NestWatch and Project FeederWatch in the classroom.

I have always loved teaching about nature and the environment. My classroom is the trails, the forests, the fields, the creeks, and the ponds. The roof of my classroom can leak; that’s why we have rain jackets. My lessons tend to be very hands-on and are often “interrupted” by teachable moments.

When a Cooper’s hawk lands in a tree next to your group, looks around for a minute, and then takes off again, you can’t ignore it and go on with the lesson plan. You have to stop and talk about the hawk. Those are often the moments that make the greatest impressions and lead to even greater learning opportunities.

I teach a variety of ages from pre-K through adults. Middle school students through adults are typically my favorite because we can have deeper conversations and consider incorporating citizen science into our activities. However, younger students are just fun to teach! It’s always inspiring to watch a young child hold their first crayfish or begin to recognize and identify a new plant or animal.

In 2011, Colleen Kessler featured me in her book Real-life Science Mysteries. The book challenges students in grades 5-8 to increase their scientific knowledge through hands-on experiments and activities. Along with the hands-on activities, the book introduces students to 18 different science-related careers.

I also enjoy leading workshops for teachers and other educators. These workshops often include ways for the teacher or educator to help their students become involved with nationwide citizen science projects.

In addition to teaching environmental and conservation education, I can also help organize large public events related to natural resources and science education. My experience includes organizing and coordinating multi-day events with up to 60 speakers and approximately 200 attendees, as well as, large, single-day, public science events with nearly 40 volunteers and almost 1,000 attendees.

Visitors gathering for evening activities during International Bat Night celebrations at Mammoth Cave National Park. In 2011, I organized and coordinated the first International Bat Night at Mammoth Cave National Park. In 2016, this all-day event taught 1,000 visitors about bats and bat research at the park and I was supervising a crew of approximately 40 volunteers who helped make the event a success.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss ways I can help you with your environmental and conservation education needs or if you are interested in my teacher workshops. All workshops and education activities are customized for your group and your location. Once we decide exactly what your needs are, I can assist in correlating our activities to state and/or national science standards if needed.

Local newspaper articles and press releases about some of the public events I’ve organized:

WKU Research Symposium April 18-20 at Mammoth Cave National Park
WKU News, April 4, 2016

They’ve got a bat reputation
BY JEFF NATIONS / Glasgow Daily Times, Aug 31, 2015

SLIDE SHOW: Bat Night at Mammoth Cave National Park
Glasgow Daily Times, Aug 31, 2015