It's time once again for the Board Spotlight! This month, learn all about your EENC secretary, Tanya Poole, She is an outreach educational specialist for the Wildlife Resources Commission Pisgah Center.
Tanya started her EE Certification in college and continued to work on it while she taught 4th grade in a public school. She also worked as an education director for a camp in the summer time. Eventually, she landed a regional educator job with the NCWRC. She has a B.S. in Elementary Ed (minor in Biology) and a M.S. in Environmental Education.
The reason EE matters to Tanya has changed over the years. She started out wanting to do environmental education because she loves wildlife and being outdoors. It made her so happy, and she wanted others to experience the same enjoyment and connection to our natural world. As she's gotten older, she's experienced first-hand the health benefits from spending time outdoors, not only for herself, but for both kids and adults as well. At a recent workshop, she saw such an obvious change in everyone's mood when they went outside to play a game. Everyone was energetic and smiling and laughing. Their connection to our natural world is deep rooted and Tanya thinks many of us have strayed too far from that connection. It is our responsibility, she believes, to take care of our natural world, and we can't do that if we don't know about it and have a connection to it. We benefit as well. Clean air, clean water, and abundant and healthy wildlife and plants means better food, better living conditions, and better opportunities to refresh and reinvigorate our bodies and our minds.
Tanya chose to serve on the EENC board because Keith Bamberger is persistent! :) Ha! But seriously, she is proud of the EE network in NC. There are many states who have very little support for EE and Tanya wanted to give back to a community that has supported her and given her so much over the past 20 years. Plus, who can turn down taking notes for 6 hours?!
Tanya is spoiled with two amazing German Shepherds, Maya (1 year) and Greta (6 years) who keep her laughing, active, and covered in hair. She sometimes talks in her sleep and her husband says that when they go camping, and only when they are camping, she has often woken him up and asked him to read her a story. He always says "the end" and then she goes right back to sleep. (She'd like you to know that her husband doesn't normally read stories to her, so she has no idea where this is coming from!) And finally, Tanya's Patronus is a white stallion. Just saying, Shannon. :)
Who's planning to join us at this year's conference, EE For All?! It's taking place September 27-29 at the DoubleTree in Atlantic Beach. Why not bring the family, stay an extra night, and spend Sunday together on the beach?
As usual, we will have a lot of great field trips and sessions where you can learn from one another and help make EE in NC the best it can be!
We know some of you want to go ahead and make your hotel reservations. Rooms run $129 a night (and have an ocean view!), but you'll need to call the hotel at (252) 222-4010 to make your reservation. Use group code EEA to get the discount!
Please note tht the hotel will require a credit card to make the reservation, but you will not be charged until you arrive. Reservations must be made by August 12 to get the discount.
Hope to see lots of you at this year's sunny, sandy, beachy conference!
This is a Call for Proposals (CFP) for educators who have experienced success in helping their students make vital connections between themselves and their natural landscape; and want to share these successes with the education community. Our intent of these hour-long workshops are to offer tools and confidence to its participants to join the movement (both literally and figuratively) of transporting our educational settings to the outdoors. Workshops addressing the barriers that keep us inside and how to overcome said barriers are encouraged. We welcome topics focusing on cross-curricular integration in a natural setting and using curiosity and inquiry to enhance outdoor learning. Such workshops should reflect best teaching practices utilizing engaging and hands-on modes of learning throughout the program.
Hear Nature Calling? Submit your proposal at https://goo.gl/forms/EyzyYwEcMW9CVMxt1 by April 4th. You will be asked to provide the following:
Please note that by your submission, you are committing to attend the conference should your proposal be selected. Please let this also serve as a “Save the Date” for attendees! We are very excited about this coming together of local professionals to learn from one another and grow in their field.
Again, the Conference will be on June 15th, 2018 from 8 am – 5 pm followed by a social at Cabarrus Brewing Company. We are keeping the costs very low to minimize any barriers of your attendance. Formal educators will attend at no charge. The charge for non-formal educators will be between $15 - $20. There will be more information to follow, so please mark this date on your calendar and be on the lookout for more to come!
It's time once again for the Board Spotlight! This month, learn all about your EENC president, Shannon Culpepper. She is the Waste Reduction Coordinator for Chatham County Solid Waste & Recycling.
Shannon got her start in EE by doing a little bit here and there while working at a landfill and with a local non-profit organization, but she didn't know that environmental educator could be a full time job. After she finished graduate school and was trying to find a job, she applied to an AmeriCorps program focused on providing environmental education to underserved populations. She was offered a position and while working with the NC Air Quality Department, had the wonderful experience of developing a program that provided EE to older adults. At the same time, she started working on her EE certification and really started to learn about environmental education and the opportunities to do EE as a career. While she is not currently a full time environmental educator, it is a part of her job and she enjoys providing information about solid waste, recycling, reduction, and composting to the citizens she serves.
Shannon decided to serve on the EENC board because she is always looking for opportunities to volunteer, particularly in environmental education. When she learned about EENC and the board, she thought that would be a great opportunity to help the environmental education community in the state. She served as the Policy Chair for two years (she loves policy!) then as President-Elect before becoming President. She feels lucky to be a part of this organization and is happy to help support EE in the state and beyond.
Shannon hopes to accomplish several things during her time as president. She is especially excited that EENC was chosen as one of 10 affiliates of NAAEE for an ee360 grant last year and just received approval for a second year of funding. Shannon serves on the ee360 team and this work has been fruitful for EENC. The ee360 team had two goals for Year 1, one of which was to hire our Executive Director - done! The Year 2 goals are to increase the diversity, equity, and inclusion in EENC (and EE in general) and increasing the effectiveness of the EENC board of directors. The ee360 work has been extremely beneficial to the growth of EENC and Shannon looks forward to continuing these efforts in 2018 and beyond.
Three fun facts about Shannon:
Shannon loves cats - household, stray, big cats, any kind really. Her latest obsession is a sand cat. She suggests that you look it up if you aren't familiar and swears you won't be disappointed.
She used to be able to run a mile in less than 6 minutes, but claims she couldn't get anywhere close to that now.
She is a Ravenclaw and her Patronus is a husky. According to Shannon: "What else do you need to understand who I am?"
During the week of January 16-18, EENC sent our ee360 Leadership Team to Monterey, CA. There they met with the other nine Leadership Teams that NAAEE selected last summer to receive EPA funding to help move EE forward in each state. While in California, the EENC team did a mini presentation to update the group on the status of the two goals set in West Virginia during the first meeting, and announced the hiring of our first staff member, Lauren Pyle. Lauren was in attendance at the meeting, along with Partnership Chair Brad Daniel, President Shannon Culpepper, and former board members Renee Strnad and Michelle Pearce.
The ee360 meeting was combined with an NAAEE Affiliate Meeting, bringing the total to over 30 states present in the room. During the breakout sessions, EENC was also able to lead a session on our accomplishments with an all-volunteer board. EENC was able to serve as an example of drive and leadership, and is looking forward to continued work with NAAEE and the ee360 teams. In year two of our funding, EENC will be working on board training in fundraising and best practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion in the work of Environmental Education in our state.
We're going to start posting monthly board member spotlights here on the blog! First up, our communications chair, Chris Goforth.
Chris' move to North Carolina marked a major shift in her career path. She had always planned to become an entomology professor and was working toward that goal with a BA in Biology and an MS in entomology. She started a citizen science project, somewhat accidentally, during her time as a PhD student and fell in love. Citizen science combined the work she enjoyed most (scientific research, teaching, and science communication) and it became more and more of a focus for her. She eventually applied for her current position as head of citizen science at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and moved across the country to start a whole new life. She was especially thrilled with being placed at the Museum's field station, Prairie Ridge Ecostation, because of the great new ability it gave her to work with the public as an environmental educator.
Chris likes environmental education because in her ideal world everyone everywhere would be aware of and appreciate the nature all around them. Even the most urban areas have SOME nature (red-tailed hawks are all over New York City after all!) and Chris would love to see people understand just how much life we have on our planet, including our own backyards. She especially loves teaching about insects as they are often the forgotten or reviled part of nature and she loves the fact that her current job allows her to not only teach about insects, but also provide people a concrete way that they can interact with, study, or otherwise learn more about insects through citizen science projects.
Chris joined the EENC board as the Central Section Chair in 2016 and then took on the role of Communications Chair last year. She feels strongly that good communication and easy navigation of the resources EENC provides will help build the organization and get people excited about environmental education across North Carolina. Plus, she really loves photography, social media, and building websites, so her current role allows her to support the organization while doing something she enjoys.
This year, Chris wants to focus on reviving EENC Echoes, the EENC newsletter, and moving the conference program toward a more sustainable app based format. She's also trying to build the EENC Instagram account, so please send photos and your username (if you have one - you can send photos even if you're not on Instagram) to her via e mail if you'd like to help provide content!
Three fun facts about Chris:
She is addicted to flying fox/fruit bat videos. They're her favorite non-insect animals and she watches rescue videos from Australia more often than she cares to admit.
She won a writing competition when she was in middle school and got to read her entry on the local PBS station. It aired daily for about a month.
She made money in high school by selling cakes she decorated to teachers, friends, and other people. She made multiple wedding cakes, but quit after the cake collapsed on the way to a friends' wedding. She did make her sister's wedding cake though!
Environmental Educators of North Carolina is thrilled to announce the hiring of an Executive Director, Lauren Pyle. A former board member and professional life member of EENC, Lauren has been active in the environmental education community in North Carolina for over eight years. Lauren has worked as part of the education team at the Western North Carolina Nature Center in Asheville, where she wears many hats. She has wrangled teen volunteers, helps the public navigate the online registration system, leads public wildlife demonstrations including feeding otters, and has experience writing grants to fulfill "pie-in-the-sky" programs.
Previously, Lauren worked with youth education at The North Carolina Arboretum, has contributed to strategic planning processes with three different organizations, simultaneously taught college freshman biology/8th grade physical science/telemark skiing during her undergraduate and masters programs at Cornell University, and spent five summers catching bats as a wildlife biologist for an environmental consulting company.
The Board of Directors have been working towards this goal for many years to help build the capacity of our organization, and Lauren is excited to help advance the mission and vision of EENC. The Executive Director position is currently part-time, with the intent to become full-time through additional grant funding. We are so excited to be taking this step to help our organization be a leader in the field of environmental education within North Carolina, the southeast, and the nation.
Please join us in welcoming Lauren. She can be reached via e mail anytime!
This position has been filled!
We are hiring for our first ever paid position! Please share the following position description with anyone who may be interested:
Environmental Educators of North CarolinaExecutive Director
The Executive Director will serve part-time, approximately 20 hours per week, performing duties assigned by the Board of Directors. The position is for a one-year term, with the opportunity to extend if agreeable to all parties. The employee will work predominately from home. Travel is required.
This is a newly created position and the Executive Director will work directly with the EENC Board of Directors to develop a work plan. After the initial contract year, the position may transition into a 40 hours per week position. As the position grows, the Executive Director will be responsible for securing partial funding for additional contract years.
Summary of Essential Job Functions
Coordinate donor cultivation and management, grant writing, annual appeals, sponsorship solicitations, and other fundraising and development needs of EENC.
Work with Resource Development Chair to maintain donor database and manage grants.
Serve as one of two EENC representatives to the Southeastern Environmental Educators Alliance (SEEA).
Attend statewide and regional meetings to represent EENC’s interests and foster publicity, partnerships, and outreach.
Act as liaison with community, state, national, and international organizations to foster publicity, partnerships, and outreach for the organization.
Assist Board of Directors with tasks including developing marketing materials, content for website, and social media; work to grow and diversify membership; conference and workshop planning; and assist with setting the agenda for board meetings.
Other duties as needed.
Provide monthly activity report to Personnel Committee, including number of hours worked, tasks accomplished, and status of work.
Provide monthly financial report and summary of activities to the Treasurer.
Provide quarterly report to Board of Directors with summary of activities and status of work.
Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university is required.
Experience in nonprofit management, board management, public relations, business, marketing, or a natural resource-related field is preferred.
Familiarity with environmental education and an understanding of the field in the state, nationally, and internationally.
Experience in nonprofit fund development.
Experience with website development and maintenance and use of social media for business.
Excellent spelling, grammar, typing, and organizational skills.
Proficient with Office Suite and Google Suite.
Experience with bookkeeping or financial management.
Ability to work well independently and as part of a team.
Strong networking and interpersonal skills.
Must reside in North Carolina. Must have the ability to work from home (or another location) and be able to travel for meetings, conferences, etc.
$23,000 to $28,000. $5,000 stipend provided for benefits. Computer, equipment, and cell phone will also be provided.
How to Apply
Submit a cover letter and resume to Shannon Culpepper, EENC President-Elect at firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, November 13 at 5:00 pm.
The following items are the most essential:
We're currently accepting applications for the following:
Know someone (perhaps yourself?) who would make an amazing EENC board member, someone who wants to help move the organization forward as we enter a time of change? Consider making a board nomination, for someone you know or yourself! We're looking for motivated people who are interested in helping taking on a challenge and who strongly supoprts our organization's mission. Start your application here: https://iyha.wufoo.com/forms/peoihgo0qdfrlv/
We'd like to bring more high school and college students to the conference, particularly those who have an interest in pursuing a career in environmental education. If this sounds like you, or someone you know, we'd love to have you apply for a full conference scholarship! The application form is available online here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdnOmDBLsZKMkISoSYWLrUir2P9a9UqGhVnMxkidz30e-raow/viewform
Both board nominations and student scholarship applications are due September 1, so get yours in soon!
P.O. Box 4904Chapel Hill, NC 27515-4904
Website questions? Click here to contact the Communications Chair.