Experience

To view a PDF of my complete curriculum vitae, click here. To contact me, click here.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Nature Preschool at Chippewa Nature Center was opened in 2007; a program that now serves 124 three- and four-year-old children. The building shown here was built in 2009 to house the growing program. 

Nature Preschool at Chippewa Nature Center was opened in 2007; a program that now serves 124 three- and four-year-old children. The building shown here was built in 2009 to house the growing program. 

Director of Education, Chippewa Nature Center, Midland, MIJan. 2004-July 2016

School Program Coordinator, Chippewa Nature Center, Midland, MISept. 2001-Jan. 2004

  • Created Nature Preschool in 2007, a licensed nature-based preschool program, which now serves 124 children annually.
  • Created Nature Kindergarten in 2012, a program in partnership with Bullock Creek Public Schools where four traditional kindergarten sections (105 students) are nature-based.
  • Co-Chaired $9 million Visitor Center Expansion Project, 2006-2010, which included the LEED® Gold Certified preschool building
  • Assisted with fundraising efforts for the Expansion Project including making presentations to major foundations and individual donors
  • Coordinate logistics of all educational programs, serving more than 20,000 participants annually, including school and scout groups, Nature Day Camp, Nature Preschool, and youth drop-in programs
  • Responsible for annual department budget of approximately $400,000
  • Wrote grants to secure more than $850,000 in funding to date
  • Hire, train, and supervise approximately 15 part-time staff and nine full-time staff
  • Provide leadership and direction for all program curricula development
  • Develop and maintain partnerships with community schools and organizations
  • Oversee the design and production of program publicity materials
  • Market programs to local teachers, administrators, parents, and other stakeholders
  • Created the training program “Nature Preschool Institute” for training early childhood educators in nature-based approaches
  • Conduct teacher trainings and conference presentations on nature-based early childhood and elementary education (i.e., Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children, Michigan Department of Education’s Early Childhood Collaborative Conference)

After School Coordinator, Kalamazoo Nature Center, Kalamazoo, MI, Aug. 2000-Aug. 2001

  • Hired, trained, and supervised after school and lunchtime educators
  • Developed program curriculum, website and participant newsletter
  • Pursued funding opportunities and completed grant reporting
  • Represented Nature Center on Kalamazoo Public School’s Strategic Planning Team

Community Involvement

Tittabawassee-Saginaw Rivers Community Advisory Group, U.S. EPAApril 2011-May 2015

Great Lakes Bay Regional Leadership Institute, Great Lakes Regional Alliance2012

Leadership Midland, Midland Chamber of Commerce , 2003

Professional Volunteer Experience

Natural Start Alliance, Advisory Board, January 2017-present

Natural Start Alliance, Council for Nature & Forest Preschools Co-Chair, May 2015-present

Nature-Based Preschool 2015 Conference, Program Committee ChairPresent

National Association for Interpretation Personnel Committee2012-present

Saginaw Bay Foundation, Founding Board Member, 2014-present

Great Lakes Bay Leadership Institute Selection & Curriculum Committees,  2012-2013

Nature-Based Preschool Conference2012

Chair, Midland County Preschool Partnership2011-2013

Association of Nature Center Administrators Peer Consults, March 2008, Feb. 2011, July 2014

Board of Directors, National Association for Interpretation2004-06, 2007-2008

Additional National Association for Interpretation volunteer positions:

Region 4 Workshop Co-Chair (March ‘10); Environmental Education Section Director (’04-’08); Region 4 Student Involvement Committee Chair (’01-’03); Environmental Education Section Newsletter Editor (’99-’04); Region 7 Workshop Committee (’00)

ADDITIONAL PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Challenge Ropes Course Manager, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, Jan. 2000-Aug. 2000

Editorial Assistant, National Association for Interpretation (NAI), Fort Collins, CO, Sept. 1996-Aug. 2000

Challenge Ropes Course FacilitatorColorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, June 1999-Aug. 2000

Wilderness/Nature Instructor, Camp Tsianina, Red Feather Lakes, CO, Summer 1999

Adventure Trips Instructor & Director, Mystic Lake YMCA Camp, Lake, MI, Summer 1998

Adventure Trips Instructor, Mystic Lake YMCA Camp, Lake, MI, Summer 1996, 97

Assistant Instructor, Outdoor Adventure Program, Colorado State University, Aug. 1997-Sept. 1998

Outdoor Educator, Maine Conservation School, Bryant Pond, ME, Summer 1995

Professional Memberships

American Educational Research Association (AERA), Member since 2016

Association of Nature Center Administrators (ANCA), Member since 2007

Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children (MiAEYC), Member since 2011

National Association for Interpretation (NAI), Member since 1996

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Member since 2011

National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), Member since 2016

North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), Member since 2015

Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD), Member since 2017