Member Feature: Rink Somerday

Rink fell in love with the outdoors as a child in Girl Scouts. As an adult, her work connects thousands of children to nature every year.

This month, our featured members are also the pilot candidates in our EE Certification Program. Applications are now open for our 2016-17 class of certified environmental educators. Read more and apply here.

Rink-SomerdayRink first discovered EE 20 years ago when her boss at the Colorado Division of Wildlife involved her with Project Wild.

She quickly found herself immersed in the field, working with Project Wet, Project Learning Tree, serving on the board for Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education and much more. Now, she works as the Program Coordinator for the Asombro Institute for Science Education, where she has been for 13 years.

In her current role, Rink has taught over 10,000 3rd graders in the Experience Science program. With that many participants, it’s hard to remember every student, but one student definitely remembered Rink! Continue Reading →

Member Feature: Eileen Everett

Like many in our field, Eileen Everett often finds herself explaining she doesn’t just take kids hiking for a living.

This month, our featured members are also the pilot candidates in our EE Certification Program. Applications are now open for our 2016-17 class of certified environmental educators. Read more and apply here.

Eileen-with-dogEnvironmental education involves so much more than wearing boots and a backpack and hitting the trail.

Eileen’s goal: New Mexico’s EE Certification Program will raise awareness of the diverse and complex facets of our work as well as the competencies required to succeed.

As the director of EEANM and the voice representing all members, Eileen’s investment in EE Certification is multi-layered, but her major role is as an advocate.

She hopes that EE Certification will be the standard for employers who seek to hire the most competent educators. She envisions a future in which certified environmental educators have an edge when applying for jobs and can demand better compensation for their work. Her dreams include a strengthened legitimacy and appreciation for environmental education. Continue Reading →

Save the Date for our Annual Conference

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This year’s conference takes us to New Mexico Tech in Socorro, NM, October 14-16, 2016.

We’re partnering with the New Mexico Science Teachers’ Association and the New Mexico Council of Teachers of Mathematics, so we’ll have a diverse group of top-notch educators. Join us for professional development, networking and fun!  Continue Reading →

Thank you to the Friends of Albuquerque’s Environmental Story

Recently, we received a package from the Friends of Albuquerque’s Environmental Story with a copy of Albuquerque’s Environmental Story along with a generous donation to EEANM (which we so very much appreciated and will put to good use!). You can see Albuquerque’s Environmental Story by clicking on this link: http://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED170118 The first edition was printed in 1978 with the latest edition coming out in 1996; however, there is a plethora of information that is still relevant today. The stories shared are for a variety of audiences, young and old, city dwellers and nature lovers, historians and environmentalists. This guide offers activities for students, a lot of interesting history, and many issues to consider that can still be addressed. Although this is focused on Albuquerque, there are many pieces of interest to all New Mexicans throughout this book. We at EEANM are looking at ways to scan Albuquerque’s Environmental Story in an accessible, user-friendly format so stay tuned for more. In the meantime, I hope all of us in central New Mexico can keep contributing to Albuquerque’s environmental story in our ways. Thank you once again to the Friends of Albuquerque’s Environmental Story!

Memorial Recognizes the Importance of Environmental Education

Current Status

Updated: 2/18/16

House Joint Memorial 3 has passed with unanimous “Yes” votes in both the House and Senate!


Everett, Sanchez and Garrity

Current and former EEANM Executive Directors, Eileen Everett and Barbara Garrity, with Senator Sanchez, co-sponsor of the EE Memorial.

If you are on our EcoEd listserv, you saw the flurry of activity around the Joint Memorial for Environmental Education (HJM3), which passed on February 18, 2016!

Thank you to our sponsors, Rep. Kelly Fajardo and Sen. Michael Sanchez. And thank you to everyone who helped support the memorial with calls, emails, and your presence at the Roundhouse! We were pleased to have lobbying help from fantastic partners and student ambassadors, including fourth grade students from Katherine Gallegos Elementary School in Los Lunas and Youth Ambassadors from MRG E3.
In a nutshell, the joint memorial recognizes the importance of environmental education, highlights the 300+ educators who developed NM’s environmental literacy plan, and asks for four things:

  1. celebrateThe legislature to affirm the importance of environmental education
  2. The governor to declare an “Environmental Education Week” in April, encourage all K-12 teachers and state agencies to celebrate environmental education by spending at least one hour of learning time outdoors
  3. NM Game & Fish & Dept. of Agriculture to lead a study on the feasibility of an EE grant program (in cooperation with State Parks, State Forestry, State Land Office, Dept. of Health, Public Education, CYFD, Environment Dept., and Cultural Affairs)
  4. Public Education Department to link to the environmental literacy plan as a resource for teachers

You can read the entire memorial here.

 

Students Have Legislature Buzzing

Wild Friends students with Senator Nancy Rodriguez

​Photo of students with Senator Nancy Rodriguez courtesy of Wild Friends.

Wild Friends, a long-time member and partner of EEANM, is also busy in Santa Fe. Legislators know that turquoise shirts approaching mean bright young minds are coming to lobby for their cause. This year, Wild Friends is focused on bees.

Senate Joint Memorial 6 encourages state agencies to be examples with bee-friendly landscaping. It asks for designated pollinator gardens, research on commercial bee populations, and a governor-proclaimed “Bee Aware Day.” Follow their progress and find out how to support SJM6 on Wild Friend’s Facebook page.

To the Roundhouse and Beyond

A Letter from EEANM’s Executive Director

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Greetings!

2016 marks the 20th anniversary for the Environmental Education Association of New Mexico! For the last two decades, dedicated EEANM Board Members, volunteers, members, contractors, and staff have been supporting the environmental education (EE) community with professional development opportunities, partnerships, and education of our community about what environmental education actually is.

This year is shaping up to be another exciting year for EEANM. Currently, we are working with a variety of partners on the passage of House Joint Memorial 3/Senate Joint Memorial 4 which acknowledges the importance of EE, as well as supporting more EE through state agencies and spreading the word about the Environmental Literacy Plan. (See below for details.) Additionally, we will continue to explore opportunities for Project Learning Tree, Project WET, and other training opportunities.

We are excited that our pilot group of EE Certification candidates are busily working on their self-assessments and professional development plans. We hope to have seven new Certified Environmental Educators in our state this fall!

We have also expanded the EE Certification Program to include an EE Certification Mentorship Program, which will better enable us to reach new leaders in traditionally underserved communities. There is so much promise in this new program to bring more credibility to those working in EE and the field in general.

And of course, we will continue to find ways to gather more support for the Environmental Literacy Plan, with the long-term goal of having an environmentally literate citizenry. Lastly, we will continue to strengthen our support for current partnerships and collaborations while reaching out to build new ones.

DSCN2441How can you help? Let me know what you like about EEANM. What is important to you? What should EEANM be doing that it is not? How can we, as your organization, support your efforts toward great environmental education around the state? I will be reaching out to you this year to help build upon what EEANM is doing well, and to grow and improve the organization.

But, don’t wait for me to ask you! My virtual office door is open to you, please feel free to e-mail me at director@eeanm.org or call me at 505-859-3366.

Yours in support of quality environmental education in New Mexico,
Eileen Everett
Executive Director, EEANM

Garrity Honored For Outstanding Service to EE

Barbara GarrityDuring a ceremony on December 16, we honored former executive director Barbara Garrity for her amazing contributions to EEANM with the 2015 Outstanding Service to Environmental Education Award.

Barbara has been instrumental in growing the organization. She has been the key organizer in the Environmental Literacy Plan, Environmental Certification Program, and upcoming Environmental Education memorial. She has worked with countless educators and community groups across the state to promote and support EE through trainings seminars, conferences and meaningful projects. She has worked to increase the diversity of our board, members and networks as well.

EEANM Welcomes Everett as New Director

Eileen teaching students near Santa Fe. Photo courtesy of Santa Fe Watershed Association.

Eileen teaching students near Santa Fe. Photo courtesy of Santa Fe Watershed Association.

EEANM is pleased to announce our new Executive Director, Eileen Everett, who will begin working with us on January 11, 2016.

Eileen has a strong background in environmental education, having worked as a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as an environmental educator for Audubon New Mexico and the Santa Fe Watershed Association, running her consulting firm “Down to Earth Education,” and as a climate change educator for the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

Eileen is an enthusiastic and supportive member of EEANM and has served on our Board of Directors in the past. She has strong nonprofit experience, having worked as an Educator, Education Director, and even Interim Executive Director.

She is looking forward to taking charge in January and leading EEANM through its next phase of growth as we establish an office at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge and continue to support environmental education in New Mexico. Eileen is also a candidate for the first NM EE Certification Program, expecting to be certified by fall of 2016.

She will be a strong leader for EEANM and we look forward to what comes next!

Join us to Honor and Celebrate!

Join us in celebrating Barbara Garrity’s retirement after 8 1/2 years as our Executive Director! She has been selected to receive the Outstanding Service to Environmental Education Award and Joe Garcia and Stephanie Hahn-Amato will receive the Dr. Richard W. Becker Award for Outstanding Environmental Educator.  Joe Garcia will receive his award at this gathering and Stephanie Haan-Amato will receive hers on January 18 in Las Cruces.
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