Member Feature: Joe Garcia

Joe Garcia sees connections everywhere. Constantly observing nature and learning from even the youngest teachers, he is a font of wisdom in and out of the garden.

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.
Joe Garcia

Joe with the turkey call he received when he won the 2015 Becker Award.

Joe is all about the big picture. Since he began his teaching career in the 1990’s, he has been striving to teach his students about the holistic relationships between the Earth and all its inhabitants.

Joe came to the La Plazita Institute as student volunteer, and has been on the staff for 11 years. He works with students in “all different situations across the spectrum of learning,” from preschool to adults.

He is the Farm Education Director and oversees a cherished program called Garden Wisdom. He encourages his students to examine ancestral wisdom from all cultures in order to learn from the Earth and apply it to their lives. Continue Reading →

Member Feature: Tammy Maitland

For Tammy Maitland, classroom teaching didn’t quite fit. Something was missing. Her move into environmental education combined her passions in a satisfying career shift.

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.

Tammy-MaitlandTammy grew up playing near the ocean and in the woods of Massachusetts. A self-described “mountain person,” she was drawn to the allure of a teacher intern program in Santa Fe. When her career as a 4th grade classroom teacher left her wanting more, she decided to combine her interest in social causes, love of the outdoors, and teaching skills for a new pursuit in environmental education.

Tammy is passionate about getting students outdoors for first-hand experience. “This is the best way to appreciate the environment and to care for it,” she says. As a child, her family instilled those values in her. She is motivated to create those same outdoor opportunities for her audiences, knowing that not every child would get them otherwise. Continue Reading →

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 →