As the Manager of School Programs, I oversee all of the programs involving teachers and students including zoomobiles, afterschool programs, and teacher professional development.
I LOVE my job! As an environmental educator, I get to help foster an appreciation for our environment and help improve understanding of our natural world by providing engaging opportunities for kids and teachers to explore and discover the world around them!
- B.A. Elementary Education, Rhode Island College
- Certified teacher through the RI Department of Education.
Career Highlights & Past Experience:
- Before joining the Education department at the zoo, I was a public school teacher. I started at the zoo in the summer of 2008 as a counselor for Zoo Camp on the Move and returned the following summer in the same position. After my experience with Zoo Camp on the Move, I fell in love with environmental education and knew that is where I belonged. I joined the zoo full time in 2010.
- I am currently a board member for RIEEA (Rhode Island Environmental Educators Association), serve on the Rhode Island Science Educators Community Leadership Team, and am a member of AAZK (American Association of Zookeepers). I am a trained facilitator for the national Project WILD and Project Learning Tree programs and an alumni of the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation (NNOCCI).
As Manager of Family Programs, I oversee programming that gives individuals and families a chance to get involved with the Zoo beyond a Zoo visit including: Zoo Camp, Snore & Roar, Scout Safari Night, Breakfast with the Animals, FrogWatchUSA, and Roots & Shoots.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the challenges our natural world is facing, but every day I am reminded of a very important reason to be hopeful – the children and families that support the zoo and participate in our programs. Every person that learns to love a snake, decides to recycle or develops a greater love and respect of animals because of a visit to the zoo motivates me in every way!
- B.S. Conservation Science, Muskingum University with minors in Business, German, Philosophy & Biology
- Conservation Psychology Institute - Antioch University
Career Highlights & Past Work Experience:
- Committee Member of Association of Zoos & Aquariums Conservation Education Committee
- AZA Conservation Grants Fund & AZA Education Award Reviewer
- Overnight & Scout Program Coordinator at Buttonwood Zoo
- ZooKeeper/Exhibit Curator with Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland
- Americorps Member with Ocean State Environmental Education Collaborative
As the Director of Education at the Zoo I oversee an amazing team; my department develops and facilitates the Zoo’s school, family, public, interpretive, and volunteer programming. I got my start in conservation education at Roger Williams Park Zoo in 1997. After holding various positions at the Zoo, including instructor, theater and volunteer programs coordinator, and special events manager, I left to manage the public programs at Zoo Atlanta. While at Zoo Atlanta, I developed a cross-department process for interpretive planning, and gained experience with exhibit development. I have also served as the Director of Education at the New England Botanical Gardens. I returned to Roger Williams Park Zoo in my current role in 2004.
My professional focus has become environmental education policy and legislative affairs. My passion is working toward environmental literacy through systemic change and education reform in our public schools. I sit on AZA’s Conservation Education Committee as a liaison to the Government Affairs Committee and serve as Chair of the Advocacy Committee for the North American Association for Environmental Education. I am a member of the strategy team for the No Child Left Inside Coalition, a national advocacy organization representing over 50 million members. I also sit on the Board of Directors for the New England Environmental Education Alliance and the Rhode Island Environmental Education Association.
I hold a B.A. in Biology from Rhode Island College. My love for all things outdoors stems from spending entire childhood summers on Grand Manan Island in New Brunswick, Canada where exploring tidal pools, observing seals, whales, and birds of all types were my favorite things to do. It’s still my favorite place on earth!