Our member interview today features Moria Painter, a long time KAEE member, supporter, and Mammoth Cave park guide and educator. From rolling hills, deep river valleys, and the world’s longest known cave system, Mammoth Cave National Park is home to thousands of years of human history and a rich diversity of plant and animal life. But this member also has PERSONAL roots in this park. Read on to find out more!
KAEE: Where do you work and what is your current role?
Moria: Mammoth Cave National Park, Park Guide Interpretation and Environmental Education
KAEE: What projects or programs are you working on that particularly inspire you?
Moria: I am currently doing research on my family that worked at Mammoth Cave and lived in the park area before it was a park. My great grandmother worked in the photography booth at the park, back when they took group photos of tours before they went in the cave. My great grandfather was a guide and explorer in the 1930's. I follow in a rich family history at this park with lots of ties to the area and the park.
KAEE: What goals do you have for your organization or programs within the EE field?
Moria: I hope to get back into in person programs this fall and to be able to assist with and offer project Wet, Wild, and other curriculum trainings.
KAEE: What is an area you feel you could use support in from this network of fellow educators?Moria: I think this year coming back from a year of almost total shut-in, we need to take things slow and steady. I could use support in new ways to interact with kids once we get back to in person programs. I think we are going to experience a new normal for kids, educators, and ourselves and we need new tools for how to interact with people again.
KAEE: What is something you feel could be beneficial to share with this network?
Moria: I love KAEE and all they do and all that they stand for. I just want to continue to share my support and belief in this network’s abilities to spread the good work of EE in Kentucky.
KAEE: Share one fun fact or random tidbit about you with the group!
Moria: I once met a pet alligator in the middle of Missouri! He was traveling with a guy that looked like Santa Claus and they visited the park where I was a Park Ranger; Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
Did you know? KAEE offers a variety of free resources easily accessible from our website at kaee.org/the-tree! The KAEE Teaching Resources for Environmental Educators (TREE) was developed to serve as a means for connecting formal educators with professionals who can assist with the integration of environmental concepts into all content areas.
Within this portal you'll find Kentucky Academic Standards (KAS) resources, KAS correlated units of study based on environmental education, connections to environmental educators across the state, a database of funders focused on environmental education for
teachers, and more.
Some of the resources you’ll find within this portal are EE Units that have been designed by environmental educators and broken out into grade level categories (K-12th grade). In 2016, KAEE began the work of developing workshops that were correlated to the Kentucky Academic Standards (KAS) for science. We quickly realized the value environmental education offers teachers when it comes to KAS, and we wanted to do more. KAEE invited environmental educators across the Commonwealth to collaborate on this project, building EE units entrenched in the KAS for classroom teachers. We worked with formal and non-formal educators, training them to read and understand KAS for Science, and giving them the tools they needed to develop these EE Units of Study.
Under the EE Resources section, you can find Correlating Resources, Three-Dimensional Tasks, and Workshop Agendas. Environmental education experiences are highly suited to support NGSS and utilize the three dimensions of science. Our team has put together presentations and resources outlining this connection. These resources provide background knowledge on NGSS, our process for correlating, and past presentations supporting the connection between EE experiences and the three dimensions.
KAEE also specializes in training facilitators to deliver EE workshops that are correlated to KAS for science. If you're wondering what a KAS EE workshop might look like, take a look at the past agendas in the TREE. KAEE is here to connect you with a facilitator that will work with you to design a workshop to meet the needs of your school or district. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. You can also find an interactive facilitator location map for our state and a database of EE funding opportunities in the EE Connections section.
We hope you glean great ideas and useful tools from the resources you find within the KAEE TREE!
KAEE is one of the country’s oldest associations supporting environmental education. We are people from all walks of life, coming together to support EE.