30 ENVIRONMENTAL AND CIVICS EDUCATION LEADERS TO INSPIRE ACTION IN THEIR COMMUNITIES --- Congratulations danny woolums Jr for being selected from kentucky
[Washington, D.C – August 25, 2021] The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) is pleased to announce its new class of fellows, thirty educators and community leaders who are working to address today’s complex environmental and social concerns at local, regional, and national levels.
Environmental education is rooted in lifelong learning. These individuals selected for the Civics and Environmental Education (CEE) Change Fellowship embody that core belief. They are laser-focused on bringing tangible environmental improvements to their communities, and are committed to activating the power of an engaged citizenry for generations to come.
Each Fellow is focused on the environmental and social issues that are most relevant to their work. This diverse and intergenerational group represents schools, museums, nature centers, conservation groups, and other community institutions throughout the world--and all are using education to build knowledge and skills to create more resilient communities. The Fellows represent seven countries including the United States and its territories, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Canada, Germany, Mexico, and Uganda. For the duration of the fellowship, which runs from July 1, 2021 to December 31, 2022, each Fellow has agreed to create and execute a community action project that seeks to advance a more equitable and sustainable future. Projects vary greatly depending on community needs, from training health workers on environmental conservation in an indigenous mountain community in Uganda to involving middle school students in reducing food waste in a community in Wisconsin. The Fellows are just getting started. Get to know them here.
“The Fellows are a talented and passionate group of educators who are excited to tackle tough issues, share resources and ideas, and build a community that will continue long after the Fellowship ends. They give us hope that by working together, we can build a better future for all,” says NAAEE’s Executive Director Judy Braus.
As part of the 18-month fellowship, the Fellows benefit from:
Thanks to the support of the US EPA and a generous grant from the Cedar Tree Foundation, the CEE-Change Fellowship is uniquely positioned to shine a light on the intersection of civic education and environmental education. Additionally, each project will address the US EPA’s core mission to provide Americans with clean air, land, and water.
To learn more about the Fellows and their planned community action projects, visit www.naaee.org/ceechangefellows.
About the CEE-Change Fellowship
The Civics and Environmental Education (CEE) Change Fellowship Program is NAAEE’s newest initiative to support leadership and innovation in civics and environmental education across the country. NAAEE recognizes the value in bringing together environmental and civic engagement educators to learn from each other and collaborate to scale up our impact as we work to create a more equitable and sustainable future.
The CEE-Change Fellowship is a part of the National Environmental Education Training Program established by the US EPA’s Office of Environmental Education, a national professional development program that has been building the professional capacity of educators since 1992. The program also focuses on building leadership skills and providing high-quality resources for the field.
For five decades, the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) has served as the professional association, champion, and backbone organization for the field of environmental education (EE), working with EE professionals across United States, Canada, and Mexico, as well as globally, to advance environmental literacy and civic engagement to create a more equitable and sustainable future. For more information on NAAEE, visit https://naaee.org.
An ambitious multi-year initiative, ee360 connects and promotes innovative leaders dedicated to advancing environmental literacy for everyone, everywhere. Led by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), ee360 is made possible through funding and support from US EPA and seven partner organizations representing universities and nonprofits across the country, and five federal agencies. Through this partnership, ee360 brings together more than four decades of expertise to grow, strengthen, and diversify the environmental education field. Visit www.ee360.org(link is external) to learn more.
About Cedar Tree Foundation
The Cedar Tree Foundation is a family foundation created in the mid 1990’s by the late pediatrician and entrepreneur, Dr. David H. Smith. Dr. Smith believed in the power of individuals and organizations to make significant changes in the world and Cedar Tree’s grantmaking continues to reflect that belief. To learn more, go to www.cedartreefound.org(link is external).
This press release was developed under Assistant Agreement No. NT-83695801 awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It has not been formally reviewed by EPA. The views expressed are solely those of NAAEE and EPA does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned.
To learn more and follow our Fellows’ CEE-Change journey, please visit our webpage www.naaee.org/ceechangefellows and follow NAAEE on Facebook and Twitter @TheNAAEE.
Co-creating Positive Environmental Outcomes: Guest Interview Featuring KAEE Member, Mahtaab Bagherzadeh, Kentucky Division of Water
Today's member interview features one of our six state river basin coordinators, Mahtaab Bagherzadeh. As part of the Kentucky Division of Water, Mahtaab and her colleagues work to ensure clean water for all Kentuckians. Each basin coordinator has a region of focus and they work collectively on a nonpoint source program which specifically targets nonpoint source pollution (or runoff) which can originate from many, often unidentifiable, sources.
KAEE: Where do you work and what is your current role?
Mahtaab: I am Kentucky’s Division of Water Licking River Basin Coordinator. Along with six counterparts working across the Commonwealth in other major river basins, I facilitate natural resource conservation efforts within the Licking River Basin region. This region encompasses parts of Eastern, Central, and Northern Kentucky. You can see a map of all the Kentucky river basins here!
KAEE: What projects or programs are you working on that particularly inspire you?
Mahtaab: I’m currently leading a workgroup that is pursuing funding for farmer-led watershed management programs. I have a deep respect for the farming community and their unparalleled connection to our soil and water. My guiding light for this project is co-creating knowledge with farmers. Meaningful behavioral changes that lead to positive environmental outcomes come from inclusive collaboration. This work is key to positive changes, lasting environmental education and constructive conservation work.
KAEE: What goals do you have for your organization or programs within the EE field?
Mahtaab: I’d like to cultivate more space for women of color in conservation. In Kentucky, we are not well-represented, especially at higher levels of management and leadership, where our presence is much needed. KAEE has a great landing page for EE-specific DEI resources that I highly recommend to all, whether you work in the field of environmental education or not. They also have a Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (JEDI) action team that has begun some great initiatives related to this topic.
KAEE: What is an area you feel you could use support in from this network of fellow educators?
Mahtaab: As a member of a voluntary incentive program, I have grown to learn the importance of science communication, consensus building, leadership, and strategic planning. Those are all areas that I feel I could use more resources and mentorship in.
KAEE: What is something you feel could be beneficial to share with this network?
Mahtaab: In today’s climate and internet culture, it is easy to find yourself in an echo chamber. I like to surround myself with smart people who disagree with me. It is equal parts uncomfortable, challenging, but ultimately rewarding. If this Iranian-American woman from DC can find common ground with life-long Kentuckians who have never met an Iranian, you can too!
KAEE: Share one fun fact or random tidbit about you with the group!
Mahtaab: I am a twin! My name, Mahtaab, means ‘moonlight’ in Farsi. My twin sister’s name, Setareh, means ‘star.’ We think our parents did a pretty good job naming us. :)
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.