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.
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.