Natalee Good (She/her)
Environmental Educator & Graduate Teaching Assistant
Friends Of MacArthur Beach State Park & FAU Pine Jog Environmental Education Center
Roles at NAAEE
I am a graduate student pursuing my masters in environmental education at Florida Atlantic University. I spent over 6 years in public health and emergency management before deciding I wanted to focus on my true passion, the environment. I am now gaining invaluble experience as I work splitting my time as a graduate teaching assistant at FAU Pine Jog Environemental Education Center and as an environmental educator at Friends of MacArthur Beach State park.
For as long as I can remember, I have always been obsessively curious about nature. My dad ensured we spent time camping, hiking, boating, and skiing. Through our adventures outdoors he instilled in me an appreciation for nature that has continued to grow ever since. My grandma helped me development my curiosity and love for learning about nature. She had bookshelves full of encyclopedias on animals and ecosystems that she would let me borrow with the condition of reporting back to her what I had learned. While I mostly enjoyed the pictures, it was the beginning of truly loving to learn about these topics. Looking back now, I realize how lucky I was to have individuals in my life that influenced, encouraged, and supported my passion. That is something that I hope to be able to do for others through environmental education.
National Geographic documentaries also played a role in my development. When I was eight years old, I watched a documentary on orangutans, and I decided that one day I would go to Africa and become a surrogate mother for orphaned orangutans. I was fortunate to be able to partially fulfill that dream by spending a month in Ghana in an orphanage. Not long after watching that first documentary on National Geographic, I saw a documentary on the Great Barrier Reef and I knew that I wanted to study the ocean, specifically, coral reefs. My parents indulged me by buying me books on sharks and coral reefs that I read and reread until they were tattered. My desire continued to study the ocean grew through high school. I was accepted to a University in Hawai’i to study Oceanography and moved out there once I graduated. However, due to some personal experiences I chose to return to Utah to finish school. It was one of the most difficult decisions I had made in my life at that point.
Despite this change, I’ve continued to be curious about the world around me and tried to learn about the environment and the role I play within it. I began volunteering at the local Nature Center to learn more about restoration and native species. I also continued to spend countless hours exploring the outdoors wherever I lived. I’ve found that I am most happy when I have rocks, trees, and water around me. I often reflect on my life while out exploring often find myself desiring a career that revolves around nature, the environment, and teaching.
I received my Bachelor of Science in 2017. Since then, I have worked in healthcare, nonprofit, and emergency management industries. The experiences I’ve had in each of these fields, and my own personal experiences, have led me to pursue my true passion, the environment. I am currently in the master's of Environemntal Education program at Florida Atlantic Universty (FAU) where I am just finishing up my first year. I am also working at their associated environmental education center, FAU Pine Jog Environmental Education Center as a graduate teaching assistant (GTA). As a GTA I have the opportunity to teach programs around civic action and teaching students empathy through nature. I work mostly with high school students and also teach k-5 as well.
I am a teacher by nature. I’ve always enjoyed being able to share my knowledge with others and help them to have an “ah-ha” moment. Growing up I taught my friends how to ski, longboard, sew and crochet. From Jan 2013- July 2014 I volunteered as a Tour Guide for a historic site in Nebraska and Iowa where I would do individual tours and large group tours. I was able to take Elementary School classes on tour frequently during the fall months where I learned how to tailor the tour to engage the students. I started volunteering with the American Red Cross in 2017 and am still presently teaching emergency preparedness to K-5 students, as well as training instructors for the presentations. I’ve found a passion for working with this age group and love to see them connect ideas and find understanding.
As a CPR/AED/First Aid instructor, I often received compliments from students in the class on how well I taught. The most memorable coming from a doctor sharing that I taught each subject in a very clear and understandable way. Last year, I had the opportunity to teach Suicide Prevention classes to middle and high school students. One of the teachers whose class I presented in sent a message to my manager detailing how well I handled his most challenging class and stated that I was the best presenter they have had in years. These experiences solidified my desire to have education be a focus in my career.
I’ve chosen Florida Atlantic University’s Master of Environmental Education program because it brings together my two greatest passions: education and nature. I want to help all ages become more connected to nature and have a better understanding of their role in protecting it. Environmental Education is a pathway for me to do that.
While I am just getting starting in an offical environmental education career, I feel like my whole like has really lead me up to this point. I'm so excited to be able to continue to improve my skills and knowledge to be able to be an even more successful environmental educator.
Check out my linked profile for more information on my work history and other activites I've been able to participate in.
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