Introductions! | eePRO @ NAAEE

The home of environmental education professional development


Hello everyone! My name is Nina Hamilton, and I work with NAAEE supporting the Global Environmental Education Partnership (GEEP). We are so excited to have you all as part of this online community, and we hope that this can be a valuable community of sharing and learning for everyone.

Whether you have just arrived, or have been in the group for years, please take a moment to introduce yourself below! Feel free to tell us about yourself, your work, where you are based, what you hope to get out of this group, and/or anything else you’d like to share.

Hello Nina:

My name is Stephen Hopkins. I am a retired teacher and school principal for the Sacramento County Office of Education. My wife, Xiomara Izurieta, and I work for an Ecuadorian NGO based in Quito. Our assignments take us to rural indigenous communities that are often located high in the Andean mountains of Ecuador. We are also part time professors for Universidad Catolica and have the opportunity to teach a graduate level course in environmental education. Field work for the course is held in the Mindo Cloud Forest and the University biological station in the Yasuni. At the 2018 NAAEE conference in Spokane we presented our “Adaptations Game” which was initially conceived as an evaluation tool for a project with the Puruhá communities living in the Chimborazo Province of Ecuador. We have since adapted the game to conform to any ecosystem. We are looking to our colleagues in the international environmental education community to play, test, and help us refine the Adaptations Game.

We are big fans of Project WILD, Project Learning Tree and the NAAEE Guidelines for Excellence. We are always on the lookout for new and creative curriculum to use in our work and field courses. We learn a lot from the interaction, energy and enthusiasm of our professional colleagues – young and old.

Thank you for providing this forum for a lively exchange of ideas.

Stephen Hopkins

Adaptations Game board
Adaptations Game board

Stephen, it's great to have you here! And thanks so much for sharing about the Adaptations Game - I'm sure there are folks here working on the ground worldwide who might be interested in collaborating on this.

How is the EE landscape there in Ecuador? We're always eager to hear more about the context in countries around the world.

Hi everyone,
I'm Melissa Taggart, and I work on the Global Environmental Education Partnership with Nina. We would love to hear more from folks who have joined this group. Welcome to Stephen!

Where are others from? What are your professional interests? I am based in Washington, DC, US and working on a few projects-- one is highlighting EE work around the world (Stephen, I echo Nina's interest in learning more about the landscape in Ecuador) and sharing effective practice. Much more to say, but hoping to hear from others!

Hello everyone,
I'm Pam Blanchard and I am co-director of the LSU Coastal Roots Program, a habitat rehabilitation/restoration and stewardship program for grades 2-12 in Louisiana and Chile. Students at participating schools grow restoration plants & trees in their school nurseries and travel once a year to a partner restoration site.

Here are some things that prompted me to join this group:
- Travel funding is scarce and tickets are very expensive to go to and from Baton Rouge and Chile. How do other programs sustain international environmental education programs?

- Coastal Roots is established in the cities of Santiago and Concepcion, Chile. While the students speak English, most of their teachers do not. I do not speak Spanish. How do programs handle communication and translation issues?

These are the two biggest areas of interest I have. Any input and ideas would be great!

Hi all!

My name is Catherine Castro, I am 23 years old and I am from the city of Toluca, Mexico. I studied environmental biology and I have been dedicated to environmental education for some years. I started giving talks to different groups, from children to adults; I have also organized some sustainability fairs, forums on environmental legislation in Mexico and some other activities such as plays.

Currently, I am part of an organization called Sustentared (you can search it on Facebook), which is responsible for supporting environmental education and sustainability projects. Without a doubt, it is an organization that has allowed me to grow both professionally and personally.

I am also doing my social service in the Department of Education and Dissemination of Environmental Culture in my state. This department is part of the governmental structure in charge of the environmental part. It has been a great experience to be there, and in summary, I can say that environmental education is very deficient from the governmental sector in my country, I have seen how corruption and apathy permeate. Of course, at the beginning I felt helpless and disillusioned, however, now I look for and work so that the same department recognizes the importance that it has, I try to motivate the department to make new projects and look for training in more topics.

I have little time in the field of environmental education, but I have learned a lot from all my experiences. I will continue preparing to fulfill a new dream, which is also the goal of my life and is to open a school for environmental educators in Mexico.

Hello everyone!

I'm Jackie Lowry, and I am very excited to be helping moderate the eePro Global group! I have worked and volunteered with both governmental & non-governmental environmental organizations. I have a deep passion for EE, and am looking very forward to learning about EE efforts internationally.

Thank you to those that have already shared some of your stories. It's impressive to see the incredible work that's happening around the globe! Sadly, there is definitely a common theme among environmental educators everywhere regarding limited funding, resources and support. I look very forward to using this group as a way for us to help support each other and share both our challenges and successes. I will be posting discussion topics and blog entries regularly. Please let me know if there are any topics in particular you would like to explore and/or discuss.

Thank you to NAAEE for allowing me to help with the eePro Global Group, and welcome to all who join and participate! :)

Hi everyone!

My name is Ellen Bashor and I teach various EE courses at Prescott College. We spend some time examining ESD, the SDGs and ways in which mutualism and disconnection occur between these initiatives and EE. We love the case studies and country profiles GEEP has available--a rich teaching resource!

As the program coordinator for our Center for Nature and Place-based ECE I am also very interested in international approaches to early childhood EE and ESD, especially beyond the typical forest-kindergarten/nature-preschool models that dominate this discussion in Western spheres.

Looking forward to learning, collaborating, and any opportunities for international guest speakers willing to share about their approaches to EE with enthusiastic undergraduate students.

Cheers, Ellen

Hi everyone, I'm Shari Wilson from Kansas City, Kansas USA. I work with schools and communities to integrate EE into classrooms, school grounds, and built environments. My work takes me around my own region and around the world. Some of my most recent projects include establishing food waste recovery programs in Kansas City-area schools and conducting teacher training workshops in Vietnam, Laos, and Ukraine. I'm currently working on projects that will take place in Belarus, Ukraine, China, Ghana, and Bangladesh. If anyone in the group is from or has contacts in those places, I'm always looking for partners and people to visit!

EE Workshop in Kyiv, Ukraine
EE Workshop in Kyiv, Ukraine
Visiting Lam Son School in Vietnam
Visiting Lam Son School in Vietnam
With Teachers in Laos
With Teachers in Laos

Ellen, Would you be interested in blogging or sharing a resource on your teaching about the SDGs and ESD? We would love to hear more! Also, I'm hopeful others in this group can share some international early child EE experiences/ resources. Thank you for sharing!

Shari, these photos are amazing, as is your work! Would you want to share your experience working in food waste next month? I think we are going to focus a bit on that topic. I'll reach out with more info... We'd love to learn from your experiences!

Hi Melissa!

I'd be happy to! Things are a bit busy, but if you send me an email ( with some parameters (length, tentative date you'd like it by, etc.) I would love to share. Perhaps I have some quotes from my students as well about their perspectives--their interpretations and insights are always so interesting.


Hi Everyone!
Glad to be a part of this group. Global EE combines all my passions and interests: 1. Built Environment: As an architect I design hands-on programs to engage youth with the built environment. 2. Global Ed: I aim to create cultural understanding by highlighting climate/geographical and cultural influences on how we live 3. SDG's: I am a Global Teach SDG's Ambassador, Cohort 2 (2018) and use systems-thinking models to help kids understand SDGs relating to the urban/natural habitat gradient: infrastructure, cities, buildings, resources and energy. I want kids to feel empowered to design our resilient and adaptable future. While this kind of focus for education is essential, it is still not a priority! I have learned so much while researching different teaching frameworks and also by becoming a part of the NAAEE community. I love how members are engaged at all levels in the community: school, university, municipal /state governments, NGOs, etc.
A paradigm shift is needed. Doing my part!!!
Anyone interested in piloting our program please contact me. We have pilots going in Houston, Florida and Zambia!!!

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