The MEEA Board members are:
President: Olivia Griset
Olivia is a professional environmental educator passionate about using place, community engagement, and the natural world as a unifying context for teaching and learning. Olivia is certified for teaching K-12 in Maine and was a high school life science teacher. Olivia is a facilitator for Project Wet and Project Learning Tree and in 2009 she was named a National Project Learning Tree Outstanding Educator; one of only five in the nation. She has also worked as an environmental educator at Maine Audubon and the Cathance River Education Alliance. Olivia developed and implemented multi-year nature-based pre-K curriculum for the Bath YMCA. Olivia currently serves as President of the Maine Environmental Education Association, on the Maine STEM collaborative, and as a program developer for the Maine Emerging Environmental Changemakers Network. She also works at the national level sitting on the Affiliate Steering Committee for the North American Association for Environmental Education. Olivia is the founder and editor of the online periodical “Nature Families” which provides information about Family Nature clubs, and ideas to better engage families with the natural world. Olivia has a BS from Utah State University in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology and and MS in Education from the University of Southern Maine.
Vice-President: Linda Woodard
Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center
Linda has been a key staff member of Maine Audubon for over 25 years. In that time she has playing a pivotal supportive role for environmental education throughout the State of Maine in many ways. She has served on the boards of Maine Environmental Education Association, New England Environmental Education Association, Friends of Scarborough Marsh, Project Learning Tree, and Maine Wilderness Guides Educational Fund. Linda is also currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of Southern Maine teaching classes on environmental studies. She received her Masters in Instructional leadership and her Bachelors in Biology from University of Southern Maine. Linda also is a certified teacher and taught high school biology and environmental studies.
Treasurer: Matt Dubel
Matt serves as the Executive Director of Portland ConnectED, a cradle-to-career collective impact project that seeks to improve educational outcomes for all young people in Portland. A former classroom teacher with wide-ranging experience teaching students from pre-school through graduate school, Matt has served on the faculty of several innovative schools and was instrumental in the development of the nation’s first Sustainability Academy, a public magnet school with a sustainability theme for grades K-5 in Burlington, Vermont. He is the author, along with David Sobel, of “Place-based Teacher Education” in Place-based Education in a Global Age (Smith and Gruenewald, Eds.) and “Place-based Education in Guilford, Vermont: Thinking Locally, Understanding Globally” in Childhood and Nature (Sobel, Ed.). He holds a B.A. in Government from Colby College and a M.Ed. in Elementary Education from Antioch University New England.
Secretary: Alexandra Grindle
Director of Programs, The Ecology School
Alex has been at The Ecology School since 2002. The Ecology School provides residential and field trip ecology programs to schools throughout New England. She is responsible for coordinating many aspects of The Ecology School program including hiring and training educators, working closely with school clients, developing curriculum and recruiting new program participants. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Environmental Studies from Oberlin College in Ohio.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Science Education Program Manager, Gulf of Maine Research Institute.
Gayle Bowness has been working at Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) since 2005. She currently serves as Science Education Program Manager. She works with stakeholders to create, test, and develop meaningful learning experiences for Maine’s communities that increase understanding of and engagement in climate issues. Gayle has a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science from Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, and a bachelor’s degree in Science Education from Unity College, Maine. She received a Master of Science degree from Lesley University, Massachusetts in Ecological Teaching and Learning. Prior to coming to GMRI, Gayle worked throughout North America, from Oahu, Hawaii to Brier Island, NS, leading educational and immersive marine science experiences.
Director, 4-H Camp & Learning Center at Tanglewood.
Jessica Decke has worked at Tanglewood in varying capacities since 2001 and has served as director since 2008. Tanglewood, and her sister camp Blueberry Cove, serve to inspire people to reach their full potential by mastering skills and building self-confidence through quality education and having fun with friends. As director, Jessica is responsible for the day-to-day management of Tanglewood, everything from: developing programming; hiring and training education staff; recruiting participants and securing fiscal support; collaborating with colleagues within Maine Cooperative Extension on statewide initiatives for youth; and, sometimes cooking meals. Jessica has a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Conservation and Management from Missouri State University and a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from Antioch University, New England.
Stefan J. Jackson
Principal of NATURAL DIFFERENCE, LLC.
Primarily focused on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for natural resource conservation, environmental & experiential education organizations; also providing mediation and general management consulting services. National & Maine clientele. Nearly 20 years of natural resource conservation in Maine: Executive & Development & Project Director. 2009-2012: designer & implementer of a succession of Sewell Foundation funded Diversity Programs directed at The Nature Conservancy in Maine. Since 2010: Advisor to the People of Color Fund managed at the Maine Community Foundation; 2012: Board of Directors, Maine Environmental Education Association; 2012: Founding Member, Maine Outdoor Coalition, Steering Committee; 2016: Trustee to National Outdoor Leadership School.
Kennebec Estuary Land Trust
As Program Director, Becky energetically shares her knowledge of the natural resources of the Kennebec Estuary and manages KELT’s Education, Stewardship, and Restoration programs with fellow KELT staff.
Ruth Kermish-Allen, PhD
Executive Director, Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance
Dr. Ruth Kermish-Allen is the executive director for the Maine Math and Science Alliance. She also serves on the Maine STEM Collaborative, is a board member for the Maine Science Teachers Association, and co-coordinates the North American Association for Environmental Education’s Annual Research Symposium. Ruth has a passion for designing and researching educational environments that empower learners with the skills, experiences, and confidence to find creative solutions to the environmental and social challenges they care about. She has extensive experience in developing environmental Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education programs based on a model incorporating 1) place-based education; 2) cutting-edge technologies; and 3) non-hierarchical learning communities (adult community members and youth working together). Ruth received her PhD in Environmental Studies with a focus on collaborative online learning communities for citizen science at Antioch University New England and has received her M.Ed. in Science and Environmental Education from the University of Maine and her B.S. in Environmental Science from Ramapo College of New Jersey. Ruth was a high school science and math teacher on North Haven and other coastal Maine schools with an expertise in developing community-based curriculum. Her current research interests include developing strategies for incorporating citizen science into rural schools, technology-infused community environmental education models, and innovative professional development models for rural schools. Ruth lives in Appleton on a 25 acre passive solar homestead with her two daughters and husband where they love hiking, gardening, camping, and canning.
Harpswell Heritage Land Trust
Julia McLeod works as Outreach Coordinator for the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, where she splits her time between education, communications, development and community outreach. She organizes and teaches outdoor, place-based educational programming for adults and children. She writes and designs newsletters, web content and other communications materials. She assists with fundraising and embarks on community partnerships. She has been involved with education and community outreach for Maine land trusts since 2009. She studied documentary writing at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies and holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic.
Statewide Director, UMaine 4-H Camp & Learning Centers
Ryder has been teaching and leading groups of young people and adults in the outdoors for fifteen years. He studied Human Ecology at College of the Atlantic, and earned a Master’s Degree in Environmental Education from Prescott College. After working for Outward Bound, and Chewonki, Ryder started his role as Program Director at Bryant Pond in 2007. In 2014 Ryder’s role shifted to become the State Director of the 4-H Camp and Learning Centers at Blueberry Cove, Bryant Pond and Tanglewood. He is on the boards of The Androscoggin River Watershed Council and The Maine Environmental Education Association. With his wife, Amy, and children Nyla, Grace, and Braden, Ryder lives in Greenwood in a passive solar house he designed and built in 2004. When not at Bryant Pond, the whole family can be found hiking, paddling, gardening, fishing, and skiing.
Executive Director, Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed
Tamara started with the Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed in 2006, as the group’s Education Director. Over the next 6 years, she developed and grew five unique educational programs that engaged students of all ages in understanding threats to water quality and the importance of healthy watersheds. Tamara added the management of the Friends conservation programs in 2012 and in 2014, stepped into the Executive Director role. While not the one leading the day to day educational efforts of the Friends any longer, she still enjoys the occasional opportunity to get into the classroom or hold workshops for adults. In addition, she has relished the opportunity to support other educators and seasonal staff, in their journey to learn and grow as effective communicators in environmental issues. With a Bachelors in Biology from Hood College and a Masters in Environmental Studies from Antioch Graduate School of New England, the focus of her studies has always been in aquatic ecology. Working in the field of watershed issues fits her passion to support the sustainable relationship between people and their environment, to increase the health of both. Tamara has served on the MEEA Board of Directors since 2007, serving as President in 2012-2014.
MEEA Projects Manager:
With over 35 years in environmental education, Adrian has held senior leadership roles such as Director of Education at the Massachusetts Audubon Society, Director of Operations at the Center for Whole Communities, Senior Program Manager at the North American Association for Environmental Education, and as Executive Director of the New England Environmental Education Alliance. He has developed and managed projects ranging from strategic plans, community-based interpretive plans, educational programs, exhibits, and curriculum materials for conservation organizations, museums, parks, and nature centers. Adrian has conceived and implemented many large, complex projects with multi-functional teams and work groups for conferences, long-range planning, multi-media productions, and multi-year, multi-partner curriculum and training projects. He has served as president and treasurer of the New England Environmental Education Alliance and the Massachusetts Environmental Education Society, and as editor of the New England Journal of Environmental Education. As NEEEA’s Executive Director, Adrian has led the development and implementation of major initiatives such as the 2012-2013 EPA Environmental Literacy Sub-Grants program, the 2012-2014 EECapacity New England Regional Consortium, and 2014's Better Together Summit. Adrian has served as MEEA’s Projects Manager since 2012, working with the board to develop and implement long range plans, annual conferences, major grant proposals, and training and leadership development programs. Adrian also manages MEEA’s operations, from financials to business matters, compliance, communications platforms and contact databases.