Advisors for 2020

Sara Windjue

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Sara is currently the Leadership and Capacity Development Specialist with Extension Lakes, a program of the College of Natural Resources at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Her previous position was with the Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program (KEEP), a program of the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education also at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Sara has more than 15 years of experience developing, implementing, and evaluating environmental education programming for the K-12 audience. She successfully developed and launched an online course for teachers focused on renewable energy, a conceptual framework focused on building science in renewable energy, and a multi-year approach to place-based learning with a school district. Sara has presented at dozens of state and national conferences, taught hundreds of educators across Wisconsin, and has worked internationally with the Ministry of Education in Taiwan to provide energy education workshops for Taiwanese educators. Another area of Sara’s expertise is the sustainability of schools as she has provided guidance and support to multiple schools as they work to make their schools healthier while increasing environmental education for students. Sara received a B.A. in Environmental Science and Biology from Adrian College, MI and an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston, SC. She is on the Board of Directors for RENEW Wisconsin and received the Educator of the Year award from Slipstream, a nonprofit that inspires new solutions to big energy challenges, in 2017. Sara is able to advise on projects relating to increasing the environmental literacy of teachers and students. Specific areas of focus could include energy efficiency, renewable energy, and general environmental education. Another area of interest includes capacity building and leadership development.

Kristin Kaye

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RESEARCH INTERESTS include: The Multiple Values of Forests, Shifting Personal and Cultural Narratives, The Intersection of Science and Storytelling, The Role of Mythic Imagination on Climate Change Kristin Kaye is an award-winning author and teacher whose work sits at the intersection of nature, narrative and spirituality. Her eco-literary, coming of age novel Tree Dreams was the 2018 WINNER, International Books Awards: YA Fiction and 2019 FINALIST NextGen Indie Book Awards: Regional Fiction. Author Michael Meade wrote, “Kristin Kaye’s coming of age novel artfully places her young heroine in the midst of the burning questions facing the entire world, such as climate change and culture wars.” Research for Kristin’s environmental writing has taken her across the US including deep into the woods on expeditions to help measure the biggest tree of each species for the US National Big Tree Registry; to interview foresters, loggers and state and federal employees and to a treesit in California, sleeping on a platform 100-feet high, with radical environmentalists where they were living dangerously in order to protect the redwoods. Tree Dreams has given rise to a global tree tagging campaign that celebrates the myriad ways we are connected to the natural world, to each other and to our future. Teachers have adapted Tree Dreams for the classroom and standards-aligned lesson plans are available at Kristin has taught writing and eco-storytelling workshops across the U.S. including at the American Library Association, National Science Teachers Association, the California Academy of Sciences, the California Association of Environmental and Outdoor Educators and at the Young Artists Institute at Southern Oregon University. She is the recipient of a Panta Rhea Foundation grant to support bringing Tree Dreams into schools. |

Laura Arndt

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Laura Arndt is founding director of Global GreenSTEM. She works with educators and students to create culturally relevant problem-based STEM/GreenSTEM learning experiences and curricula across diverse formal and informal education communities. Laura presents at conferences, schools, and organizational meetings nationally and internationally. In formal education, she works with Guam Department of Education to create systemic instructional change by facilitating island-relevant professional learning experiences for the K-12 STEM program. Working with Indigenous educators, Laura is co-developing a unique Indigenized STEAM curriculum for American Indian Academy of Denver that teaches western science, math, and technology through the lens of Indigenous Ways of Knowing. Staff professional learning focuses on Indigenized problem- and project-based learning experiences, social and restorative justice, and data-driven decision-making. In informal education, Laura is working with organizations including Captain Planet Foundation, Biomimicry Institute, and India STEM Alliance to develop purposeful standards-based GreenSTEM action projects. She has developed and facilitated curriculum development, educational programs, and professional learning experiences for zoos, museums, state parks, nature centers, government agencies, and national and international environmental/wildlife organizations. Laura was a STEM consultant for McREL International and taught high school and elementary science-GreenSTEM for sixteen years. She has authored the NSTA Press curriculum Using Forensics: Wildlife Crime Scene. Internationally, Laura developed and implemented mountain gorilla conservation education programs and wrote two culturally-relevant curricula for Rwandan and Ugandan students over twenty years. She is currently working with Ugandan-based Conservation Through Public Health, an organization that focuses projects on balancing gorilla-human issues.

Leana Rapp

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Leana Rapp has a bachelor's degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (NREC) from Mississippi State University. She helped with research regarding forest health using throughfall and stemflow, and soil composiotion. She also was a member of the Undergraduate Ciriculum Committee, reviewing and revising various classes each year to ensure quality educational standards. Leana has experinece in environmental education in classroom settings as well as educational retreats. She has mentored young adults in outdoor science education through intense frontcountry and backcountry projects throughout the Northwest U.S. In addition, Leana has helped in harvesting and maintaining a browse farm for the Memphis Zoo animals, especially their Giant Pandas. Currently, she has begun her career in urban susatinability as a utility treecare technicain for Rainbow Treecare in the Southeast U.S., ensuring that green spaces in cities are alive and thriving using a tree growth regulator. Projects topics that interest her the most are healthy ecosystems and resilient communities, even moreso if the topic revolves around water and soil conservation

Melanie Costello

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Melanie Costello is the campus director and outdoor education coordinator for Northern Illinois University’s Lorado Taft Field Campus, where thousands of youth come annually to interact with the natural community and learn about and from their environment. The goal of the Taft Campus program is to teach an appreciation, understanding and awareness of nature. Melanie earned her bachelor’s degree from Minnesota State University (Mankato) in biology with an emphasis in ecology and her M.S.Ed. in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in outdoor teacher education. She started working at the Lorado Taft Campus as a graduate teaching assistant and has worked in several positions before becoming the Campus Director. She has also worked for the University of Illinois Extension in youth development and was an educator at a children’s science museum. Costello’s professional interests include the benefits of time spent in nature—especially for children—along with habitat restoration, native landscaping, reducing our use and waste of plastics, and STEAM education. I feel I would be best able to consult on projects involving environmental/nature education or communication of sustainability efforts.

Stepahine Dobbie

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Stephanie Dobbie is a seasoned science teacher and environmental educator with a wide range of experience. She received her undergraduate degree from Duke University in Environmental Science and her master's degree from University of New Mexico in Educational Leadership. Stephanie has taught all ages (early childhood through adult) in formal and informal settings, including classrooms, museums, nature centers, camps, farms and gardens. As a consultant in program development, she brings together people, ideas and resources to create and expand impactful environmental education programs. She is a National Geographic Certified Educator and Colorado State University Master Gardener. Stephanie is most interested in ecosystem restoration and nature-based solutions to climate change, especially as they relate to soil health and agricultural systems. She has completed training in permaculture design, organic gardening, and the basic principles of regenerative agriculture. She is creating habitat, improving soil health and growing food in urban settings. Her desire is to empower others to live well in a way that heals the earth. Interests: Environmental education, Ecosystem restoration, Soil health, Regenerative agriculture, Permaculture, Sustainable food systems

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