In order to help create a more sustainable future for all Maine communities,
the Maine Environmental Education Association uses the power of education to advance environmental literacy and civic engagement

MEEA's Annual Awards Celebration

and Networking Night

Wednesday, January 24, 2018      Maine Audubon, Gilsland Farm, Falmouth


Come celebrate the achievements of 2017 with your MEEA Network!

Let's join together to recognize some amazing work and people who made environmental education so impactful in our state! Great food, adult beverages and scintillating company guarantees a night of inspiration and joy to start off your 2018!

MEEA awards

Joining us as our guest speaker is Dr. Jenn Page, Director of Education at Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership. The center recently won a prestigious UL Innovative Education Award for their work developing the next generation of leaders to explore science and sustainability.





 Last year's (2016) Maine Environmental Education Association Awardees for Outstanding Achievements


(top row, left to right)
The Excellence in Environmental Education Program: “Youth Programs” Cultivating Community 
School of the Year: Bath Middle School
Student of the Year: Alexandra Beatrice Trumann
(bottom row, left to right)
Business of Year: ReVision Energy
Eberhard Thiele Environmental Educator of the Year: Amanda Ripa
Eberhard Thiele Environmental Educator of the Year: Michelle Broyer (posthumous) 
The Maine Environmental Education Association Lifetime Achievement Award: Peter Zack



September 29-30, 2017 at Tanglewood 4-H Camp and Learning Center, Linconville, Main

Emerging Changemakers2017 group-small

In an annual intergenerational gathering, twenty established leaders in the environment and conservation fields in Maine joined thrty emerging change-makers between the ages of 15-30. This event helped participants grow their networks, gain inspiration for their own efforts in environmental/conservation work and also participate in skill building trainings and facilitated dialogue on how we can build a more inclusive environmental sector in our state. The annual event is a collaborative effort among the Maine Environmental Education Association, Cultivating Community, Maine Audubon, and the 4-H Camp and Learning Center at Tanglewood.

Alliance Logos

The New England Environmental Education Alliance was formed in 1980, with roots that extend back to 1966. That year, a handful of educators in the region decided to meet on an annual basis. Conferences were chaired by Chuck Roth, and hosted by a group of colleagues within the six New England states on a rotating basis. The conferences were small and the agendas informal. The goal was to facilitate communication and friendship among colleagues. In 1977, in an effort to increase participation, the responsibility for the conference was placed in the hands of a steering committee composed of two representatives from each of the six states. Conference attendance jumped from 30 people the previous year to 160 people in 1977. In 1980, the steering committee decided to incorporate the New England Environmental Education Alliance. The board of directors continues to be composed of two members from each New England state. The Alliance is interested in environmental education on a regional level and does not duplicate the contributions of the state organizations. The conferences continue to emphasize collegial interaction and collaborative learning. We invite you to become involved in your state organization and to get to know the state representatives on the NEEEA board.

 What Is MEEA For?

Imagine the first time you ever saw a moose, or explored a tide pool, felt the cool water of the ocean wash over your skin, climbed a mountain... Now imagine a life where you live only hour from the ocean in Maine but have never walked on the beach, never hiked a mountain, never heard the waves crashing, or seen the beauty of sand pipers in flight. Many economic barriers exist for many Maine children that could make this unbelievable statement their actual reality. At MEEA, we believe that ALL Maine children have the right to experience the unimaginable beauty of the sate we are so lucky to inhabit.

Today, MEEA is focused on smart growth: better access to funding for transformative projects, improving organizational function, and broadening our reach to a more diverse audience. In the past few years, MEEA has achieved success under all these measures.

About the Awards | Past Award Winners

About the Awards

The New England Environmental Education Alliance recognizes outstanding environmental educators and programs from the New England region in three categories:

  • Non-formal Environmental Educator
  • Formal Environmental Educator
  • Environmental Education Program

To Nominate

Download the nomination form here.  Applications may be submitted either by the nominee or on his/her behalf by a colleague. To apply for yourself or a colleague please download the application in Microsoft Word, fill it out and email it as an attachment to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by September 15th of each year.

Selection Criteria

The Non-formal Environmental Educator Award is designed to recognize environmental education professionals who work outside the formal classroom setting. The award recipient:

  • Makes continuous and enduring contributions to environmental education (EE);
  • Demonstrates capacity for creating and implementing successful EE activities;
  • Creatively and innovatively approaches EE programming;
  • Involves him or herself personally in the state and/or regional EE community;
  • Contributes to EE by integrating with formal education systems, promoting the environmental education profession or providing training or resources to other EE professionals.

The Formal Environmental Educator Award is designed to recognize a public or private school classroom teacher who:

  • Promotes individual and societal environmental responsibility;
  • Encourages students to make informed decisions about environmental issues;
  • Inspires student involvement and action through individual or group projects to effect positive environmental change at school or within the local community;
  • Links student learning to the appropriate state or national science benchmarks, curriculum frameworks, or standards;
  • Serves as an example for colleagues to engage in EE activities or to participate in school EE projects.

The Maria Pirie Environmental Education Program Award is designed to recognize an outstanding environmental education program that:

  • Demonstrates innovation and creativity;
  • Has been implemented broadly;
  • Easily can be replicated in other regions;
  • Is sustainable;
  • Has a strong evaluation component;
  • Results in demonstrated action by participants.

The Selection Process

All materials are due by September 15 of each year. All applicants will be notified following the final selection. Awards are presented at the NEEEA Annual Conference. In 2013, awards will be presented November 2 at the NEEEA Conference in Newport, Rhode Island. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact:

Sarah Wilby, NEEEA Awards Chair

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Past Award Recipients

For over 20 years, NEEEA has been recognizing excellence in environmental education. The following is a listing of past award recipients by year. The state listed next to each year was the location of that year’s annual conference.

2010 - Vermont

Formal Educator Award – Judy Filkins, Lebanon NH School District
Non-formal Educator Award – Kim Noyes, Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center, MA

2009 - Connecticut

Non-formal Educator Award – Susan Cox, US Forest Service, Durham, NH
Maria Pirie Program Award – Nature's Classroom, Charlton MA

2008 - New Hampshire

Formal Educator Award – Katherine Bennett, J.R. Briggs Elementary School, Ashburnham, MA
Maria Pirie Program Award – Ashuelot Valley Environmental Observatory, Keene, NH

2007 - Maine

Formal Educator Award – Michele ('Chele) Miller, Principal, Moultonborough Central School, Moultonborough, NH
Non-formal Educator Award – Marilyn Wyzga, Wildlife Educator, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department
Marie Pirie Program Award – Seeds of Solidarity Education Center, Orange, Massachusetts

2006 - Rhode Island

Formal Educator Award – Dr. Ralph J. Yulo, Professor Emeritus at Eastern Connecticut State University
Non-formal Educator Award – Ruth Smith, Naturalist at the Mt. Kearsage Indian Museum, Warner, New Hampshire
Marie Pirie Program Award – Project CO-SEED, Keene, New Hampshire.
Richard Haley President's Award – Awarded posthumously to Richard Haley for his 20-year contribution to the field.

2005 - Massachusetts

Formal Educator Award – Jonathan Twining, 7th grade science at Remington Middle School, Smithfield, Rhode Island
Non-formal Educator Award – Erin Walsh, Naturalist Educator at the New England Wildflower Society
Marie Pirie Program Award – Valley Quest Program, Steven Glazer, Program Coordinator
2005 President's Award – Jim Lafley, in honor of his many years of dedicated service to NEEEA and to environmental education throughout New England. Jim is a past president of NEEEA and of MEES, and has co-chaired NEEEA's annual conference.

2004 - Vermont

Formal Educator Award – Cynthia Faughnan, Michael Quinn & Rick Schluntz, Hartford (Vermont) Middle School (k-12); Cindy Thomashow, Antioch (university/adult)
Non-formal Educator Award – Barry King
Marie Pirie Program Award – Keeping Track

2003 - Connecticut

Non-formal Educator Aard – co-recipients: Jennifer Guarino, Vermont and Cheryl Burke, Connecticut
Marie Pirie Program Award – Community Mapping Program, VINS
President's Award – Judy Silverberg, NHFG

2002 - New Hampshire

Formal Educator Award – Brewster Bartlett
Non-formal Educator Award – Dave Erler
President's Award – Chuck Roth
Marie Pirie Program Award – Earthways Environmental Education Program

2001 - Maine

Formal Educator Award – Nelson Lebo
Non-formal Educator Award – Lisa Purcell
Marie Pirie Program Award – School Nature Area Program (SNAP)

2000 - Rhode Island

Formal Educator Award – Kathy Kitteridge/Terry Monette
Non-formal Educator Award – Colleen Kelley
Marie Pirie Program Award – Mount Desert Island Water Quality

1999 - Massachusetts

Formal Educator Award – Sandra Ferland
Non-formal Educator Award – Susan Turner Moore
Marie Pirie Program Award – Project HOME

President's Award – Adrian Ayson, in honor of his many years of dedicated service to NEEEA and to environmental education throughout New England. Adrian has been president of NEEEA and of MEES,  and has co-chaired NEEEA and MEES conferences and retreats.

1998 - Vermont

Formal Educator Award – David Wilkins
Non-formal Educator Award – Linda Woodard
Marie Pirie Program Award – Recycle Rangers

1997 - Connecticut

Drs. Carl and Marian Rettenmeyer
Formal Educator Award – Tom Wessels

1996 - New Hampshire

Ed Henry
John Green
Thomas Tyning

1995 - Maine (NAAEE)

Faith Thayer
Maureen Oates


1994 - Rhode Island

Delia Clark
Nancy Nowak

1993 - Massachusetts

Leo Kenney
Shirley Griffin

1992 - Vermont

Jenepher Lingelbach
Michael Caduto

1991 - Connecticut

Bill Niering
Sue Craig

1990 - New Hampshire

Judy Silverberg
Ty Minton

1989 - Maine

Peter Corcoran
Ralph Lutts

1988 - Rhode Island

Janet Gould
Larry Morris

1987 - Massachusetts

John Brainerd
Peg McDaniel

1986 - Vermont

Abbott Fenn
Tom Hudspeth

1985 - Connecticut

Bob Moeller
Jeff Ferguson

eepro-logo-eecentral   Monthly Webinars
.  .Bringing New Ideas and Innovation to the Field of EE

MEEA is co-hosting a series of monthly webinars with the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE). These hour-long webinars are on key topics for environmental education professionals that will help raise the bar on the quality of EE programs, expand the scope and reach of these programs, social movements, and improve the way we communicate about our field.  

Click here to learn more and register for upcoming webinars

Tuesday, December 12, 4:00 pm

New Approaches to Public Engagement: Seeking Relevance, Response-ability and Resilience (Curtis Ogden, Interaction Institute for Social Change)

click here to register

2017's monthly webinar series concludes with Curtis Ogden from the Interaction Institute for Social Change. Curtis brings his experience in education, community building, leadership development, and program design, as well as an abiding passion for work at the intersection of racial justice and environmental sustainability. Curtis has built a robust practice in support of numerous multi-stakeholder collaborative change networks. He is a recognized thought leader around network development and social change.



The MEEA Board members are:

President: Olivia Griset  

Nature Families

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

Portland ConnectED

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.




Gayle Bowness

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.

Jessica Decke

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


SJJ_profile_pic.jpgPrimarily 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.


Becky Kolak

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.


Julia McLeod

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.




Ryder Scott

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.


Tamara Whitmore

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:

Adrian Ayson

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.