WASHINGTON – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson has appointed 11 environmental education professionals to serve on the agency’s National Environmental Education Advisory Council (NEEAC).
The National Environmental Education Advisory Council is comprised of representatives from organizations outside the federal government who provide EPA with advice and recommendations on environmental education. The council provides EPA with a better understanding of the needs of schools, universities, state departments of education and natural resources. The first meeting of the NEEAC is scheduled for December 13-14, 2012.
Administrator Jackson said:
"The National Environmental Education Advisory Council provides EPA with insight from men and women with first-hand environmental education experience. This is essential to our work to support environmental education efforts across the country and help Americans understand how protecting the environment is really about protecting our health and the health of our communities,"The NEEAC was established in 1990 under the National Environmental Education Act to provide input from stakeholders to EPA. Environmental education increases public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues or problems. In doing so, it provides the public with the necessary skills to make informed decisions and take responsible action.
"I congratulate our new NEEAC members on their appointments and look forward to continuing to work with the council."
The newly appointed members will represent a variety of stakeholders. Caroline Lewis and Dr. Kelly Keena will be representing primary and secondary education. Keena is a science teacher in Colorado and is a lauded environmental educator. Lewis has a wide breadth of experience in education both as a teacher and as the education strategist and director at the CLEO Institute.
Dr. Mark. Kraus and Dr. Edna Negron-Martinez will represent colleges and universities. Kraus has served in leadership positions for 20 years and is currently chair of the Department of Natural Science Health and Wellness at Miami Dade Wolfson Campus. Negron-Martinez is a full professor at the Medical Sciences Campus of the University of Puerto Rico and has also held positions in public and environmental health.
Kay Antunez de Mayolo and Vidette (Kiki) Cory will draw on their experience by representing state departments of education and natural resources. Antunez de Mayolo has retired from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention where she remains as a volunteer statewide environmental education coordinator. She has also taught at California Polytechnic State University. Cory has served the environmental education community in many ways and is currently the Project Wild coordinator for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, chair of the Texas Environmental Education Advisory Committee, and a member of the board of directors of the Science Teachers Association of Texas.
Cara Gizzi and Scott Frazier will be representing business and industry. Gizzi is the director for Public Safety Education and Outreach at Underwriters Laboratories, Inc, where she expands the scope of the Safety Smart Youth Education program. Frazier will be drawing on his experience as CEO of Project Indigenous, as well as his time as Yellowstone Ecological Research Center liaison and Native Waters executive director and project coordinator.
Angie Chen and Richard Gonzales will represent nonprofits. Chen has experience with several nonprofits and is now a program officer at the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation and Stephen Bechtel Fund. Gonzales is a lauded environmental educator and now serves as the project coordinator for the Science and Spanish Club Network, which he initiated in 2000.
Kenneth Gembel will represent the interests of senior Americans and share his 44 years of experience as environmental manager for General Motors as well as his talent in the classroom.
More information on the NEEAC and the list of new members: http://www.epa.gov/enviroed/neeac.html