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Current MEES Board Members:

President:
Ann Gisinger

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Ann has been participating in MEES since 2011 and was voted onto the board at the Annual Conference in 2012. Previously an environmental educator with The Trustees of Reservations, she is currently the Director of Business Operations for the Environmental Business Council of New England.  Ann manages the EBC’s administration, including finances, marketing, industry and vendor relationships, and EBC events and programs. She received her Master of Science degree in Biology as well as a Certificate in Management of Community Organizations from Tufts University in Medford, MA and her Bachelor of Science degree in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology from the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY.

Treasurer:
Erin Kelly
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Erin Kelly is the Education Manager and the Camp Director at Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center with 18 years of experience in outdoor environmental education and camp programming. She has been designing programs to meet the needs of urban audiences in such diverse communities as Boston, New York City, and Los Angeles. Erin earned her B.S. in Environmental Science from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and a M.S. in Environmental Education from Antioch University New England. At the Boston Nature Center, she directs a popular nature camp program that reaches families from all over Boston, coordinates year-round educational programming and supervises the center’s Youth Leader program.

Clerk:
Kathryn Parent
Kathryn Parent

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Kathryn’s educational background from Becker College, Worcester led to a career as a daycare/preschool owner and director. She then focused on providing creative educational experiences for special events all across New England. After 15 years of experience in early childhood education and event planning, Kathryn has spent the past 11 seasons at MA Dept. of Conservation and Recreation, currently the Visitor Services Supervisor at Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park. She is passionate about presenting programming for all ages and abilities, specializing in connecting young children to nature and the outdoors. Her recent focus is working with multiple agencies and non-profit organizations planning large outdoor events such as Maple Sugar Days and Accessible Family Fishing Festivals. Kathryn served a previous full term on the board as the Treasurer, and has recently returned to MEES.

Online Marketing:
Liz Ellsworth
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Liz has been a MEES Board Member since 2014. Liz has been in the Environmental Education field for over 15 years. She has held various roles in the field including: Outdoor Educator, Municipal Recycling Coordinator, School Recycling Specialist, Business Consultant on Green Initiatives, Freelance Environmental Writer, and Social Media Marketer. Currently, Liz is serving as a consultant to The Last Green Valley Heritage Corridor, and to Antioch University New England’s Environmental Studies program. Liz writes a weekly science column, “The Everyday Ecologist,” for the Stonebridge Press and Villager Newspapers in Northeastern Connecticut and West/Central Massachusetts. She also has a passion for books, and has been working in independent bookstores for over 20 years, presently at Brookline Booksmith. Liz holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Education from Antioch University of New England in Keene, NH, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Literature from Bates College, in Lewiston, ME.

Carrie Hawthorne
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After graduating from Otterbein College with a B.S. in Life Sciences, Carrie continued her education at the University of New Mexico where she received an M.A. in Environmental Education. In 2004 she joined the Education Department at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI where she managed school programs until 2014. Carrie Hawthorne joined the Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford, MA as the Curator of Education in June 2014. With over 15 years of experience in informal education, 11 spent in zoos, Ms. Hawthorne has dedicated her professional life to connecting audiences to their environment and wildlife. She acted as Treasurer for the Rhode Island Environmental Education Association (RIEEA) from 2007 to 2014.

Jennifer Klein

Jennifer Klein is currently Education Grants and Professional Development Manager at Mass Audubon. She holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Education Studies from Lesley University. Her scholarly interest is in urban environmental education and educator training and professional development. She is passionate about sustainable cities and their ability to serve as solutions to our ecological crisis, and how environmental education can enhance how urban residents connect to the natural world in their communities. Her research interest is in educator practice and professional development, understanding how environmental educators approach teaching and learning in urban areas and how urban green space is used for environmental education outcomes.

Jennifer has worked in the field of science education and environmental services for over 16 years. She has has a wide range of experience both in formal and informal learning environments. She has taught environmental studies and STEM education to youth and adults in public schools, informal environmental education organizations, and higher education.

Alissa Murfitt

Alissa joined the MEES Board in the spring of 2018. While receiving her undergraduate degree in geography with a minor in environmental studies at Salisbury University, Alissa advocated for the adoption of an Environmental Studies major which the university added. While working on her B.S. she held many position on the campus environmental club. Outdoor education being her passion, Alissa ran outdoor residential summer camps for three summers for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Alissa first began her teaching career at Echo Hill Outdoor School on the Eastern Shore of Maryland before moving to Massachusetts. Alissa continued teaching in an urban charter school for two years before moving to the New Hampshire/Vermont area to get a masters in earth systems science with a middle school science certification. During grad school at Antioch University, Alissa worked in outdoor environmental education settings. She has taught the past eleven years in the Taunton, Massachusetts public school system & continues to share her passion and love of the natural world with her students as she runs the schools environmental club as well as the Outdoor Club. Alissa loves spending time with family, her dog Rex, friends, skiing, and travelling to see the band Phish.

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