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Current MEES Board Members:

Erin Kelly


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.

Kathryn Parent
Kathryn Parent


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.

Treasurer:    Carrie Hawthorne

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.

Advocacy Committee: 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.

Conference Committee:   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.

DEI Committee: Cori Brauer

Cori became a board member in Spring of 2020 and is the current chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee.  She holds a BA in Biology from Drew University and an MS in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont.  After spending a summer as a camp counselor for Mass Audubon’s Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary she was hooked on environmental education, especially in an informal out-of-school setting.  She currently works full time as an Education Coordinator for Mass Audubon where she runs camp, homeschool, afterschool, scout, teen, and internships programs.  Her passion is for doing authentic hands-on STEM explorations in nature, positive youth development, and project-based learning.  She co-teaches a course at Salem State University on Community Education where she loves teaching and learning from the next generation of community educators.  Cori loves hiking, reading, playing ukulele, and exploring Salem, MA where she lives with her partner and their many house plants.

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