“I am filled with gratitude to wake up each day in a neighborhood surrounded by Cornell Botanic Gardens. The green space is wondrous, but so are the meticulously labeled plant collections, fascinating educational programs, and friendly staff who make this place so special. My family’s intended 2-year Ithaca residency has stretched to 40+ years, thanks in part to our joy of living next to the Arboretum and close to so many of the other Natural Areas.”
I have devoted much of my career to empowering teachers to go beyond lectures and involve their students in conservation-related investigations and projects. This has resulted in publication of 10 books in collaboration with high school science teachers, with topics ranging from biodiversity to toxicology. One of these, Birds Without Borders, won the Association of American Publishers’ 2016 award for supplemental science curricula.
In my former role as Director of Education at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, I led projects aiming to inspire curiosity, learning, and action related to birds and the natural world. Our team created curriculum resources, hosted field trips, and produced online courses and websites used by people throughout the world.
I am motivated to help the Cornell Botanic Gardens attain its vision of “a world in which the interdependence of biological and cultural diversity is respected, sustained, and celebrated.” This resonates well with my work as a founding board member of the Morpho Institute, a nonprofit that collaborates with an indigenous community in the Peruvian Amazon to host conservation-oriented workshops for U.S. educators interested in ensuring that the forests, rivers, biodiversity, and people of the Amazon are treasured and protected for generations to come.