By Canopy Team on September 30, 2016
Natalie brings a wealth of education experience and a passion for exploring trees and nature with people of all ages. We asked her to share a bit about herself:
Natalie: When I was an undergraduate in Environmental Studies at Emory University, I had a professor who introduced me to the concept of “sense of place”–how a person feels about a particular area through knowledge of the flora and fauna, history, and shared experiences with other people.
I believe that it is from a place of personal connection to our community that we’re able to zoom out and relate to concepts and issues of global significance. My main drive has been to offer people, especially children, opportunities to explore their local ecosystem and learn from others in their community.
I continued studying place-based education in my master’s degree program in Ecological Teaching and Learning at Lesley University, and have been working as an environmental educator ever since.
Natalie: This summer my husband and I moved to Palo Alto so that he could begin a doctoral program in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford. We drove across the country from Massachusetts, and stopped along the way in British Columbia where we spent two months working on my aunt and uncle’s farm.
Prior to our move, I was the Farm & Landscape Educator at a historic estate outside of Boston. It was a newly created position and I had the chance to design farm education programs for all ages. Before that, I was the Director of After School Programs at an elementary school in Boston for six years.
Natalie: I am excited to teach people about trees! I have a lifelong affinity with trees, always learning about and identifying them wherever I am. I’m eager to work with the Teen Urban Foresters, since that was the age at which I began to recognize trees as a grounding force for my own sense of place in my hometown of Decatur, GA.
Additionally, everyone I’ve met at Canopy–the staff, board members, and volunteers–have been very welcoming and supportive, and I’m excited to work with such a wonderful group of people!
Natalie will oversee Canopy’s growing youth programs, including our tree-centric school lessons and Teen Urban Foresters, as well as community education programs like tree walks and workshops. You’ll see her at many of our community events, so be sure to say hello!