Margaret is the Education Coordinator/Science Resource Teacher with the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and Baldwin Co. Board of Education
She has been a member of EEAA “Since the mid to late 80’s I think; so many years I cannot remember.”
Her affiliations include:
Her post-secondary education:
B.S. Degree Biology and Health Education Auburn Un. 1985
M.S. Biology Education (emphasis in Marine Biology) Un. South Alabama 1990
Her experiences in environmental education:
Developed and implemented the K-12 curriculum currently in use at Weeks Bay Reserve. All activities are hands-on and designed to use the outdoors as a living classroom/laboratory. Activities are grade level specific and correlate to the Alabama Science Standards. High school activities are designed as field studies and involve water quality testing, collecting and identifying plankton, surveying the biodiversity of Weeks Bay (with seine nets) and using hand-held GPS units as part of an outdoor scavenger hunt.
Conducted two EstuaryLive broadcasts (2004 & 2009). The EstuaryLive programs provided virtual outdoor fieldtrips broadcast directly to the internet and available to anyone who wished to learn about estuaries. Students and teachers from anywhere in the world could watch and email their questions about estuaries and receive answers “live” from scientists/experts during the broadcasts. On National Estuaries Day, September 2004 thousands of students watched the Weeks Bay EstuaryLive program broadcast (via satellite truck) from the old LuLu’s restaurant site one week after Hurricane Ivan had devastated the area. The script for the broadcast was quickly rewritten to include information about how the hurricane had affected the estuary. Graphs depicting wind speed and barometric pressure data were shown marking the exact time the eye passed over the Reserve and ripped the Weeks Bay weather station from its location on a nearby pier. At the time of the 2004 EstuaryLive broadcast Baldwin County Schools had not resumed classes after the hurricane but the program was seen by thousands of students across the US according to teacher registration records. The May 2009 EstuaryLive broadcast was held on National Endangered Species Day and featured live (endangered and/or species of concern) animals found in coastal Alabama. Experts from the Alabama Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources, University of South Alabama, USFWS, the Environmental Studies Center and Alligator Alley answered student’s questions about the Indigo Snake, Black Pine Snake, Alabama Red Bellied Turtle, Alabama Beach Mouse, Brown Pelicans and Alligators. During both broadcasts, hundreds of questions from students were received via email during the one hour programs. Reserve staff replied to every question that we were not able to answer during the live show.
Founded and continues to coordinate the Baldwin County Grasses in Classes Program. After the 2004-2005 hurricane seasons caused extensive damage to dunes and salt marshes the BCGIC Program was established to empower students to help with the recovery efforts and continued stewardship of our coastal ecosystems. The BCGIC Program sustains a network of teachers, students, conservation professionals, and community members to plan and implement restoration and/or enhancement of coastal environments in Baldwin County, Alabama. Over the last 10 years the BCGIC Program has received close to $100,000 in grants and donations which has allowed thousands of high school students to grow and plant over 50,000 native plants in habitat enhancement projects on public lands throughout Baldwin County. Planting sites include but are not limited to: Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve; Little Lagoon in Gulf Shores; Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge; Gulf State Park (Pavilion, Fishing Pier and Perdido Pass); Five Rivers Delta Resource Center; Boggy Point Boat Launch in Orange Beach; Graham Creek Nature Preserve; and the Bicentennial Park in Stockton.
Lead the effort to secure funding for and to develop the Estuaries 101 Middle School Curriculum for the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS). The E101 Middle School Curriculum is located on the NERRS website www.estuaries.noaa.gov along with many other free teacher resources. The curriculum is designed around 6 Estuary Principles which correlate to the Environmental Literacy Principles.
Provided numerous professional development opportunities for teachers at Weeks Bay Reserve. Some of the workshops have included but not limited to: Non-point Source Pollution and Solutions, Weeks Bay Watershed Wonders, Globe Training, Wonders of Weather, Grasses in Classes Teacher Training, Wet and Wild at Weeks Bay, and Teachers on the Estuaries Workshops.
Presented sessions during meetings, conferences and symposium including but not limited to: Environmental Education Association of Alabama, Alabama Science Teachers Association, National Science Teachers Association, National Marine Educators Association, Bay and Bayous Symposium, National Estuarine Research Reserve System, and Baldwin County Science Teachers.
Worked with a contractor to conduct a market analysis and needs assessment of teacher professional development offerings in the area. The contractor also conducted an evaluation of the Reserve’s K-12 programs. The evaluation provided suggestions on how to improve the activities to meet the Reserve’s education goals and objectives.
Her goals for EEAA:
My goal for EEAA is to provide all teachers (K-16) with quality instructional materials, professional development opportunities as well as the encouragement and inspiration to include environmental science both inside and outside their classrooms.