2023-2024 EEAA Board
President - Toni Bruner
Vice-President - Susan Caplow
Secretary - Kim Corson
Treasurer - Jennifer Lolley
Interested in joining our board?
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Region 1 - Mike Ezell
Region 2 - Martha Hunter
Region 3 - Alma Huston
Region 4 - Joyia Davis
Region 5 - Scottie jackson
Region 6 - Renee Raney
Region 7 - Lauren Massey
Region 8 - Shirley Farrell
Region 9 - Roger Birkhead
Region 10 - Jimmy Stiles
Region 11 - JoAnn Moody
Environmental Education Association of Alabama
Toni Bruner has been working in informal education for 18 years. Her love for nature began on the banks of the Alabama River, where she spent most of her summers alongside her father who worked at Fort Toulouse in Wetumpka, AL. Toni’s career in education began in 2004 with Legacy Partners in Environmental Education. In 2016 she was recruited as the Education Manager, building the Cook Museum of Natural Science in Decatur, AL a 64.000sq.ft. natural science museum. Following the opening of the Cook Museum Ms. Bruner join Auburn University to develop the Auburn University Museum of Natural History outreach department. She has since returned to her roots as the Executive Director for Legacy, Inc. In her downtime Toni enjoys caving and has been a member of the Southeastern Cave Conservancy Inc., Leading Caving Expeditions for 14 years. Toni says she considers herself blessed to have a job she loves in one of the most diverse states in the nation working alongside some of Alabama’s best and brightest educators.
Susan is an associate professor of Environmental Studies at University of Montevallo. She coordinates the Environmental Studies program and sustainability initiatives at UM. She received her Ph.D. in Environment and Ecology from UNC-Chapel Hill, her M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Central European University, and her B.A. in Public Policy Analysis/Biology from Pomona College.
Susan teaches courses that explore the interface between humans and the environment, and she incorporates field-based activities and service learning into her courses as much as possible. Susan’s research focuses on how people interact with conservation interventions (including policies, projects, or education) and how those interactions can lead to environmental/social change that supports conservation efforts. She has conducted research or led educational trips in Tanzania, Belize, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, St. John (USVI), the Florida Keys, and Hungary.
Before graduate school, Susan worked in a variety of environmental education settings, including Carolina Raptor Center, Haw River State Park, Warner Nature Center, and Monteverde Butterfly Garden.
Kim (she/her) grew up in northeastern Iowa where she could usually be found playing outside and in the woods. She studied Elementary Education but fell in love with teaching outdoors, not inside the traditional four-walled classroom. Kim worked for two years as a Naturalist in southeastern Minnesota at Eagle Bluff Environmental Center, where she perfected her Minnesotan accent and learned about the vast world of environmental education. She’s also taught environmental education in the Adirondack State Park of New York and in the mountains of northern Utah. Kim first came to Alabama and Camp McDowell in 2017 as a seasonal instructor for the Environmental Center. After two seasons as an instructor, Kim joined the team full time in 2018 as the Program Coordinator/Assistant Director at MEC. She is currently working towards a Masters in Environmental Education through Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. In her free time, you'll find her outside somewhere hiking, rock climbing, slacklining, looking at neat wildflowers/lichen/fungus, or camping.
Mandy Grew up in Trussville, Alabama and found an outlet for her passion for the natural world volunteering at the Birmingham Zoo at 13 years old. She volunteered for 5 years and was a Zoo Keeper in the Children’s Zoo, where she cared for, trained and presented programs with native, domestic and exotic animals for 6 years. She earned a B.S. degree in Ecology and Forensics and a M.S. degree in Biology from Jacksonville State University. While studying at JSU she also taught environmental education for school groups, nature camps, and teacher workshops with the JSU Field Schools for 9 years. To learn more about conservation, she volunteered with the National Park Service and US Fish and Wildlife. She had the opportunity to work with the US Forest Service for one year as a Student Conservation Association Intern. For the past 9 years she worked to establish an environmental education program at Cheaha State Park creating trails, events, workshops, classes, and partnerships, an animal program, and an Interpretive Center. It is her hope that environmental education will serve as a bridge for all visitors to reconnect with the beauty, harmony, and tranquility of nature.
I was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, which has ignited my love for the natural world. I taught creative writing to gifted and talented students in the Birmingham, Alabama Public Schools System. I am a published author, including a middle grade eco mystery series, The Adventures of The Sizzling Six. I have received numerous scholarships and awards, including The Blanche Dean Award for Outstanding Nature Educator. During my tenure as teacher, my students and I developed a nature trail, recently named in my honor as the Alabama Audubon-Datnow Forest Preserve.
Naturalist emeritus- Alabama State Parks Mike retired in 2020 from Alabama State Parks after serving 3 years as Park Naturalist at Lake Guntersville State Park. Previously, Mike served 1 year for ADEM and 10 years as a classroom Secondary Science teacher. His career also includes 13 years for Goodyear as a Quality Control Chemist. He has a BS in Chemistry from the University of North Alabama, and a BSEd in Science Education from Athens State University. Currently he is serving as a volunteer Naturalist, Consultant, and Environmental Educator in State Parks and other public lands all over the state of Alabama.
My Name is La’Tanya Scott; you can call me LT for short. I am from Temple a small city in Carroll county Georgia. However, I now live in Birmingham Alabama with my dog Max and bearded dragon Lola. I am a graduate of Miles College with a degree in Environmental Science and now work as the Environmental Science Educator for the Cahaba River society. From childhood, between basketball and being a student-athlete to exploring the backyard or even fishing with my family, I knew that I wanted to work in nature and to inspire people to love the outdoors as much as I do. I have always had a passion for being outdoors and helping people, and I credit my family for strengthening my passion. From childhood, between basketball and being a student-athlete to exploring the backyard or even fishing with my family, I knew that I wanted to work in nature and to inspire people to love the outdoors as much as I do. I have always had a passion for being outdoors and helping people, and I credit my family for strengthening my passion. Through the years, I have become a skilled outdoor educator and role model who helps strengthen CRS’s outreach and service to urban schools and youth of color. I now deliver hands-on environmental science education programs to students in the classroom and in the field through the Shane Hulsey CLEAN Program. My intense interest in nature, skills, and knowledge, and especially my boundless enthusiasm will help many additional area students understand the importance, and the wonders, of one of our major waterways the Cahaba River, water equity, and the outdoors. As Co-Chair of our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, and staff member for Cahaba river Society, I will always be open and honest in my experiences and lead us forward to support us to anti-racism and water- equity work. Right now we are in the midst of planning community conversations around barriers to nature access for people of color, such as the legacy of Jim Crow and racial terror as well as racism today, and how education/recreation organizations can better promote nature as a safe and welcoming space. I am also building educational and grassroots partnerships to increase opportunities for rural Black Belt residents and students to benefit from environmental education for, better recreation access, careers and advocacy paths to steward their own natural resources. Our work is not easy, but it's worth the fight. I will continue to work towards a better future for our generations to come.
Scottie Jackson is the District Superintendent for the Central District for Alabama State Parks. She began her career with the state of Alabama as the Assistant Superintendent for DeSoto State Park in Fort Payne, Alabama, then moved to the Central District as the District Naturalist. Prior to her work in Parks, Scottie served as the Director of Education and Outreach and Wildlife Rehabilitator for the Alabama Wildlife Center, and Animal Care Coordinator for the Alabama 4-H Science School. Scottie also serves on the board of directors for the National Farmer’s Trust and as a co-founder and volunteer educator with TALON Education Group. She is a Certified Prescribed Burn Manager and NASP Certified Archery Instructor and holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master of Science in Environmental Management, both from Samford University. Scottie is passionate about sharing the spectacular natural resources and recreational opportunities of Alabama’s Central District Parks with all guests, offering inclusive, diverse, and accessible programming elements within the parks that she serves. When Scottie is not playing in the wilds of Alabama State Parks, she enjoys spending her time with her wife Katie Stubblefield, Clinic Manager and Lead Wildlife Rehabilitator at the Alabama Wildlife Center, a menagerie of dogs and cats, four horses, and a federally permitted Red-tailed Hawk named Fera. [email protected]
During her 38 years of being involved in formal educations, Alma had many jobs. After her graduation from East Carolina University she taught for six years on the elementary level. During this time, she also received a Master of Science in Educational Psychology. She began doctoral work at the University of South Carolina but left to marry and move with the military life of her husband. She has been a director of counseling, a principal, a middle school and high school teacher. Her favorite times were teaching environmental science and seeing how it affected young minds. She is passionate about environmental education and still teaches occasional teacher workshops to better equip teachers in this vital area. She is a board member of both Legacy and EEAA. Now that she is retired, she enjoys quilting, puttering in the garden and playing with her nine grandchildren and three dogs.
Jimmy Stiles is a Ph.D. Candidate at Auburn University with a B.S. in Biology from Samford University and M.S. in Herpotology from Auburn University. Jimmy is focused on the conservation of rare and imperiled species. Before entering the Ph.D. program he was most recently a Research Associate with the Alabama Natural Heritage Program (Auburn University Museum of Natural History/Department of Biological Sciences). His current research is focused on Chinese privet’s effects on wildlife communities and using fire treatments to restore privet-infested bottomland hardwood habitats.
Shirley Farrell has been teaching environmental education all of her life. As a gifted specialist, she was able to include environmental education into her classes and facilitated school gardens and outdoor classrooms, bird festivals, water festivals, and backpack teaching kits focused on different topics for teachers to use outdoors. She is an avid bird-watcher and loves to garden and hike. She has served on the EEAA board for almost 20 years and currently serves as the treasurer for EEAA.
Birmingham, AL native Meg Ford is an environmental advocate, educator, and freelance musician--and loves searching for the intersections between the three. She’s been on the education staffs of Scrollworks, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and Mason Music, and her lifelong curiosity for the natural world has led her to work with Jones Valley Teaching Farm, Ruffner Mountain, McDowell Environmental Center, Cahaba River Society Junior Board, and Alabama Audubon, where she currently serves as Coordinator for Audubon's Black Belt Birding Initiative. When she’s not connecting with birds and birders in her current home of Greensboro, AL, she enjoys baking, gardening, playing violin, and cultivating her knowledge of native wildlife.
Renee Simmons Raney was raised on a mystical dairy farm in Choccolocco, Alabama. She spoke to the animals, interacted with the fairy folk, and learned to respect even the tiniest portions of the natural world. Most people lose touch with the enchantment…but not Renee. As she grew up, she learned to share this magic with others to inspire a respect for natural landscapes and the conservation of wild places and land. Renee is Parks Superintendent for Cheaha State Park, the oldest and highest park in Alabama! Before officially joining the parks team, she was the director of the nationally accredited Georgia-Alabama Land Trust’s Conservation Education Institute. Over the past three decades Renee has created, researched, developed, implemented, and assessed interpretive and EE programs for over a million participants through her work with Alabama State Parks, Jacksonville State University Field Schools, and the Anniston Museum of Natural History.
I have spent my entire life wandering around in the woods. I spent my formative years as an indentured field assistant to my dad who is an ichthyologist. I graduated with a B.S. in biology from Berry College in Rome GA. I nearly became a botanist, but ultimately my love for turtles and snakes won out. I spent several years doing biological consulting work across the southeast then became a field assistant at the Jones Ecological Research station in SW Georgia. I ended up doing my master's work there through Auburn University on seed dispersal by gopher tortoises (botany AND herps!). currently employed by the State Department of Education as the Biology Specialist for the Auburn University region of the Alabama Science In Motion program. My wife is the chair of the biology dept at AUM and I have three children. I enjoy all outdoor activities and documenting my interesting finds on iNaturalist.
As a marine educator with Dauphin Island Sea Lab Discovery Hall Programs, JoAnn Moody focuses on sharing environmental and Gulf of Mexico literacy with students of all ages. She translates and shares what scientists are studying locally, as well as breaks down global topics like climate change. JoAnn has a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) and a bachelor's degree in marine biology, both from the University of West Alabama. In her free time, JoAnn enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and daughters.
Joyia Davis (she/her) is the Education Outreach Coordinator at the Alabama Museum of Natural History, where she is responsible for public outreach through the delivery of educational programs for all age groups. She also teaches Museum Education and Exhibition at the University of Alabama. Joyia has a B.A in Anthropology from the University of Alabama and a M.A.T in Museum Education from George Washington University. Joyia is new to environmental education but is excited about inspiring the next generation to connect with nature.
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