2020-2021 EEAA Board of Directors
President - Allie Sorlie
Vice-President - Brooke McMinn
Secretary - Beth Dille
Treasurer - Shirley Farell
Region 1 - Maggie Johnston
Region 2 -
Region 3 - Alma Huston
Region 4 - Allie Sorlie
Region 5 - Brooke McMinn
Region 6 - Mandy Pearson
Region 7 - Susan Caplow
Region 8 - Gabrielle Ehinger
Region 9 - Jennifer Lolley
Region 10 - Jimmy Stiles
Region 11 - Angela Underwood
J. Kevin England
Environmental Education Association of Alabama
Board of Directors
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.
A graduate of Rutgers University’s Department of Plant Science, Brooke’s specialties are medicinal and economic botany, ethnobotany, sustainable agriculture, and conservation. In 2014, following several years with the Rutgers University Extension and New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station as a horticultural agent, Master Gardener program coordinator, and plant breeding researcher, Brooke returned to her birthplace of Birmingham, AL. As Plant Adventures Program Specialist for the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens Brooke worked to share the wonders of the Gardens and nature with underserved communities before transitioning to her current role in 2018. As the Friends’ Director of Education & Visitor Experience, Brooke designs and delivers educational programs and garden experiences to better connect the greater Birmingham community to the plants that power their lives.
Maggie taught science at Alabama School for the Deaf for many years, then directed the Educational Programs at Camp McDowell... McDowell Environmental Center, McDowell Farm School, and Magnolia Nature School. She is now Executive Director of Wild Alabama.
Beth is originally from the Twin Cities, Minnesota. She earned her undergrad in History and Education from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and also has a Masters of Religious Education from Liberty University. She has lived . . . everywhere; from New Jersey to Texas, Australia to Florida. She worked in environmental education in Texas and is very excited to be back in this career. Between that position and Camp McDowell she has been a social studies teacher and a Children and Youth Director. One of her favorite jobs is being a team building/leadership facilitator and trainer, which includes working with high and low rope courses. Beth adores her six year old son, Lucas, and spends most of her free time with him. She also loves spending time with friends, traveling, cooking, running, reading and listening to a ridiculous amounts of podcasts. One of her greatest passions is working with people in Thailand with an organization called “Mission Pattaya.”
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.
Kimberly Murray is enjoying her 16th year at Munford Schools. She received her Wildlife Management degree from Ohio State University and her Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Jacksonville State University. She has a passion for teaching conservation education and has taught at summer camps, nonprofit centers, and residential centers in New England, Alabama, and Ohio. She married Robert Murray from Jacksonville, Al in 1997, she has a 17 year old daughter, a 29 year-old step son, a daughter-n-law, and four amazing grandchildren. She has been teaching environmental education for over twenty three years and continues to attend workshops, conferences, in-service meetings, college classes, and seminars. She reads professional journals and stays up-to-date in her professional knowledge. As a Science Resource Teacher at Munford Schools she has the opportunity to work with her fellow teachers in K-12th grade. She enjoys being an EEAA board member and looks forward to continuing to work with EEAA members throughout Alabama
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.
J. Kevin England
I have been a resident of Moulton, AL my entire life spending lots of time exploring the wonderful biodiversity of Lawrence County, AL. My degrees include a BS in Geography (Environmental Science) with minors in Biology & Geology from The University of Alabama and a Masters of Arts in Teaching (non-cert) in Biology/Botany from the University of West Alabama (UWA). My thesis research titled The Vascular Flora of Marengo County, Alabama was completed and defended in 2014. During my research, private consulting, and other floristic work, I have collected and identified over 11,500 specimens of vascular plants, bryophytes, and lichens from across Alabama and the southeastern United States. In 2012, I became a Certified Southern Appalachian Naturalist through the US National Parks Service and The University of Tennessee. Beginning in 2018, I was appointed Curator of Lichens and research collaborator at UWA. Currently, I’m making plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Biology from Mississippi State University. My teaching career has spanned from 2006 to the present. From 2008-2009, while attending UWA, I was a GTA in the Biology Department teaching freshman biology labs. At the high school level, I have taught advanced science classes in five school systems across Alabama. At present, I teach Pre-AP and standard biology, honors chemistry, honors physical science, and Earth Science, as well as sponsoring multiple sports and clubs, at Meek High School in Winston Co., AL. I married my wife Jamie England in June 2011. We have two girls Gabby (20) and Britney (16). My hobbies and interests include botanizing in Alabama, golf, hiking, and herbarium curation.
David Matson is the Educational Programs Coordinator for Legacy, Partners in Environmental Education. He received his Master’s degree in Biology from Jacksonville State University and his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from The University of Alabama. As the Educational Programs Coordinator for Legacy, David has developed and implemented numerous environmental education programs throughout the state of Alabama. David and Legacy collaborate with State Parks, various Non-profits and State Agencies, Universities and colleges, and environmentally conscious organizations to develop these programs. Currently, David is also a committee member of the Alabama chapter of Green Ribbon Schools and a board member of the Environmental Education Association of Alabama (EEAA). He is a native of Alabama and resides in Birmingham.
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.
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.
Allie is the Education Outreach Coordinator at the Alabama Museum of Natural History at the University of Alabama. An Alabama transplant from Florida, Allie fell in love with Alabama through environmental education programs and field trips that gave her the opportunity to explore this beautiful state. She has been a part of EEAA since 2012 and is currently serving as President of the organization. She holds a degree in Elementary Education from the University of Central Florida and another in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Alabama.
Toni Bruner has been working in informal education for 17 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 Toulose 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. Ms. Bruner is currently the Education Outreach Coordinator for the Auburn University Museum of Natural History. 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.