Meet the WAEE Team


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Student Board Member Nomination

2018 Board of Directors

Nathan LarsonNathan Larson, 2018 Board Chairman of the Board


Community GroundWorks, Madison

I have worked in EE for the past 16 years. In 2001, I helped to establish Community GroundWorks and began working with many extraordinary colleagues and community partners to build a robust farm- and garden-based education program in the Madison area. Over the past two years, I have directed the statewide Wisconsin School Garden Initiative and served as co-leader on the WAEE Consortium. I have a Master’s degree in Geography from UW-Madison. I believe that all children should have regular access to hands-on, inquiry-based EE in urban and rural areas where they can learn about nature through first-hand experiences and develop an enduring respect for the land.


Zaynab Baalbaki


Escuela Verde, Milwaukee


Zaynab Baalbaki is extremely passionate about social justice, especially in education. This passion stems from various personal experiences. She attended UW-Madison, where she majored in Elementary Education and Sociology and minored in Educational Policy Studies and Chican@ & Latin@ Studies. She attended graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania and Marquette University in College Student Personnel Administration. She had opportunities to work abroad in England and Kuwait.

Currently, Zaynab is an advisor at Escuela Verde, located in Milwaukee, WI. Escuela Verde is a project-based public school that focuses on social justice, sustainability, and peace. Her four year tenure there has provided many opportunities to take students outside the walls of a school building. She loves going camping with students. Zaynab is involved with local organizations as the education chair for the Milwaukee Urban League Young Professionals. Trying new restaurants and traveling are two of her favorite pastimes.


Justin Hougham – Chair Elect


Upham Woods, Wisconsin Dells


Dr. Justin Hougham is faculty at the University of Wisconsin- Extension where he supports the delivery of a wide range of science education topics to K-12 students, graduate students, and in-service teachers. Justin’s scholarship is in the areas of place-based pedagogies, STEM education, and education for sustainability. Justin has taught 17 different undergraduate and graduate courses as well as instructed over 1000 days in the field.He continues to teach courses, clinics, and trainings that develop pedagogies in experiential education. Justin is currently the Director for Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center, an environmental education facility 1 hour from Madison, WI.  Justin’s projects and research in the areas of energy literacy as well as in the use of technology in place-based environmental education can be found in journals and in conference presentations throughout the U.S.


Kelli Johnson – Student Board Member


UW-Stevens Point, Stevens Point


Kelli is a junior majoring in environmental education and interpretation at the UW-Stevens Point. She has already achieved a significant amount of experience related to the field of interpretation. A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Kelli jumped right into leadership roles at the university. As a sophomore, she served as President of the Environmental Educators and Naturalists Association (EENA) student organization, a student chapter of NAI. She continues an active role in other leadership positions with the organization. In addition, she is currently one of two student representatives serving on the Wisconsin Association of Environmental Education board. Kelli has been proactive about gaining valued professional development while attending school. In 2017 she attended the Heartland Region workshop in South Dakota and Nationals in Spokane. She received a scholarship to attend the NAAEE conference as well in 2016. 


Shavaughn Lawson – Student Board Member


Shavaughn Lawson is a Master’s of Science student in the Urban Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Shavaughn graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 2015 where she received a B.S. in Sociology. Immediately following graduation, Shavaughn returned to Milwaukee where she worked in the inner city as a Kindergarten Teacher.  As a graduate student, Shavaughn’s thesis research is focused on urban community gardens, social and environmental in/justice, and land tenure/property ownership. Shavaughn explores the perception of neighbors and garden members on the local community garden in the Metcalfe and Sherman Park neighborhood. She aims to illuminate the often neglected interpretation of the disadvantages and challenges of implementing/sustaining community gardens in marginalized urban areas/spaces.  Being a first-generation college student has led her to a social service career path, where she hopes to motivate and encourage young scholars.

Shavaughn was introduced to urban agriculture scholarship through her graduate program and course work where she merged her passion for social justice with the environment.  Shavaughn now has plans to start a community garden in her neighborhood within the inner city of Milwaukee’s Northside and recently joined the Sherman Park Community Association, to be the change she wants to see in her neighborhood.  Shavaughn’s personal mission statement is as follows:

“I use my passion for life-long learning/growth and expertise in urban studies (social science) to identify and plant a seed of purpose in others, through conventional and unconventional platforms, to create better people, neighbors, and neighborhoods while raising an awareness of socio-physical spaces and the environment, as well as the inter-related role we play within it.


Maria Moreno


Earth Partnership

Maria Moreno, a cultural anthropologist by training, is working with the Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health program and as a multicultural outreach specialist for the Earth Partnership (EP) program. She joins the undergraduate certificate team to develop curriculum and courses, document impact and help manage  the program. At EP, she develops curricular materials and outreach programs centered on ecological restoration for youth, college students, community members and professional development for teachers. She also designs, teaches and supervises field courses as well as domestic and international internships on environmental education. She leads Earth Partnership Global Initiatives in Mexico, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Puerto Rico.


Betsy Parker, Past Chair, Advocacy & Networking Committee Chair, 2018 Conference Committee Chair


Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Monona

I am a long-term member of WAEE and past Board member (2004-09). I was awarded the WAEE Aldo Leopold Award for service to the organization in 2012 for advocating for Wisconsin Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights and piloting the Wisconsin “Master Naturalist” program. I was WAEE’s liaison to the Wisconsin Environmental Education Board and functioned as the project coordinator for Wisconsin’s Plan for Environmentally Literate and Sustainable Communities. I am a non-formal educator at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center (since 2000) and am currently inspiring parents and teachers at my children’s school to earn the Green & Healthy School Certificate. My philosophy on EE is multi-fold: hands-on teaching and learning with children, encouraging policy that supports this, and uniting EE agencies to reach these common goals.


Eleva Potter


Conserve School, Land O’ Lakes

I teach teenagers about Environmental Stewardship at Conserve School and couldn’t be more grateful for such a unique position! I especially enjoy delving into environmental ethics, eating local foods and sharing unique opportunities with the students. I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a degree in Environmental Studies. After finishing school I traveled to the Pacific Northwest to explore sustainable living, organic farming and conservation work. I was brought back to the Mid-West to spend a year as a naturalist at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland, Minnesota and earn a Master’s in Environmental Education from the University of Minnesota-Duluth. I’ve recently been working on injecting indigenous perspectives on the environment into our curricula. I love sharing spicy food, adventures, and books with all of the interesting people I meet that share my passion for outdoor and environmental education


Skylar Primm


High Marq Environmental Charter School, Montello

Once, I was a geologist. As an environmental educator, I now get to indulge my love of science and nature while preparing the next generation of leaders. Born and raised in New Orleans, I earned my BS in Geology there before moving to Madison, where I received my MS in Geology from the University of Wisconsin, followed by teacher certification from Edgewood College. The first time I set foot in a classroom as a student teacher, I knew that I had found my calling. Since that time, I have taught exclusively in project based learning schools, beginning at TAGOS Leadership Academy in Janesville before joining High Marq Environmental Charter School in 2011. In 2017, I was honored with a Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Fellowship in recognition of my teaching, leadership, and service. I have a passion for writing, which is nourished by my ongoing involvement with the Greater Madison Writing Project. As a board member and part of our NAAEE ee360 team, I am excited to help further WAEE’s development as a diverse, resilient organization.


Chrystal Seeley-SchreckChrystal Seeley-Schreck, 2018 Winter Workshop Committee Chair, 2017 Fall Conference C0-Chair


Wisconsin Technical College System, Madison

Since teaching my first environmental education program as a volunteer in high school, I have spent nearly two decades working in multiple facets of the environmental field. From Maine to California and a few spots in between, I’ve worked in scientific research, advocacy, policy development, communications and education. With a B.A. in Human Ecology and a M.A. in Culture, Ecology, and Sustainable Community, one of my goals is to help create a more just and sustainable world. Environmental education has helped me do this by inspiring and educating others, keeping EE as one of my strongest passions. I served for two years as Education Team Co-Lead at the WDNR’s MacKenzie Center in Poynette where I provided environmental education and outdoor skills programs for a diverse range of youth and adult audiences. I currently work for the Wisconsin Technical College System in Madison.


Joella Zocher


Escuela Verde, Milwaukee

With nearly twenty years of urban science teaching experience, Joey is a passionate teacher researcher with scholarly interests in eco-pedagogical praxis and scientific literacy with urban youth. Joey believes Escuela Verde’s student-centered, project-based learning approach to teaching and learning is the missing link to student success. Through integrating sustainability and restorative justice into a school-wide curriculum, students not only have the ability to make learning relevant to their lives, but are encouraged to take action for positive change in their communities. Drawing from her experience as the Urban Ecology Center’s Washington Park program director, she is passionate about including community voice and resources to provide authentic experiences for all students. 

WAEE Administrator

Lynn Karbowski has been the WAEE Administrator since 2014.  She enjoys working for the WAEE board and helping with events, Winter Workshop being her favorite. Lynn enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren, gardening and reading. She works part time for WAEE and part time for the Aber Suzuki  Center on the UWSP campus.


We would like to extend a tremendous thank you to the 2017 outgoing Board members: Jessica Jens, Riveredge Nature Center; Michael Beeth, UW Oshkosh; Bruce Bessert, Concordia University; Amy Workman, Reedsburg School District; and Cathy Techtmann, UW Extension. Their outstanding dedication to strengthening environmental education for all in Wisconsin is greatly appreciated!

We would also like to thank our out-going Awards Committee Chair Emily Brown, and current Awards Committee Chair Molly McKay. You can join a committee here.

Want to become part of the Board of Directors? Take a look at the elections for board members.

See what our Board of Directors has been up to