2020–2022 Cohort

A big welcome to the PEEC Class of 2020-2022!

Our Instructors

Katie Altman

Water Resources Agent
Clemson University Cooperative Extension

About Katie

Favorite Hobby: Hiking, backpacking.

What does environmental education mean to me? For me, environmental education is all about connecting to, learning about, and protecting our home and its inhabitants.

E.V. Bell

Marine Education Specialist
South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium

About E.V.

Favorite Hobby: Macrophotography, anything on the water, shark tooth hunting, jewelry making.

What does environmental education mean to me? Environmental education to me means turning people on to their natural surroundings – increasing their appreciation of the environment by viewing it through new and different lenses.

Julie Binz

Marine Education Coordinator
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

About Julie

Favorite Hobby: Roller blading, hiking, biking, yoga.

What does environmental education mean to me? Environmental education is giving people a chance to experience nature, get some exercise, breathe fresh air, and learn about our connections to the plants, animals, and places.

Daniel Hill

Assistant Director
Kalmia Gardens

About Daniel

Favorite Hobby: Kayaking or being on the water.

What does environmental education mean to me? Trying to install an appreciation for the natural world by sharing its wonderful stories and showing our interconnectedness with those stories.

Beth Burkett

Stewardship and Interpretation Manager
Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission

About Beth

Favorite Hobby: Ceramics and other visual arts (drawing, painting).

What does environmental education mean to me? Environmental Education is facilitating lasting connections between people and the world that sustains us.

Jennifer Majors

Park Superintendent
Lynches River County Park

About Jennifer

Favorite Hobby: Nature photography.

What does environmental education mean to me? We absolutely must have an understanding of the world we live in. How can we live in this environment and not understand and respect the role that each species plays in it? I love to foster the natural curiosity that we have and show people all the cool things nature has to offer.

Whit McMillan

Science Program Manager
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

About Whit

Favorite Hobby: Fly fishing and fly tying.

What does environmental education mean to me? EE serves as a vital link in connecting people to the world around them and to generations past and future. In some ways, modern conveniences have lessened our connections to the natural world, made us less aware of what is going on around us, and let us consider ourselves separated from nature. Environmental education can help to rebuild that relationship and remind us of our role in protecting the place we live and how to lessen our impacts. EE connects us to practices in the past, both good and bad, and reminds us that we are leaving a legacy for the future. Hopefully, that legacy is a healthy planet and an appreciation of the natural world with us as a part of it.

Lindsay Patterson

Environmental Education Coordinator
Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission

About Lindsay

Favorite Hobby: Clemson football and hanging with my hubby & 4-year old son.

What does environmental education mean to me? Environmental Education means a lot to me. It’s important to pass along knowledge about the environment to children. But you are never too young to learn so I am happy I get to teach adults as well. I want to foster learning and create Earth stewards that will love and respect this planet and its inhabitants a little bit more than when they first attended my program. I like to hope that if people know better, they’ll do better.

Lisa Pike

Professor, Biology
Francis Marion University

About Lisa

Favorite Hobby: Walking in nature, and wheel-thrown pottery.

What does environmental education mean to me? It means making environmental experiences a necessary and required part of life, so as to help everyone remember the joy, peace, and glory of nature and natural systems.

Meta Van Sickle

Professor, Teacher Education
College of Charleston

About Meta

Favorite Hobby: Walking along the river and singing.

What does environmental education mean to me? Environmental education is one of the things I love most and think is crucial for living in our world. It’s time to learn to care for the earth and each other. Harmony, health with humanity.

Our Students

Darlena Goodwin

Teacher
Montessori Learning Collective

About Darlena

Favorite Hobby: Working with the earth…farming, gardening.

What does environmental education mean to me? We live in such a robust eco-system and I crave to plunge myself into the depths of it: then to share this knowledge and understanding of life with everyone.

Cindy Lilly

7th Grade Science Teacher
Ocean Bay Middle School

About Cindy

Favorite Hobby: Pottery or shark tooth hunting.

What does environmental education mean to me? Environmental education means having the tools, resources, and knowledge to inspire and spark the love of outdoors in a child. We can’t make them drink from the pond but we sure can make them thirsty!

Nick Plaisted

Biology, Marine Science, and Environmental Sustainability
Spartanburg High School

About Nick

Favorite Hobby: Lacrosse.

What does environmental education mean to me? Environmental education to me is inspiring and equipping the next generation with the tools needed to understand our environments and how best to preserve them.

Kelly Billbrough

Architectural Design Instructor
Dorchester County Career and Technology Center

About Kelly

Favorite Hobby: Riding horses with my girls

What does environmental education mean to me? Environmental education means informing our peers, children and the community about our natural environment, the importance of this environment and how, to me, we need to preserve the environment.

Mary Hannah Lindsay

Community Outreach Coordinator
Richland Soil and Water Conservation District

About Mary Hannah

Favorite Hobby: I enjoy craft bartending, scuba, and interior design to bring out my creative side.

What does environmental education mean to me? Instilling a passion for taking care of our surroundings in those that surround me.

Haley Marie Parent

Water Resources Agent
Clemson University Cooperative Extension

About Haley Marie

Favorite Hobby: Exploring SC’s water features by foot or kayak!

What does environmental education mean to me? Connecting practical lessons for students of all ages to the natural world. This form of education can inspire a sense of place, stewardship of our natural resources and respect for all people that inhabit them.

Tara Caron

3rd Grade Teacher
Hilton Head Island School for Creative Arts

About Tara

Favorite Hobby: Sitting outside, paddle boarding, yardwork/gardening, cooking, making bracelets out of poptops and beads out of paper.

What does environmental education mean to me? Sharing a love for the natural world. The more we know about something, the more we tend to care for it which promotes Conservation. As a result, individuals develop a deeper understanding of environmental issues and have the skills to make informed and responsible decisions.

Shana Bury

Owner
Buddy’s Place

About Shana

Favorite Hobby: This may seem a bit strange since my favorite hobby is also my “job” and I love what I do, so I will have to say spending time with friends since I don’t get to see them often!

What does environmental education mean to me? To me, environmental education means growing our next generation of scientists and leaders to do right by the world we live in. We only have one planet that is inhabitable by mankind, and we must do what we can to protect it for generations to come.

Michelle Harrison

2nd Grade Teacher
Holy Trinity Catholic School

About Michelle

Favorite Hobby: Gardening, followed by cooking and sharing the harvest with my friends and family.

What does environmental education mean to me? Sharing my love of Mother Earth with my students. Hoping to spark their awareness of the importance of God’s creation from the smallest worm to the ecosystems of the ocean. Wishing they gain the knowledge to make choices that will positively impact their world.

Wiltress Felder

Teacher
Lugoff-Elgin High School

About Wiltress

Favorite Hobby: I love cooking and trying new recipes, taking walks with my two dogs (Behr and Pnut).

What does environmental education mean to me? It means a way to ensure a future for our earth through educating students about the earth. It means providing a better future for those to come through education. It means hands on education to excite and get students excited about taking care of the earth locally and nationally though adulthood.

Karen Penale

Spanish Immersion and Environmental Learning
Cross Schools

About Karen

Favorite Hobby: Swimming, kayaking, and gardening.

What does environmental education mean to me? Environmental education means children and adults learn about good and bad environmental issues occurring in our world today. They then learn various conservation projects they can work on to help improve conditions in our environment.

Bree Lauffer

STEM Lab Teacher
Okatie Elementary School

About Bree

Favorite Hobby: Puzzling and going on hikes.

What does environmental education mean to me? The environmental concerns for the 21st Century learner require a more holistic approach to education. Schools should strive to create environments that nourish the emotional, social, and ecological intelligences of our students. Environmental education means a chance to develop these skills by providing learning that fosters shared experiences that encourage exploration and help students discover value in the natural world. With exposure to quality environmental education, I believe that students can develop the knowledge, empathy, and empowerment needed for practicing sustainable living.

Patricia Whitener

4-H Extension Agent
Clemson University Cooperative Extension

About Patricia

Favorite Hobby: Kayaking, Dog walking, Taking pictures.

What does environmental education mean to me? “There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot.” “I am glad I will not be young in a future without wilderness.”  ― Aldo Leopold

These two quotes from Aldo Leopold’s classic, A Sand County Almanac, really capture the essence of the vital role that environmental educators hold in our society. My purpose as an environmental educator is to interpret information, and tell the story of natural things; to connect people with, and spark interest in, the natural world so that they are inspired to explore and protect their environment. Everything that I do, personally and professionally, is powered by this intention and filtered through the lens of connection.

Pat Pierce

Informal Educator
State Master Naturalist

About Pat

Favorite Hobby: Weaving mountain baskets.

What does environmental education mean to me? Learning how to protect, preserve and present the natural world to others not just lecture or printed document forms, but how it all fits to keep our planet and its people healthy. Environmental education is about using tools like our eyes, brains, and energies to sustain us in a healthy and safe manner, even when the choices are tough. Environmental education encompasses good stewardship, protecting spaces for our grandchildren and their grandchildren. Practicing sustainability, finding other sustainable means for all plants and animals is a part of environmental education, too. It is all about learning and practicing living together in harmony, as. much as possible, on this planet. Environmental education is helping others with different needs to live and sustain as much as possible. We should always be together in this effort.

Rob Carter

Education Program Manager
York County Museum

About Rob

Favorite Hobby: Hiking, birdwatching.

What does environmental education mean to me? Taking the outside world to the inside world.

Ashley Jenkins

Recycling Coordinator
Beaufort County Government

About Ashley

Favorite Hobby: Watching movies, gardening, and spending time with family.

What does environmental education mean to me? To me, environmental education means the ability to engage, connect, and explore the environment. Also, connecting with the environment for enjoyment and learning while taking action to improve our world. Lastly, it means taking steps to explore and appreciate the beautiful surroundings right outside your door because the world is full of possibilities of learning something new every day!