BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Executive Director: Terran McGinnis

Terran McGinnis is a passionate environmental educator and has been for as long as she can remember. Personally, it began as a child when she would talk about animals to anyone who would listen. Professionally it began during college when she worked as park ranger in her home state of California: starting in the regional parks and ending up as an Interpretive Ranger at Yosemite National Park. After graduating from the University of California at Santa Cruz (Go Banana Slugs!), Terran entered the world of zoo and aquarium education, and there she has remained for 26 years. Grateful to be able to tell the most fanciful, inspiring, mesmerizing, and true stories about the planet, Terran has watched in awe as this career has taken her from the mountains to the coast of California and from the First Coast to the Keys and back again in Florida. 

Among her favorite aspects of this field are the partnerships and camaraderie that she finds with her colleagues. As the Manager of Education and Community Development at Marineland Dolphin Adventure, the Membership Chair for the Florida Marine Science Educators Association, and the Education Committee Chair for the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums, Terran looks forward to pulling the best of all she's seen and learned into her new role as the Executive Director of the League of Environmental Educators in Florida. Florida has so much nature to protect, learn about, and connect with, and environmental educators make that happen, so let's get to work!


OFFICERS

President: Jennifer Diaz


Past President: Dustin Angell

Hi, my name is Dustin Angell and this is my second time serving as LEEF President. When I switched from the science center world to environmental education in 2013, LEEF became my lifeline. Through LEEF I was connected to resources, training, and – most importantly – a network of educators from around the state. I really can’t imagine my career without the tools and inspiration provided by LEEF. I am honored to serve on the board and hope my efforts can help others find what they need to be the best educators they can.

I am an environmental educator and conservation photographer living and working in the Headwaters of the Florida Everglades. As Director of Education at Archbold Biological Station in Venus, Florida, I manage interns and volunteers, and oversees education and programs for all ages. Originally from Syracuse, NY, I have a Fine Arts degree from Alfred University in Alfred, NY. I am interested in using photography to promote the research, conservation, and education happening in Florida. Whether through nature tours or photo exhibitions, I see myself as a storyteller who helps people develop their relationship with nature.

President Elect: Vacant

Treasurer, Florida Environmental Literacy Plan, and SEEA Representative: Vicki Crisp

Today’s generation of children is the first to grow up almost entirely indoors. Our children are spending more time in front of a screen than they are outside. The greatest gift we can give to our children is a love for the outdoors, and the greatest gift we can give to the outdoors is a generation of children who love it.  The League of Environmental Educators in Florida (LEEF) strives to ensure Florida’s children have daily opportunities to know and love their natural world—to engage in education in the environment, about the environment, and for the environment. 

My name is Vicki Crisp and I am the current LEEF Treasurer.  I have been an active member of LEEF for more than 30 years.  Although I am a formal teacher by training, I am an environmental educator by passion.  LEEF is my support system that allows me to network, learn, and bring sound environmental education to Floridians.

Secretary: Robin Reccasina

Hi, my name is Robin Reccasina. I have a B.S. in Zoology from North Carolina State University, an M.S. in Biology Education from Long Island University, and am a Florida Master Naturalist Instructor. I have been LEEF’s Board Secretary since 2011. I am also the Executive Director at the Sawgrass Nature Center & Wildlife Hospital in Coral Springs, FL where I have served in all capacities as an employee since 2014 and volunteer since the late 90’s.

I enjoyed a childhood with the freedom to explore the outdoors at my leisure and have always been amazed at the wonders of nature. I enjoy sharing my discoveries with others which led me to life of teaching both in and out of the classroom for over 30 years. LEEF offers a great forum to learn and network with others who share the same passion.

Native to North Carolina, I have been in Florida since 1996 where my husband and I have raised two children.

DIRECTORS

Director 1: Sylvia Collazo

Sylvia Collazo is a doctoral candidate in Exceptional Student Education (Special Education) at Florida Atlantic University, specializing in early childhood. She is interested in inclusive practices in environmental education as well as the integration of nature in early childhood special education. Presently, she is working on her dissertation where she is creating a professional development training package for teachers of young children with exceptionalities on embedding nature-based activities in their practice. Driven by her personal experiences as a sibling of a now-adult with special needs, Sylvia has spent nearly 20 years serving children with disabilities, their families, and fellow educators in a variety of roles including program assistant, early childhood special education teacher, behavior therapist, and consultant. She has over eight years of experience in teacher preparation and professional development and currently works as project supervisor for a federally-funded, special education graduate program. Sylvia has spent the last several years focusing on nature-based early childhood education and has served as an editorial assistant and consulting editor for the International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education (IJECEE). She enjoys music, reading, yoga, and photographing nature as well as spending time with her husband, family, and furry children.

Director 2: Dr. John (Jack) Scarbrough

Hi, my name is John (Jack) Scarbrough and my family and I have happily made Florida our home since 2010. Since this time, I’ve been teaching biology classes at AdventHealth University in Orlando. I grew up in a rural, northern California town and fondly remember my mother taking me on nature walks and teaching me the names of local plants and animals. From a very young age, she instilled in me a love and appreciation for nature that has continued throughout my adult life. In college, I majored in biology and especially enjoyed studying marine invertebrates along the California coast. My graduate work focused on genetics, but I have always been interested in ecology and conservation and people’s interactions with nature. For many years, I taught a non-majors, environmental science class called “Life in the Balance” and developed a passion for helping all types of students to appreciate nature and to give value to the natural world. One of my overall objectives is working with others to get learners, from all educational levels, into the outdoors and teach them about the interconnectedness of nature and our place within it. I am honored to serve as a LEEF board member and be part of a professional organization working to promote environmental stewardship, education, and literacy.

Director 3: Autumn Reich

Autumn Reich has a BS in Outdoor Recreation from Mars Hill College/University and is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP) and has worked with youth (and adults) for over 30 years in a variety of settings from homeschooling, church and in the municipal(parks and recreation) environment.

Over the last 20 years, Autumn has been employed with the City of Safety Harbor were she has been a Supervised Playground Supervisor, Nature Program Coordinator, Youth and Family Events Coordinator, Director of the before and after school programs for K-8th grade and Full Day Camps (K-8th) for the City of Safety Harbor. Most recently she has be assigned to the City’s nature preserve (11 acre parcel) and responsible for all programming on the property ranging from young children to families to adults. Her goal is to increase and improve the quality of nature or environmental programs for children and adults. She became a certified Florida Advanced Master Naturalist 2019.

She has also been actively involved with the Florida Parks and Recreation Association (FRPA) over the past 20 years as a speaker, VO and committee person for planning regional conferences. Her passion has always been nature and the great outdoors and now with the new job assignment she would like to give back and help others spread the message by promoting environmental stewardship through experiences, and education. Being a part of the board for LEEF is one way to accomplish that goal.

Director 4: Dawn Miller-Walker

I am the owner and program director of Science Eye and co-founder and program director of Environmental Conservation Organization. I have over 20 years of environmental education experience teaching principals of ecosystems, conservation, ethical angling, and other aspects of plant, animal, aquatic biology, Earth, and physical sciences through hand-on, inquiry-based in-school and in-the-field programs. For me, science is not a noun, but a verb… with a passion to encourage others whether it is students PreK-3-college, teachers or the general public to have a Take Action Now! approach to conserve our precious environment.

I have been a lifetime LEEF member since I started full time in the environmental education field because it fully supports my missions and values of EE. A board member since 2014, I remain on the board because I not only support what LEEF does, but I find it comforting to be surrounded by other board members who have the same drive and passion I do for EE.

Director 5: Alicia Torres

I am a native Floridian who spent her childhood running barefoot on the family farm, raising horses, tending my garden with my grandma, building tree forts in the nearby woods, exploring rivers and trails, and doing anything else I could think of in order to spend as much time as possible outdoors. These cherished childhood experiences set me on a path to value and appreciate the wonder and beauty of nature, both in my professional and personal life.

I earned my B.A. in Education from the University of Florida with a specialization in middle grades science, my M.A. in Education from Florida Atlantic University, and my Ed.S. degree in Curriculum & Instruction from FAU with a specialization in environmental education. I have 15 years of formal classroom experience teaching science to children ranging in age from PreK3 to the 7th grade. In all my years of teaching, the thing I loved the most was being a part of a student’s “Aha!” moment.

My love for the outdoors and passion for the environment eventually steered my career away from the traditional science classroom and more toward the field of environmental education. I spent three years working at Florida Atlantic University’s Pine Jog Environmental Education Center as a Program Coordinator. There, I worked closely with educators and students across the South Florida region in providing Everglades education, solar energy programs, Green School initiatives, and facilitating Project WILD and Project Learning Tree professional development. More recently, I shifted over to working at The Everglades Foundation where I am currently the K-12 Everglades Champion Schools Program Manager. My work now involves curriculum development, program management, and training educators who share the goal of helping their schools become Everglades Champion Schools.

Director 6: Jennifer Macbeth

My name is Jennifer Macbeth and I’m happy to serve on the board of directors for LEEF. I am full time faculty at Florida Gulf Coast University and have been teaching in higher education since 1998. I am involved in environmental education because I feel it is the most important way to create change. Change happens in the individual student and through wider reaching changes in the world.  In his inaugural speech in 1994 Nelson Mandela said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” I believe that every student is born to manifest a great destiny and has the ability to create change.  One of my key examples of this ideal is embodied in the Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Wangari Maathai.  By founding the Green Belt Movement she motivated environmental changes in her country, but ultimately inspired a Nation.  My goal in teaching is to promote awareness of environmental and justice issues, develop an individual’s ability to critically analyze information and communicate it effectively, and promote engaged, service-oriented citizens.

LEEF brings together people and organizations from all aspects of environmental education that are passionate about creating this powerful change I speak of. Together I believe we have the power to change our world!

NON-VOTING MEMBERS

SEEA Representative: Sarah Davis

Historian and Communications: Dolly Cummings

Parliamentarian and Project WET: Eileen Tramontana

Communications: Lilian Norris

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Founded in 1983, the League of Environmental Educators in Florida is the professional association for individuals and organizations dedicated to the cause of environmental education in Florida. We are the state affiliate for North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), an organization that brings together those interested in the study and enjoyment of our natural world and one that has promoted excellence in environmental education throughout North America and the world for over four decades.  

The League of Environmental Educators in Florida is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

© 2021by the League of Environmental Educators in Florida.


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