My name is Caroline Blake. I was recently hired as the Administrative Coordinator for the Vermont Education and Environment Network (The Network). Over the course of the next year I will assist with increasing organizational capacity and support professional development opportunities across Vermont for educators and folks working in the environmental sector.
I want to share a little bit about myself and my path as an environmental educator. I have lived in various places both in the continental U.S. and overseas, but have called Vermont home on and off for the past 10 years. My career in environmental education (EE) informally began in 2013 when I volunteered my senior year at ECHO in Burlington, VT. After graduating from UVM in 2013 with a BA in Biology and Chemistry, I accepted a full-time, seasonal EE at an outdoor science school in Southern California. Between 2013 and 2017, I held multiple seasonal EE positions across the U.S. In 2017, I returned to school to complete a Master of Science in Natural Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where my thesis work focused on environmental knowledge and personal environmental education teaching efficacy of pre-service teachers in Wisconsin. Upon graduation, I was offered a position back in Vermont, at my alma mater, where my career in EE officially began.
Currently, I am a full-time employee with the Lake Champlain Sea Grant program, which is also affiliated with UVM Extension, the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, as well as NOAA (yes, it is a mouthful). I serve as their Watershed and Lake Education Program Assistant, where I support K-12 teachers and students as well as undergraduate interns who serve as Watershed Educators for our school programming.
I became affiliated with The Network, previously known as Vermont SWEEP, back in 2017 when I was invited by a previous supervisor to attend one of their gatherings before heading off to Wisconsin for graduate school. Upon my return to Vermont, I was eager to once again be connected with this wonderful organization. I became an independent contractor for them back in February. As the Administrative Coordinator, I will help The Network as they transition and grow this professional network and affiliated offerings including our new website and rebranding efforts. Additionally, my position will aid our volunteer Board Members regarding communication, member recruitment, event planning, and board member meetings and retreats. I look forward to working with you all and that our paths may cross in the not too distant future. Please do not hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Caroline Blake