Executive Board of Directors
President, Rose Vallor, Ed.D – Bozeman, MT
Rose teaches inquiry science and environmental education in Southwest Montana, with the goal of getting kids outdoors. Rose is currently developing an outdoor science program getting kids to their local river to learn about water quality and riparian habitats. She’s contributed her passion, leadership and teaching skills in outdoor, informal science programs such as Bridger Nature Center, Ennis Good Thyme camps, and Montana Outdoor Science School, and traveled the state as a MT Project WET State Coordinator and Project Learning Tree facilitator. Since finishing her Ed.D, she teaches science education and other teacher preparation courses at MSU. She firmly believes that learning and caring about the natural world begins with stepping outside your door. Rose lives in Bozeman, where her goal is to spend time outdoors every day!
Vice President, Emily Chilcoat – Billings, MT
Living the Montana dream, Emily moved to Billings in 2014 from Ohio. There she received her degree in Natural and Historical Interpretation and realized there are more wide open spaces for her to discover. Since moving to Billings, she’s enjoyed the low humidity, sunny skies, and amazing views for miles upon miles. Currently, the Center Director for Montana Audubon’s education center in Billings, where she gets to engage community members and see firsthand the amazing impact nature education has on our youth in the big city of Billings. Joining MEEA has been a great pleasure and an amazing learning opportunity to work with and get to know others from around the state who all share a similar vision of uniting, supporting, and connecting educators to promote nature education throughout the state.
Secretary, Becca Mathias, Billings, MT
Becca is currently working at the Montana Audubon Center as the Community Programs Coordinator and as a Teacher for the Fledglings Preschool. She is an experienced outdoor science educator with a deep love and appreciation for the natural world. Growing up on a farm in Ohio, she explored the forests, marshes and fields around her and learned early on that no matter where you live, nature will never cease to surprise you. She loves sharing the natural world with others and is excited to be back in Montana. Becca has her Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a Marine Specialization and loves teaching about both fresh and saltwater ecosystems and is a true water quality enthusiast. After many years of seasonal work, she’s happy to be putting down roots and calling Montana home. When she’s not working, she enjoys hiking, painting, nature journaling, birding and ice skating.
Treasurer & 2022 Conference Co-chair, Naomi Alhadeff – Missoula, MT
Naomi joined the National Wildlife Federation team in Missoula and functions as the Montana Education Manager and the Montana Project WET Coordinator. Her passion lies in communicating with the public about our state’s wildlife and the habitat we all share. She graduated from the University of Montana’s Wildlife Biology program and has been involved in environmental education, both in and out of the classroom, with state agencies, conservation districts, and non-profit organizations in Nebraska and Washington before returning to Montana. The National Wildlife Federation’s goal to protect our wildlife and build upon our conservation heritage blends well with her work with the Garden for Wildlife program as well as Eco-Schools USA. Having worked both in and out of the classroom she enjoys sharing her love for wildlife with kids and adults throughout Montana. She is an avid gardener, an ever-improving hunter, and an amateur thespian.
Board of Directors
Katie Elem, Billings, MT – Director At Large
Katie (she/they) has been in informal environmental education for over 9 years and has worked at ZooMontana in various capacities since August 2017, mostly in the education department, with her current title being Education Lead. While most of her professional focus has been on environmental education, Katie is also passionate about languages and cultures, baking and crafting, using their privilege to advocate with underserved communities, the interconnectedness of just about everything, and more. She loves to get people as excited about the world as she is, and has a history of working in various nature centers, zoos, and museums around the U.S. in both animal care and educational aspects.
Anne Grant – Missoula, MT
Anne is currently the Willow-AGEP Alliance program manager and Native FEWS partner for faculty development at University of Montana. She received a M.S. in Environmental Studies in 2015 and was the first Elouise Cobell Fellow for the UM College of Humanities and Sciences. She is a member of the Blackfeet Nation who advocates for and writes culturally relevant curriculum. In addition to serving MEEA, Anne also serves on the Blackfeet Indian Land Conservation Trust Corporation Board, cofounded by Elouise Cobell. She will bring her experiences as an educator, professional artist, consultant, and academic to the MEEA board. When asked what the characteristics of a great board member are, Anne says that, “great board members are humanists. They are honest, caring people who believe in and support the mission of the board they serve.
Stephanie Laporte Potts, Bozeman, MT
Stephanie currently serves as the Executive Director at Gallatin Valley Farm to School. Growing up in Michigan, she developed a love of the outdoors– from forests and lakes, to farm fields and orchards–which grew into a desire to help form connections between people and place. She holds an MS from the University of Montana in Environmental Studies, focusing on community-based food systems and education, and has spent over 15 years working in environmental education, non-profit management, and public outreach. She’s happiest when digging in the dirt and finding insects and worms with kids. Stephanie loves spending time with family, experimenting in the kitchen and garden, exploring Montana’s rivers and trails, and finding new things to be curious about.ate about social justice, learning about how people learn, and finding new things to be curious about.
Corie Rice, Helena, MT
Corie is the program specialist for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Park’s education center, Montana WILD, in Helena. Her passion for environmental ed began during her time as a camp counselor for a wilderness exploration camp in her home state of Minnesota. After moving to Montana and graduating with a degree in Organismal Biology from Montana State, she became an instructor and eventually the summer program director for Montana Outdoor Science School in Bozeman. She loves that her current work with FWP allows her to interact with students and families from all walks of life and with varying connections to our states natural resources. Corie has a passion for building connections in the environmental ed community both in Helena and across Montana, and believes that learning and playing together outdoors brings out the best in everyone!
Rebecca Skeldon, Helena, MT
After a decade of environmental education in Montana, one thing Rebecca doesn’t fear is her inner child. She currently serves as the Education Coordinator for the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest’s nonprofit partner, the Montana Discovery Foundation. She can be found in her free time hiking and traveling with her 7-year-old daughter or glaring at her sewing machine.
Carolyn Taber & 2022 Conference Co-chair,- Missoula, MT
Originally from the East Coast, Carolyn graduated from Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications in 2008 and moved to Colorado shortly thereafter. In Colorado for 6 years, Carolyn co-founded Earth Explorers, a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) nonprofit that connects students with working scientists in their community: students create short documentary films that highlight their scientists’ research efforts. This opportunity allowed Carolyn to harness both her video production and education skills. As a co-founder of Earth Explorers Carolyn wore many hats: board member, program developer, grant writer, program operations manager and for the past two years Executive Director.
Seeking a new challenge, and looking to reconnect with family in Missoula, Carolyn has switched gears and joined the team at the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium to focus on education program development. Carolyn is passionate about informal science and environmental education and is excited every day about potential new programs for the MBHI! Out of the classroom Carolyn enjoys working on a variety of video projects and all of the outdoor opportunities Missoula has to offer.
Teal Taylor – Butte, MT
Teal works as a Field Coordinator for a non-profit within Montana Tech called the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program also known as CFWEP. His interest in environmental studies and education blew up when I was a sophomore in college. At this time he started interning at CFWEP and did this until he graduated From Montana Tech with a B.S. in Organismal Biology in 2019. Being born and raised in the United Sates largest superfund gives perspective on how important it is to create stewards for our environment. He has always loved enjoying the outdoors it doesn’t matter if its sunny or if it’s snowing I am either fishing, side by side riding, camping, hiking, snowboarding, or skiing. When he isn’t outdoors or working his other passion is homebrewing and researching beer to make recipes.
Regions 1, 4, 6, & 7: Vacant until filled.
Want to help MEEA by joining our board? Let us know by emailing email@example.com!