Board of Directors
President, Amanda Obery – Bozeman, MT
Getting to live in the shadow of the Beartooths, Amanda is happy to call Billings home. After obtaining degrees in molecular genetics and secondary science education, she taught high school for three years prior to moving on to teach at Montana State University. She received her doctoral degree, exploring informal science education, and is an Assistant Professor of Science Education at Montana State University Billings. As the community of people using and engaging in their environment in Montana have inspired her, Amanda hopes to give back through MEEA and share the love!
Vice-President, Holli Langlieb – Great Falls, MT
Environmental education had always been at the forefront of Holli’s life. Growing up on the shores of Lake Michigan in urban Wisconsin, Holli participated in Girl Scouts, 4-H and really anything that got her outside and experiencing the world. She continued this passion by completing her BS degree from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and then sharing this passion in the positions she has held for tha past 15 years as an educator. As the Curriculum Specialist at Carolina Raptor Center (North Carolina) Holli created programs focused on raptors and correlated with NC curriculum. She also trained and taught with various species of raptors. The next stop was Oklahoma where she worked at the Oklahoma City Zoo (Education Specialist), Myriad Botanical Gardens (Education & Volunteer Coordinator) and finally University of Oklahoma’s Sam Noble Museum (ExplorOlogy Coordinator). Holli developed and implemented all aspects of the ExplorOlogy Program. This joint effort by the Sam Noble Museum and the Whitten-Newman Foundation was designed for Oklahomans to “do science” by getting outside and experiencing the world we share. Montana was the next destination where Holli worked for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks in the Great Falls Regional Office.
Secretary, Chris Doyle – Butte, MT
Hi my name is Chris Doyle. I was born and raised in beautiful Butte Montana and I graduated from Butte High School in 2009. I am 23 years old and I married my beautiful high school sweetheart last June. After High School, I went to school at Montana Tech of the University of Montana and received a Bachelor’s degree in organismal biology in 2013. My thesis research was on Bighorn Sheep in the Highland Mountains where I studied their movement and distribution patterns, as well as survival rates in conjunction with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks. I am currently working to get it published into the Intermountain Journal of Sciences. I am also now enrolled in the Education Program at Montana Western to get my teaching certificate. I am the Program Coordinator at Cfwep.Org (The Clark Fork Watershed Education Program) and I have been in this position for eight months, however, I have worked for Cfwep.Org for five years and a student and summer intern. In this position, I travel around the state and teach middle school and high school students. I assist in teaching our Restoration Education Program (Superfund Cleanup), Bringing Research into the Classroom (Working with Viruses), and Trout Dissections. I also have experience in running a kid’s fly fishing camp every summer as well as working and developing a program to work with at risk youth through the juvenile probation office in Butte Silver Bow. I absolutely love the outdoors, hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping. One of my other hobbies is I bowl in leagues and tournaments around Montana. I am a very energetic and passionate person about science and the environment as well as education.
Treasurer, Carolyn Pardini – Polson, MT
Many years ago I told a famous person that I was lucky. He responded by telling me that I was lucky because I can take a chance. “Most people say Ready, Set, Go! But you say Ready, Go!” I think he was correct. I have been lucky to live in the Mission Valley on the Flathead Indian Reservation for most of my life. I have taught in public school for the past 25 years and with the support of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, the Montana Arts Council, the Montana Natural History Center, School District 30, and lots of good people I have advocated for further inclusion of integrated learning in all classrooms. I am happiest when I am outdoors, with my family, my friends of many ages, or alone with the dogs. I am still ready to go and I still feel lucky.
Lauren Rivers – Helena, MT
Lauren moved from Asheville, NC, to Helena in 2009, intending to lose herself in the mountains. She found a connection to the natural world that transformed her views on education, growth and fulfillment. Feeling called to help others experience this transformation led her in 2010 to the IslandWood School in the Woods, in Bainbridge Island, WA, where she learned to foster a lifelong love of nature and investigation in her students. Unable to resist Montana’s siren call, Lauren returned to Helena in 2011 and was inspired to create Clancy Creek Squad, for 1st-5th graders at Clancy School. This place-based, outdoor after school program has since grown from once-a-week creek observations in spring, to creek-side experiments and visits from scientists working in the community. Creek Squad even has a “spin-off” program, ExploreSquad, which takes Clancy 3rd-4th graders on science treks in nearby natural spaces in the fall. Lauren is an alumna of A Forest For Every Classroom, a professional development program for place-based education. She is currently the Family and Youth Education Director at ExplorationWorks, Montana’s Science Center in Helena. This position allows her to reach many classrooms in Montana, and one message she carries is that the outdoors is a great place for learning to happen. Nature is our first teacher, and still the best!
Carolyn Taber – 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 everyday 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.
Rose Vallor – Bozeman, MT
Rose teaches inquiry science and environmental education in Southwest Montana, with the goal of getting kids outdoors whenever possible. She created and runs the outdoor skills camp program Bridger Nature Center, and recently worked with the Flathead CORE writing the Flathead Watershed Educators Guide, a companion volume for the Flathead Watershed Sourcebook. She’s been able to contribute her passion, leadership and teaching skills in a range of outdoor and informal science programs: Ennis Good Thyme camps, Montana Outdoor Science School, Museum of the Rockies and the Children’s Museum of Bozeman. Rose traveled the state as a MT Project WET State Coordinator and Project Learning Tree facilitator, and served with Greater Gallatin Watershed Council as Education Outreach director. Never one to say no to more education, she teaches science education as part of her doctoral program at Montana State University, sharing her experiences with future teachers in teaching inquiry science in the outdoors. Rose has a M. Ed. and B. S. in science education from MSU, and a B.A. in geology from U of M. She firmly believes that learning and caring about the natural world begins with stepping outside your door. Rose lives in Bozeman, where she really does try to get outdoors every day!
Jessica Haas – Jardine, MT
Jess hails from the glaciated prairies of South Dakota. She completed her undergraduate degrees in the unlikely subject pairing of geology and theatre. During college, Jess was heavily involved with student service organizations which led her to serve with AmeriCorps immediately after graduation. This involved teaching science to k-12th graders at the McCall Outdoor Science School in central Idaho, which perfectly partnered her degrees and allowed her to receive her Master’s Certificate in Environmental Education. After Jess’s Americorps service ended, she taught in the classroom at an independent school in Boise, ID. Missing spending time in the field, she delved back into scientific research, collecting invertebrate fossil specimen in eastern Montana and live-capturing wolverines in central Idaho. Jess currently works to bridge the gap between science and the public in Yellowstone National Park where she connects youth, college students, and teachers to our public lands for the Yellowstone Forever Institute. She also serves on a volunteer board with the National Parks Conservation Association, advising the organization on how to diversify their advocates. Jess lives in Jardine, MT with her energetic rescue dog Hazel, America’s Next Top Plus-size Kitty Model Suki, and her Michigan-born partner Eric.
Chris DeWald – Helena, MT
Chris is passionate about learning. She loves working with teachers to help them to discover how to tweak their instructional practice to best meet the learning needs of their students. Chris has had a diverse career that has involved teaching in PK – 12 Connecticut and Texas, educational research in Texas and Wisconsin, teaching undergraduate and graduate students in Wisconsin and Montana, and working for the Montana Office of Public Instruction as both a science instructional coordinator and data analyst, always with a focus on helping teachers to engage in their environment in meaningful ways. Chris currently works as an instructional coach with teachers from PK – 12 nationwide, and lives outside Helena with her family.
Regions 4, 6, 7 & 8: Vacant until filled.
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