MAEE Board Members

General contact information

Minnesota Association for Environmental Education
Mailing address: 3815 American Blvd. E Bloomington, MN 55425-1600
Phone: 612-354-MAEE (6233)
Angela Bianco photoAngela Bianco
Minneapolis, MN
Awards/Scholarship Committee Co-Chair, Advocacy Committee
Elected to the Board in 2014

As a teacher with diverse experiences, I believe I bring a unique perspective to the Association. In my current position I wrote curriculum for our International Baccalaureate school program which encourages responsibility and action in students. Through the school district I had the chance to work with colleagues on a district level to make changes to our reporting system and report cards. My past involvement with the Girls Incorporated organization gave me an opportunity to work with the Operation SMART (Science, Math and Relevant Technology) program. At Girls Inc. I also was fortunate to work with a very culturally diverse group of young women.  As a science tutor at Augsburg Fairview Academy (AFA) I assisted high school students in projects in physical and chemical science. It was at AFA that I gained a better understanding of how older students relate and incorporate science into their lives. I saw students gain understanding in how natural resource allocation plays a role in global conflict and how rap music can describe the intricacies of life in a city. In the McNair Scholars program I worked on research that attempted to understand how students interact and learn environmental concepts through the Web- Based Inquiry Science Environments. Through this research I gained a better understanding of the balance between educational technology and physical activities and representations.

Katelyn Bocklund photoKatelyn Bocklund
Minneapolis, MN
MAEE Secretary
Communications Committee Chair
Elected to the Board in 2016

Born and raised a “small town gal” in Holmen, WI, I currently live in the exciting city of Minneapolis with my husband, Dan Bocklund. I love living in an area that supports owning chickens in the city and promotes biking as a way of travel.

In my early twenties when I wasn’t studying the environment as a Minnesota GreenCorps member or graduate student at Bemidji State University, I was working my way toward becoming a crazy cat lady, beginning with the adoption of my little furry girl Jasmine. She weaseled her way into my life, effectively turning me from a dog-person to a cat-person (I still love dogs though!). Dan and I adopted a second cat, Misty, to continue growing our budding family. My other passions include photography, crocheting, and thrifting. I also operate a small crocheting business on the side called Greetings from Yesteryear (you can find me on Facebook!).

I’m currently wearing two hats at the Ney Nature Center in Henderson, MN. As a YES! Coordinator, I assist teams achieve greater sustainability in their schools and help them become better environmental stewards. As the Marketing Coordinator for Ney Nature Center, I have the pleasure of promoting all of the amazing events that take place there.

I’m very excited to join the MAEE Board and bring my skills to the table to continue to grow the organization throughout Minnesota. I look forward to meeting new faces as we promote environmental education throughout the state!

Courtney Dowell
Palisade, MN
Communications Committee
Elected to the Board in 2017

I aim to be constantly exploring and always learning in nature. I credit my love and appreciation for the outdoors to my parents and upbringing in Richfield, MN. My childhood was lived outdoors; playing in the creek at the park, climbing trees, riding a bike through the city streets, and camping on the weekends. As I grew up, my love of being outdoors grew into an appreciation for the environment and the natural world around me. I pursued a Bachelor’s of Science degree at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and studied Political Science, Environmental Science, and Sustainability Studies. After attaining my degree, I started on the path of being an environmental educator working at a zoo, nature centers, and operating and teaching in urban gardens. In 2014, I made a big move from bustling, bikeable Minneapolis to a small, rural town in Northern MN, and by small I mean less than 150 people and no stoplights for 30 miles! Currently, I work as Education Director at a residential environmental learning center, Long Lake Conservation Center. I love my job, my small close-knit community, living truly in the woods, and the abundance of opportunities to explore nature!

I am excited to be on the MAEE Board: MAEE and its community offer so many opportunities to explore! The opportunity to explore connections between people so passionate about sharing their appreciation of nature with others, and educating generations about environmental stewardship. The opportunity to explore Environmental Education with a network of people across the state; from urban centers to small towns with no stoplights. And lastly, the opportunity to explore what the future of Environmental Education looks like in Minnesota.

Liz Hasty photoLiz Hasty 
Golden Valley, MN
MAEE Treasurer
Awards/Scholarship Committee Co-Chair
Elected to the Board in 2015

I have a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and a Master’s degree in Education with a focus on Natural Science and Environmental Education. I have taught at nature centers, nature based preschools and city park and recreation facilities, reaching a broad and diverse public. I currently now work for Girl Scouts River Valley designing and presenting STEM and Outdoor Education based programs for the organization.  One of the most things I am proud of is while obtaining my Master’s, I worked at a school for children with autism for two years. I studied nature therapy for children with autism as my graduate research and loved the challenge and experience working with children with special needs. I continue to find ways to incorporate working with people with special needs in this field. There are so many benefits to being in nature and I want all people, regardless of any disabilities they may have, to experience nature and all it has to offer.

I am part of the MAEE Board because I want to find new ways to support Environmental Education. Throughout my personal education, I have been involved in many leadership and volunteer organizations such as Student Leadership Association and Habitat for Humanity. I always loved the community, teamwork and leadership that comes with being a leading member of an organization and would like to continue that. As part of MAEE, I want to continue to spread the word about environmental education including to those who are considering pursuing a career in environmental education. I would love to lead a mentorship to students involving them in MAEE and supporting them in their efforts to be environmental educators. I would also like to support MAEE in the continuing discussion of how to incorporate all people into environmental education including those with mental and physical disabilities. I love being part of MAEE and being a board member is one more way for me to support this wonderful organization!

Elissa Mallory
St. Paul, MN
Communications Committee, Fundraising Committee
Elected to the Board in 2017

I began my career in teaching directly after earning my BA in Anthropology at Macalester College. I spent two years as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Austin, TX. My program, an urban 4-H club, taught science classes in public schools around the city. I particularly enjoyed the parts of my job that included working outdoors with kids, plants, and animals. My experiences in AmeriCorps inspired me to pursue further study in environmental education which incorporates my lifelong passion for the outdoors, wildlife, and experiential education. While earning my Master's degree in Natural Science and Environmental Education from Hamline University, I worked as a costumed interpreter at various MN historical sites. I learned a great deal of Minnesota's amazing natural and cultural history, while also learning pioneer skills like food preservation and food gardening. I currently teacher pre-K at a nature-based school in the Twin Cities. I am inspired by my students' awe of nature, innate understanding of natural systems, and curiosity on a daily basis.


Mike Mesch photoMike Mesch
Eagan, MN
Events Committee
Elected to the board in 2016

I grew up camping, hiking, and fishing. At a young age, a love for the outdoors was instilled upon me. I spent as much time in the natural world as possible and still do to this day. All of my time outdoors and the wonderful experiences I have had in the natural world has taught me to value our natural environment. From that has come a desire to protect our natural world and educate others to do the same. 

I never thought of having a career in environmental education but unexpectedly found myself in the field. I went straight from completing my bachelor's degree into a position with an environmental non-profit. I spent nearly two years working with that non-profit doing environmental education work relating to rain gardens, native plantings and water quality issues. I ended up becoming their program manager. I realized this is where I needed to make my career as I loved every minute of the work I was doing. 

I then went to get a Master's of Environmental Education Natural Science. My capstone research looked at ways to increase the effectiveness of public environmental education messages. My career has been spent doing environmental education outside of the traditional K-12 classroom setting. I truly believe that environmental education cannot be limited to the classroom setting. Experience must be part of environmental education whenever possible. Students must be allowed to get out and experience what they are learning about and use all of their senses to fully understand the concepts being thought. The experience allows people to learn to value the natural world which will in turn make them more curious about it and drive more educational experiences. Experience also teaches people to value the environment. Once people learn to value something, they learn to care for it.

Abby Moore
Minneapolis, MN
Advocacy Committee
Elected to the board in 2017

I have been an outdoor and environmental educator for more than twenty years (!).  I grew up in St. Paul and have have lived all over the country as an adult, returning to MN four years ago.  As a teenager I was lucky enough to spend my summers on wilderness trips in Minnesota, the Rocky Mountains, and the far north.  These were the experiences that most strongly influenced me and made me passionate about connecting with nature and understanding how humans fit into larger natural systems.  My love for wild places and being outdoors led me to study geology in college, imagining myself as a career scientist, tromping around in the mountains or across the tundra.   I fell into environmental education immediately after graduating from college in an effort to buy me some time to figure what was next.  Little did I know that I would fall in love with teaching and EE as a whole.   Since then I have never looked back, continuing on my path to become a better practitioner and provide EE in different ways to different audiences over time.  When I'm not working, I can be found spending time with my two children, exploring parks and trails around Minnesota, or practicing yoga.  

Molly Phipps photoMolly Phipps
St. Paul, MN
Events Committee, Conference Coordinator
Elected to the board in 2013

I have always been committed to the environment, nature, and protecting natural resources. I grew up on the shores of Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island where I loved to go to the beach and watch the landscape and the flora and fauna of the beach ecosystem change. I have a BS from Brown University in Geology and Biology and studies past climate change before discovering environmental education as my passion. I have a PhD from Oregon State University in Science Education with a minor in Oceanography. I worked as an evaluator and grant-writer focusing on environmental education at the Science Museum of Minnesota before starting my own consulting business in 2013 for environmental education, evaluation, and community building. I work with local and national groups to improve EE for learners of all ages. I also am a co-owner of Growing West Side, LLC – a community-based organization dedicated to building community through urban agriculture and food access; Growing West Side runs the West Side Farmers’ Market, educational classes on gardening, and supports neighbors growing their own food. I live in Saint Paul with my husband, 2 year old daughter, our dog and our cat. We love exploring the natural Twin Cities, gardening and teaching my daughter to love and respect the outdoor environment. 
Lindsday Raab photoLindsay Raab
St. Paul, MN
MAEE Vice President
Events Committee Chair
Elected to the board in 2015

I was a lucky Minnesota kid who spent a lot of time playing in the woods, swimming in lakes, camping in parks, and visiting local zoos. My time spent in nature, and learning about the natural world, led directly to my passion and career of choice: environmental education. One of my career goals is to help ensure that these types of natural settings and learning experiences will continue to be available and utilized by children of today. Making connections with nature at a young age can lead to much-needed earth stewardship and conservation efforts. 

I am currently an Education Specialist and the Camp Director at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul. I recently started teaching a new school program funded by the Legacy Amendment, called the Residency Program. “Resident” students get to experience and learn at Como instead of their normal classroom for a whole week! Camp Como starts in June! Some of my favorite animal ambassadors that I work with are “Turkey” the parrot, “Prism” the rainbow boa (both pictured) and “Mr. T” the tegu (not pictured). I was also a Naturalist with Dakota County Parks. I mainly taught at Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan. Some of my favorite programs included Parent/Child Canoeing and Girl Scouts Geocaching. I earned my Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington. I received my B.S. in Biology and Psychology from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. My thesis work involved seabird monitoring and habitat conservation. My passions include birds, music, conservation and sustainability. 

Melissa Tobias photo

Melissa Tobias
Minneapolis, MN
Events Committee, Fundraising Committee
Elected to the board in 2016

Environmental Education has been an interest of mine since my student teaching experience in Madison, Wisconsin. I have a B.S in Elementary Education and Health Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and have enjoyed a variety of professional experiences that connect my interests in nature-based learning, wellness, sustainability, and early education. I lived and worked in Chicago for 5 years where I taught farm-to-school curriculum and implemented teacher training programs for Seven Generations Ahead, and served as the Sustainability & Wellness Teacher at The Academy for Global Citizenship. In 2015 I received my Masters in Education from Lesley University with a focus in early childhood studies and education for sustainability. My Masters Thesis was a teacher action research project that explored the ways in which nature-based learning influences pro-social behaviors in preschool aged children. Currently, I am teaching at Dodge Nature Preschool in West Saint Paul where I enjoy exploring the outdoors with children, on the beautiful property of Dodge Nature Center. When I am not hiking with preschoolers, I spend my time practicing yoga, running, working on my house and garden, and exploring the Twin Cities with my husband Brett.

With the MAEE board, I look forward to building relationships with individuals and organizations who have a passion for, and interest in environmental education. With the MAEE Board, I intend to make nature-based education accessible and applicable to all educators in Minnesota.
Jenna Totz photoJenna Totz
Minneapolis, MN
Communications Committee
Elected to the board in 2016

My love for the environment began at a young age. I grew up on a lake so swimming, canoeing, and ice skating were regular activities throughout the year. As an adult, my outdoor activities have morphed into stand up paddleboarding, inline skating, and walking the dog. My biggest environmental pet peeves are seeing recyclables in the trash, incandescent light bulbs, and excessive product packaging.

I graduated from St. Cloud State University with a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education. I taught 8th grade Earth Science for five years before deciding to change career paths, because I found myself loving the environmental work I was doing at my school. I now work for Climate Generation, a non-profit that educates and empowers people to engage in solutions to climate change. I earned my master’s degree in Environmental Education from Hamline University. My capstone project was a six-lesson climate change curriculum for middle school students called Next Generation Climate. In my spare time I likes to play with my dog Porter, hang out at local breweries with my husband Travis, and travel as much as my schedule allows.

Wendy Tremblay photoWendy Tremblay
Maplewood, MN
MAEE President
Fundraising Committee Chair
Elected to the board in 2014

Wendy Tremblay has a B.S. in Elementary Education with an emphasis in Science from the University of Wisconsin. She is currently working as a Nature Specialist for Children’s Country Day School in Mendota Heights, providing environmental education to toddler and preschool children. Wendy has always had a love of science and got her start in environmental education while co-authoring a high school curriculum on invasive plant species.  Since then, she has enjoyed a variety of environmental opportunities including providing garden education to youth for UW-Extension, volunteering at Warner Nature Center and as a naturalist for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Wendy is also a former president of the UW-Stout National Science Teachers Association. Wendy enjoys gardening, hiking, yoga and camping, as well as eating and cooking good food. Wendy lives in Maplewood with her husband and two boys. 
Honorable Mention Volunteer:

M. Annie Santos, Attorney

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP
Minneapolis, MN

© Minnesota Association for Environmental Education
3815 American Blvd E Bloomington, MN 55425
612-354-MAEE (6233) |
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