Board of Directors Applications Open
The Arkansas Environmental Education Association is now accepting applications for the Board of Directors. AEEA is a small organization with a working board. Board service is a commitment of your time, energy, and expertise. Board members must be members of AEEA and believe in the mission of the organization, but Board members do not have to be practitioners of environmental education. Board members can bring a variety of other skills and expertise to the organization.
Term of service – January 2020 through December 2022
Deadline to apply – 5:00pm Friday, October 11, 2019
If you are interested in applying for the Board of Directors, please read the Board of Directors Responsibilities and Agreement document and consider the points below. The application can be filled out using either online or using the pdf version.
Application form as a pdf: AEEA Board Application Form 2019
Key qualities of an engaged and successful Board member:
~ Ability to: listen, analyze, think clearly and creatively, work well with people individually and in a group.
~ Willingness to: prepare for and attend board and committee meetings, ask questions, take responsibility and follow through on a given assignment, contribute personal resources in a generous way according to circumstances, open doors in the community, evaluate oneself.
~ Skills and experience to: cultivate and solicit funds, cultivate and recruit board members and other volunteers, read and understand financial statements, and learn more about the programs of AEEA.
~ Possession of: honesty; sensitivity to and tolerance for differing views; a friendly, responsive, and patient approach; community-building skills; personal integrity; a developed sense of values; concern for AEEA’s organizational development; and a sense of humor.
Is AEEA the right cause and organization for me?
Approach this decision as if you were planning to make a major donation. You would probably begin by thinking of areas where you have strong feelings. After settling on a subject area, ask yourself whether you truly feel strongly about the type of work that the organization does and the people it serves.
Can I work with the AEEA Board at this particular stage in its development?
As an organization grows and changes, board service looks different at different times. AEEA is embarking on updates to its strategic plan and policies and procedures. This will be a time of growth and change. Is this the right time for you to serve in our organization ?
What can I, and what will I contribute to AEEA?
What skills, contacts, and perspectives do I have that will be useful to this organization? Consider first what you bring to the table, and then, whether you are willing to give that to the organization. Ask yourself: do I believe in this organization enough to introduce my colleagues to it? Can I make a commitment to attending at least 75% of the meetings? Can I volunteer with other board members on occasional Saturdays, if needed? Would I feel comfortable having my name on their letterhead or on their brochure?
What do I want to gain from serving on the AEEA Board?
The final question is one that potential candidates should ask themselves and one that active Board members should periodically re-examine during their Board service. A good match between an individual and a board can benefit both the person and the organization. Board members who plan and ask for what they want in the board will contribute more as well as gain more.
Questions can be directed to a current board member or Sophia Stephenson. Please reach out if you are interested.
The Arkansas Environmental Education Association is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the membership. Directors serve for a tenure of three years. Any member of AEEA can seek election as a member of the board. The current Board of Directors is listed below.
AEEA Board of Directors 2019
Tiffany Dunn, President | Recycle Saline | 2018-2020
Tiffany Dunn is the Executive Director for Recycle Saline: A Solid Waste District. In this position, she oversees the award winning, YEA! Team program working with teachers and students on recycling programs in Saline County schools. With her passion for working with kids and educating them about recycling she developed and annually produces Re-Fashion Bash “Where Green Is The New Black” a recycling fashion show where students create designs out of recycled and reusable material for the runway.
Tiffany received her BA in Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is very committed to her community, actively serving on the Board of Directors for Keep Bryant Beautiful, Benton Matters, AEEA, and SWANA. She is also a member of the Arkansas Recycling Coalition. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter visiting parks, hiking, and traveling.
Michelle is a Development Management Specialist for Communities Unlimited. She is a native of Northwest Arkansas whose childhood fascination with the outdoors influenced her career. Michelle has been involved in environmental education and conservation for over 15 years with experience developing and delivering curriculum related to a wide variety of environmental topics. She has coordinated numerous conservation events around Northwest Arkansas and has actively engaged hundreds of volunteers in conservation and restoration activities.
Michelle has a BA from Hendrix College in Environmental Ethics and a Masters in Management and Leadership from the George Herbert Walker School of Business with Webster University. Michelle is actively involved in her community. Currently she serves as the President of the Northwest Arkansas Audubon Society Chapter. She was the 2015 Volunteer Chair for the Washington County Habitat for Humanity Women’s Build Committee. She is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Beaver Watershed Alliance and the Multi-Basin Regional Water Council. Michelle is an active Project Learning Tree facilitator, training teachers and educators around Arkansas. In her free time she enjoys gardening, reading, canoeing, and exploring her own backyard with her family.
Dr. Melissa Lombardi, Secretary |U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | 2019-2021
Melissa works as an endangered species biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Arkansas Field Office in Conway. In this position, she is also the primary point of contact for outreach and education events and volunteer and internship programs. Melissa earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology at Hendrix College, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at Louisiana State University, and a master’s degree in Fish and Wildlife Service at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville. As a member of AEEA, she has presented at EE Expos and served on the Expo Planning Committee. Melissa resides in Greenbrier with her husband and son and enjoys hiking, traveling, and cooking.
Brad Robertson, Treasurer | United Way | 2018-2020
Rob Beadel has served since 2008 as the Director of Forestry Education for the Arkansas Forestry Association Education Foundation (AFAEF). In this position he serves as the state coordinator for Project Learning Tree (PLT) and also coordinates landowner education programs throughout the state. In 1995, Rob graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Biology from Arkansas Tech University. He has been involved in Environmental Education since 1995 having worked for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. Rob had served on several environmental education boards at both the state and national levels. He has served on the Arkansas Environmental Education Association board of directors completing two terms as the Board President and on the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) Affiliate Steering Committee. He recently completed a three-year appointment as the PLT Coordinator Representative on the Education Operating Committee for National PLT. Rob resides in Benton.
Dr. Kristina Bondurant |DRKB Science and Solutions, ATC Scientific Consultant, & Analytics Department, AFMC | 2019-2021
Kristina is a scientist with experience in biomedical research, food testing, epidemiology, program evaluation, and education. She currently consults as a microbiologist at a food testing lab and as an epidemiologist at a local non-profit. She is active in the Little Rock School District, bringing hands-on science demonstrations and investigations to her neighborhood elementary school two days a week. She has a strong interest in education in Arkansas and believes there are many ways to bring groups together for environmental education and to support environmental efforts in the state. Her family engages in various outdoor activities throughout Arkansas and it is important to her that her children continue to experience all that our state offers. She believes that playing an active role through the AEEA board to keep Arkansas the Natural state would be an honor.
Suzanne Hirrel | Leopold Education Project | 2019
Suzanne Hirrel graduated from Oklahoma State University with a BS and MS in Animal Science. After graduation she accepted a position of County Agent 4-H and Agriculture with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in Pulaski County. Her 4-H members became interested in recycling and this sparked her interest in environmental issues. She accepted a joint position between the UACES and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (then it was the Pollution Control and Ecology) to develop education and outreach programs for recycling, solid waste management, composting and environmental education. After 4 years of working with both agencies, she transitioned back to full time Extension, continuing to work in solid waste/recycling and composting, adding urban stormwater, abandoned pesticides and sustainable agriculture responsibilities. She is now retired but stays active in the Leopold Education Project, Keep Little Rock Beautiful, Project Learning Tree, the Big Rock Chapter of Quail Forever and the Arkansas Recycling Coalition.
Larry spent his retirement years from 2005 to 2013 working on his inventions. His first project was looking at how recycling was being accomplished, and then how to make it more convenient so that a greater number of items could be collected. After numerous different sizes, colors, dividers, materials, and lastly in-home tests, the current container is the result. Larry was able to see his idea come to fruition. A container that fits right inside your kitchen, collects more recycling items than any other recycling program, “including plastic bags, Styrofoam, computer parts, glass, and sorts them as they are placed inside. During this process he found that pharmaceutical, OTC medications, and vitamins are polluting are drinking water and that there is no known way to remove these pollutants. Thus hatched the concept of his Stat-Medicament-Disposal bottle.
Tabbi Kinion | Arkansas Game & Fish Commission | 2019-2021
Tabbi is currently the Education Division Chief for Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. She has served as the Statewide Education Coordinator for Colorado Parks and Wildlife and as a Nature Center Interpretive Specialist for Jefferson County Open Space at Lookout Mountain Nature Center. Tabbi believes that AEEA should serve as the local professional organization for the 65 AGFC Education Division Staff Members. She would like to build a strong connection and understanding of the work that AEEA does and contribute as a board member in order to ensure that this organization meets the needs of environmental educators across Arkansas. As an active member of the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE) for 18 years, she was involved in the writing, public comment, and adoption process for the Colorado Environmental Education Plan that was adopted by the State Board of Education in 2015. She also served on a wide variety of CAEE committees over the years, including the advisory committee.
Trish Ouei is an urban stormwater educator at the Benton County Cooperative Extension Service under the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. Trish has a BS degree in Health Education and a Master’s in Educational Technologies. She has served as treasurer, VP, and President for AEEA and is re-joining the BOD after taking a couple of years off. Her career experience allows her to not only look at environmental education from the water quality side, but also with a public health eye and a solid waste management perspective. She has conducted and coordinated local, state, and regional trainings, multi-day conferences, and community education programming. Trish enjoys the hustle and bustle of Northwest Arkansas but still loves getting to roam thru the country side like she did growing up in the Arkansas River Valley.
Leah Saffian | Northwest Arkansas Land Trust | 2018 – 2019
Leah is a Past President of the Board of Directors and was very involved with the 2018 Expo Committee. She currently works for the Northwest Arkansas Land Trust in addition to operating a graphic design and visual arts business, Counterpart Studio. She received her BA in Art & Performance from the University of Texas at Dallas before relocating to Fayetteville, Arkansas to become a member of the 2012 Energy Corps. She was subsequently offered a full-time position as Deputy Director and Education Coordinator for Washington County Environmental Affairs where she worked for over 6 years.
Bo Verser| Pangburn High School | 2019 – 2021
Bo teaches physical science, environmental science and physics at Pangburn High School. He has served on the Audubon Arkansas Board of Directors and is currently serving on the Audubon Arkansas Important Bird Areas Technical Committee. Bo has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Fish and Wildlife Management from Arkansas Tech University. He has studied birds, insects, and plants and their ecological interdependencies for many years. He has been humbled by how daunting the task is to teach students things they don’t know but ought to know. He considers the task of educating people about our environment and how to be proper stewards of it one of the most noble and crucial endeavors one could engage in. His late-in-life career change to teaching was based in no small part on this. AEEA seems to be a natural fit to him.
AEEA By-laws 2008
The Board of Directors is governed by the AEEA By-laws 2008.