Their nicknames are Extreme West and Extreme East because they work at the extreme ends of this state. Cat Stylinski comes to MAEOE from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science’s Appalachian Lap in Frostburg; Carrie Samis from the Maryland Coastal Bays Program in Ocean City. “Because MAEOE represents and serves environmental educators throughout the entire state, the addition of Stylinski and Samis to the Board of Trustees will help the organization better reach out to professionals working on the edges of the state,” explained MAEOE Executive Director, Bronwyn Mitchell.
Each individual brings to MAEOE a unique set of talents and experience. As tenured faculty member, Dr. Stylinski has spent the last seven years designing, implementing and evaluating formal and informal environmental/science education programs and products which help middle and high school teachers and youth pursue local watershed investigations using geospatial technology. Dr. Stylinski researches the integration of innovative technology applications into formal and informal education, the relationship between children and nature, and news media impacts on public understanding of and attitudes about science.
Samis brings 16 years of experience as a conservation education professional with expertise in teacher professional development, minority outreach, and gifted and talented education with the goal of providing opportunities for teachers and students to explore local habitats, understand the complexities of local environmental issues, develop critical thinking skills, and foster sense of place, all in an effort to nurture a new generation of environmental stewards. Carrie Samis does not just believe in partnerships, she builds them, most notably as a leader in the organizing of the Delmarva Environmental Educators Network.
Elena Takaki, Board President, emphasizes that “the MAEOE Board feels confident that the organization’s future is bright with Carrie and Cat on board, and is excited to tap into their extensive knowledge and expertise.” Geography does present some challenges. Mitchell notes that MAEOE is committed to taking advantage of technology which will allow “Extreme West Cat” and “Extreme East Carrie” to actively participate in setting and overseeing the implementation of a creative vision for environmental education in the state without driving six hours to attend a two-hour meeting.. “After all,” she comments, “MAEOE believes in environmental leadership by action and example.”