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DNR Education Manager Named President of Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education
Annapolis, MD - Thursday, March 12, 2009 - DNR Secretary John R. Griffin is congratulating DNR Education Program Manager Elena Takaki on her new role as President of the Maryland Association of Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE). This non-profit organization is responsible for providing thousands of Maryland environmental educators with exciting, engaging programs that promote sustainability and environmental health for children and their families.
“Elena’s passion for outdoor education and extensive experience in environmental research make her an ideal candidate to lead this organization for the next two years, which will be important ones as Maryland enhances efforts to educate our young people about and help them connect with our natural world,” said Secretary Griffin. “MAEOE will is fortunate to have her at the helm.”
Takaki holds a Bachelors of Science in Natural Resources Management and a Master of Arts in Science Education from University of Michigan, as well as a Master of Science in Environmental Science from Johns Hopkins University. She has also worked with Dr. Bill Stapp, a pioneer in environmental education at the University of Michigan. Takaki states that her work with Dr. Stapp profoundly influenced her life and career. In addition to working at DNR, Takaki has experience teaching middle school and high school science and working for numerous non-profit environmental organizations.
“MAEOE consists of talented individuals committed to making Maryland a leader in environmental education,” said Takaki. “I am so proud to be part of this grass-roots organization that embraces such a diverse group of members and encourages children to explore their outdoor world.”
Established in 1985, MAEOE is comprised of dedicated volunteers who develop excellent environmental education programs and materials for Maryland’s teachers, students, natural resource managers and environmental program managers. MAEOE’s flagship program, Maryland Green Schools, recognizes Maryland schools that include environmental education in the curricula, model best management practices at the school and address community environmental issues. Since its creation in 1999, 201 schools in most of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions have earned the right to hoist the distinctive Green School flag. MAEOE’s program serves as the model for other Green School programs across the country.
In addition, MAEOE continues to host the country’s largest state environmental education conference, with over 550 attendees present at this year’s 24th Annual MAEOE Conference Shades of Green: Exploring Diversity in Our Environment. The event offered stellar professional development opportunities and programming for members of the environmental education community.
To help ensure that all Maryland children have an opportunity to experience and connect with nature, last spring Governor Martin O’Malley established Maryland’s Partnership for Children in Nature, a coalition of state, local, private and non-profit partners charged with promoting the well-being of youth by accelerating environmental learning, connecting communities to parks and public lands and expanding opportunities for structured and unstructured outdoor time in nature for both play and learning. The Partnership’s initial report is expected to be presented by the Governor in April.
For more information about all of MAEOE’s programs, please visit http://www.maeoe.org.
March 12, 2009
Contact: Ray Weaver
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov