Possibilities are Blooming in NGRREC’s Education Department

Article by: Jen Young, NGRREC/L&C Marketing and PR, jenryoung@lc.edu

EAST ALTON – Spring brings new possibilities, not only in nature, but also in the education department at the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC).

NGRREC, a division of Lewis and Clark Community College, recently welcomed two new team members to the education department, Kathy Fournier and Jen Mandeville. Fournier joined the team in early January and Mandeville just recently started in mid-April.

“I love connecting people to their environment in ways they may not have realized existed,” Fournier said. “Seeing things from a new perspective can have significant impacts on groups and individuals and change how they think about conservation and protecting our planet.”   

Fournier works as the lead educator for the Critical Interface Network project. Her role is to transform the cutting-edge research into education programs and lessons that are useful for teachers throughout Illinois to teach earth science. This position is partially funded through a National Science Foundation grant.

“We are also working with partners to create a statewide network of earth science teachers in Illinois,” she said. “This network will increase teachers’ confidence for teaching earth science in all grades.”

Mandeville, the new Swarovski Waterschool educator, is responsible for planning, developing and delivering the Waterschool curriculum to teachers throughout the Mississippi River watershed.

“The best part about my job is working with community members of all ages on watershed issues and helping people discover the natural world around them,” Mandeville said.

“Bringing on two highly experienced environmental educators will allow us not only to expand our education and outreach programs, but will also bring fresh ideas and innovative programming to the center,” said Director of Environmental Education Sarah Fisher. “We are overjoyed to have both Kathy and Jen join our team.”

With the addition of Fournier and Mandeville, NGRREC education staff aim to teach water education programming to more students throughout the region.

To learn more about NGRREC’s environmental education programs visit http://www.ngrrec.org/Education or email NGRRECEducation@lc.edu.

National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC)

Founded in 2002 as a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lewis and Clark Community College, NGRREC is dedicated to the study of great river systems and the communities that use them. The center aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education, and outreach related to the interconnectedness of large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds, and their associated communities.

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