ee360 is the North American Association for Environmental Education’s (NAAEE) newest initiative supporting innovative environmental education across the country. NAAEE, through a cooperative agreement with US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and seven partner organizations, including Antioch University New England, is leading an ambitious five-year initiative to support a diverse cadre of environmental education leaders that are better prepared to increase environmental literacy for everyone, everywhere.
The team at Antioch University New England (AUNE) leverages its strengths in group dynamics, facilitation, community-based education, collaborative inquiry, cultural relevance, teaching and learning, curriculum design, and evaluation to contribute to community engagement-focused aspects of ee360.
In particular, the team at AUNE is rolling out the Community Engagement: Guidelines for Excellence by facilitating workshops for environmental education leaders and practitioners across the country. Some key themes include capacity building and civic action, collaboration and inclusion, and long-term community investment. We also develop resources like educational manuals, toolkits, and curricular activities to accompany workshops and other outreach efforts. These efforts explore aspects of key themes more deeply, like inclusive stakeholder engagement, appreciative inquiry, and cultural relevance, among others.
Jean Kayira, Antioch ee360 team, Co-Project Director
Jean is core faculty and Associate Director of the Environmental Studies PhD program at Antioch University New England. Her areas of interest include sustainability education, Indigenous knowledge, and postcolonial theory; youth, place, and culture; decolonizing methodologies; participatory forms of education and research; and cross-cultural education and research. She teaches courses such as: citizen participation and sustainable communities; dissertation seminar; place-based environmental education; urban environmental education; qualitative research methods; and program planning and design. Additionally, Jean co-advises Community Garden Connections.
Jean has been engaged in a variety of research working with youth and teacher candidates on issues of sustainability, particularly examining Indigenous knowledge and sustainability, youth identity in relation to place and sustainability, and social and ecological justice pedagogies. For example, in her doctoral research, she explored the possibilities of Indigenous knowledge in furthering student learning in relation to culturally appropriate environmental sustainability. She has drawn on the sub-Saharan African concept of Ubuntu/uMunthu and postcolonial theory to enable a third space (Bhabha, 1994) centered on culturally appropriate Malawian ways of knowing, while at the same time, working in tandem with non-Indigenous knowledge and practice. In broad terms, this study sought to widen the space that meaningfully acknowledges both Indigenous and non-Indigenous knowledge and practice. To learn more about Jean’s work, visit her faculty webpage.
Libby McCann, Antioch ee360 team, Co-Project Director
Libby serves as Antioch University New England’s Director of Environmental Education (EE) within the Environmental Studies Department. In addition to advising master’s and doctoral students, she teaches graduate courses on such topics as: environmental and sustainability education; program planning and design; inclusive education, program evaluation; urban EE; leadership development, civic ecology & community resilience; sustainable school and community-based food systems; and environmental communications in the digital age & climate change education. Libby collaborates with faculty and students through Community Garden Connections, which works to build local capacity to grow food, address food insecurity, and enhance personal and communal health. Libby holds two degrees in the natural sciences, a doctorate in adult education, and has facilitated a variety of educational programs for youth and adults over the past 25 years. For more information, visit Libby’s faculty webpage.
Luciana Ranelli, Antioch ee360 Team, Outreach Coordinator
Connections. Luciana Ranelli’s personal and professional life revolve around the theme of connections as she fosters relationships among people, sees connections between ideas, and invests in connection to place. Joining the ee360 project ties in her passions for communication, social justice, inquiry, outdoor exploration, and education. Luciana is currently at Antioch University New England working toward a Master of Science in Environmental Studies with an Environmental Education concentration. Prior to Antioch, Luciana dove deeply into environmental education practice as a Naturalist at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Northern Minnesota for three years. She’s particularly proud of her role at Wolf Ridge in which she facilitated educational culture and curricular shifts to include formative assessments and research on how people learn. Luciana holds a Graduate Certificate of Environmental Education from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and a BA in Biology and Secondary Education from the University of Minnesota, Morris. An ice skating adventure on a pristine lake in Vermont stands among the most magical of adventures in her most recent memory…and she is always on the lookout for more.
Cynthia Espinosa Marrero, Antioch ee360 team, Education Consultant
Cynthia Espinosa Marrero is a food systems scholar and activist, helping diverse communities grow and learn more about food and environmental systems. Her passion was seeded with her family and neighbors in Yabucoa,P.R. where she grew up. With over 10 years of experience in the food systems, Cynthia is now focusing her expertise in her own consulting business, Pulegium Consulting. Inspired by her ancestral roots, especially her abuela (grandmother), Cynthia facilitates trainings and curriculum development for environmental educators, organizations and institutions in the topics of diversity, inclusion, community engagement and permaculture (DICP). Her use of permaculture is unique as she uses the principles, ethics and activities in her design of the trainings she offers. As a volunteer support and Environmental Educator with Latino Outdoors and within her own community, she follows her humanistic educator goal of giving opportunities to underrepresented groups to find their inner power, voice, and skills to build a socially just food and environmental system. She has a BA Degree in Sustainable Food Management from UMass Amherst and a Master of Science in Environmental Studies focusing in Environmental Education from Antioch University New England.
Anna Mooney, Antioch ee360 team, Doctoral Student
Anna Mooney serves as the Director of Environmental Education at YMCA Camp Thunderbird in Lake Wylie, South Carolina. In her eight years as an environmental educator, Anna has worked with hundreds of teachers to craft field trips that meet the academic and social needs of students. Inspired by the teachers’ enthusiasm and passion for fair and just education for all, Anna is currently studying culturally relevant environmental education in pursuit of her doctorate in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England. She also holds a Master of the Arts in Psychology from Hunter College, a graduate certificate in Animal Behavior and Conservation from Hunter College, and a Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology from Wagner College.