The ENC’s Lead Naturalist Meghan Lockwood was awarded the Environmental Educator of the Year award from the Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education on Saturday at their Fall Conference. The award is for environmental educators who have contributed to the success of EE in the state, who lead by example.
“When she walked into the Nature Center four years ago, I knew I wanted to hire her before the interview even started,” said ENC Director of Education Lori Whalen. “You know how you can just look at someone and KNOW they’re a great educator?”
Meghan brings a wealth of experience to teaching children and leading Naturalists at the Center. Prior to working at the ENC, Meghan studied aboriginal culture and Tasmanian old growth forests in Australia and dolphins and colobus monkeys in Africa. She taught Introductory Ecology to first year college students. In Kenya she taught Environmental Conservation, English, AIDS Awareness and Computer Literacy classes to local children and adults.
Meghan developed her skills as an outdoor educator at Pathfinder Ranch where she worked in several capacities, including introducing inner city youth to the wonders of the natural world. She also had an opportunity to express her extreme love for organization as the Nature Center Manager… But probably the best thing that happened to Meghan at Pathfinder was an introduction to her now fiancé, Jeff. ☺
Meghan has worked at the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach since 2008. She IS a passionate educator, and her passion spills over into her students and into her co-workers. Meghan is deserving not just because she is a great educator, but also because she is an amazing leader. Congratulations, Meghan! – Lori Whalen