Jenna Mendenhall, Board Chair 

jenna mendenhallFacilitator

Jenna has worked in the field of environmental education for over 10 years; first as a volunteer interpreter at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, then as the Conservation Education Lead Coordinator for the Friends of Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge in Sherwood. She was most recently the Project Coordinator for the Oregon Environmental Literacy Program. She also facilitates educator training with the Oregon Natural Resource Education Program, and is a Certified Interpretive Guide through the National Association for Interpretation. She has a Bachelor of Science in Human Dimensions within the Environment from Oregon State University. Jenna believes the best way to teach is through personal experiences, especially those that take you outside, and has a passion for developing relationships that cultivate an interest and love of the natural world. As a native Oregonian, Jenna loves all that this beautiful state has to offer, especially the coast. Her other passions include: owls, paper crafts, the ocean, and adventures with her husband and son.

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Charissa Jones, Treasurer

charzyOregon State University Extension Service - Outdoor School
Outreach and Inclusion Coordinator

Charissa is an educator and advocate with a passion for nature, DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion), and helping people (re)connect to the environment. She has worked in the environmental field for over 10 years. She was the Environmental Education Coordinator for Tualatin Riverkeepers. Now she works on engaging others across the state around Outdoor School and making sure all communities in Oregon have access to Outdoor School. She has a Master of Science degree in Environmental Education from Antioch University New England and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from New College of Florida.

Originally from Suriname, South America, Charissa moved to the States when she was four and uses her personal experience of trying to feel grounded in her new surroundings as a guide to implementing place-based and community-based conservation education. She is a member of the Youth Mentoring Collaborative and on their Planning Committee. She also participated in the Portland STEM Hub Partnership to provide feedback on how to transform curricula that is STE(A)M and NGSS focused. Charissa also represents EEAO and Oregon as our affliliate at the NAAEE affiliate meetings.

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Tara LaidlawTara Laidlaw, Board Member

Southern Oregon Land Conservancy
Education Program Manager

Tara grew up spending her summers in the high Sierra, scrambling over granite, swimming in snowmelt lakes, and stargazing through dark mountain nights. Although she didn’t know it at the time, these experiences laid the foundation for a career in helping people connect with place. Tara has now been working in place-based environmental education for over a decade, using farms, wilderness preserves, and historic estates as living classrooms to spark curiosity and wonder in learners of all ages. As a frontline facilitator, instructional designer, and teacher trainer, Tara works at the intersection of formal and informal education, helping students develop scientific, environmental, and ecological literacy; she specializes in supporting the Next Generation Science Standards in out-of-classroom settings.

Tara holds a BA in Anthropological Sciences from Stanford University and an MAEd in Natural Science and Environmental Education from Hamline University. She currently serves as Southern Oregon Land Conservancy’s Education Program Manager, and she offers independent consulting services through her own business Out to Learn. She is very excited to be part of a board that is actively exploring avenues for more equitable, accessible, and inclusive environmental education throughout Oregon.

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Carrie Caselton LoweCarrie Caselton Lowe, Board Member

Greater Oregon STEM HubOregon STEM Hub
Career Connected Learning Facilitator

Carrie Caselton Lowe serves as the Career Connected Learning Facilitator for the Greater Oregon STEM Hub whose region covers a large section of Eastern Oregon. Carrie lives, works and plays in Northeast Oregon, surrounded by the Blue, Wallowa, and Elkhorn Mountains. Natural resources education is a thread that weaves through her work experiences over the years as an outdoor school instructor, classroom teacher, ecologist, organic farmer, food justice coordinator, and now as a STEM educator. Trained as an ecologist and teacher, Carrie has a penchant for community projects that bring youth into real world ecological projects. She partners with the Oregon Natural Resources Education Program and OSU - Outdoor School program facilitating professional development workshops for educators and scientists. With her husband and two kids, she gets lots of opportunities to explore the wild place they call home.

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Cassie FrickeCassi Fricke, Board Member

Southern Oregon University
Graduate Student

Hi! I’m Cassi Fricke. I am a current graduate student at Southern Oregon University, pursuing a Master’s degree in Environmental Education. I chose this program because I believe EE is a great avenue for connecting with the public about the environment, including environmental issues and the responsibilities that humans have in their relationship with environmental resources. I am originally from Wisconsin, where I grew up in the Milwaukee area and attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. There, I studied Environmental Policy and Planning, as well as Environmental Science; I also earned a certificate in Sustainability during this time. Through this, I have learned the importance of interdisciplinary work in understanding and mitigating environmental issues, including the environmental education field as a great resource in closing the disconnect that sometimes exists between academia and the general public when it comes to these topics. In my free time, I love crafting, being outdoors, and spending time with my tortie, Bonnie. I am excited to be a board member for EEAO in order to gain nonprofit experience and have a chance to work alongside and learn from other environmental educators throughout the state.

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Carly McIver, Board Member

Southern Oregon University
Graduate Student

Born and raised in New England, Carly’s path to Environmental Education started early with her love of the outdoors. She graduated from Smith College in 2015, and after working in zoos, outdoor schools, and science museums across the eastern seaboard, decided to join the Master of Science in Environmental Education program at Southern Oregon University. As the Office Manager for Cohort 13, Carly has enjoyed exploring the administrative side of EE, and is excited to expand that knowledge by working with the board of EEAO. Carly is passionate about nurturing equity and diversity in outdoor and environmental education, and can’t wait to work with the exceptional EEAO team to craft guidelines that will make EE in Oregon accessible to all.

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Sophia Anguilla, Board Member

Friends of Outdoor School
Network Coordinator

Sophia grew up in Portland, OR. She attended several environmental education opportunities, leading her to become a high school student leader through MESD Outdoor School. There she deepened her passion for helping others which led her to pursue a career in nonprofit. Sophia currently works as the Network Coordinator for Friends of Outdoor School where she helps advocate for all Oregon students to have access to enriching and inclusive Outdoor School experiences.

Sophia now lives in Bend, OR. She uses her spare time to take in all of the natural beauty that Central Oregon has to offer and wants to ensure that beauty is preserved for future generations. She is excited to be a part of the EEAO board to connect her knowledge of Outdoor School to Oregon's broader environmental education movement.

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We are actively seeking new board members. Learn how you can be a board member by talking with a current board member.

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PO Box 686
McMinnville, OR 97128
Call (503) 857-7884

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