The Missouri Environmental Education Association’s mission is to help educators connect every Missouri learner to the natural world and
equip them to care, understand, and act for the environment.

MEEA Board Responsibilities

MEEA members are eligible to be elected to the Board of Directors, MEEA’s governing body. Board members serve two year terms, and serve on at least one committee. Once serving for a year, Board members are eligible to serve on the Executive Board (President, President-Elect/Secretary, and Treasurer). Additionally, MEEA recently added an Advisory Board to its structure to advise, assist, and advocate to the Board of Directors on behalf of matters that will strengthen opportunities for MEEA members and beneficiaries. Advisory Board members are selected and appointed by the MEEA Executive Board, and may be nominated by the MEEA Executive Board, the Advisory Board, or the Executive Director. MEEA is in the process of updating policies and practices to reflect Dynamic Governance, a method of governing that centers around consent-based decision-making, valuing all perspectives, and transparency.

Visit our Document Library for MEEA’s articles of incorporation, by-laws, policies/procedures and financial documents as well as past meeting minutes and our collection of downloadable resources.

The President’s responsibilities are 1) to set the agenda and run the meetings, and 2) to have and exercise general charge and supervision of the corporation (MEEA) including staff. This is a two year term, with the first year as president/elect secretary and the second as president. It is one of the shortest descriptions because this position is responsible for overseeing all of the activities listed below.

The President Elect/Secretary’s responsibilities are 1) to perform the duties and possess and exercise the powers of the President at their request or in their absence or disability, 2) to communicate with team leaders and staff monthly to check on progress, 3) to take minutes at the meetings (except when chairing them in which case they should designate a substitute Secretary), 4) to serve as chief liaison with the North American Association for EE and 5) countersign all instruments executed by the President on behalf of the corporation as directed by the Executive Board. This is a two year term, with the first year as President/Elect Secretary and the second as President.

The Treasurer’s responsibilities are 1) to keep the records of the books of account of the corporation and receive and disburse funds of the corporation as directed by the board, 2) keep accurate accounts of all financial transactions, 3) make reports at the monthly meetings, 4) make all records available for audit as directed by the board, 5) submit an annual summary of transactions at the end of the year and 6) oversee the financial responsibilities of the organization. In practice, the Treasurer oversees the work of the Executive Director who handles day to day management of resources and of the Accountant who prepares quarterly financial statements and preparation of non-profit filing to the IRS (the 990 EZ). The Treasurer is the convener of the Resources Team. This is a two year term.

The At-Large Board Members’ responsibilities are 1) to help set policy under the supervision of the President, and 2) to assist with developing plans for and implementing policy goals and objectives, including being part of a Team, assisting with the Conference and providing at least one monthly column for the newsletter.

The Director’s responsibility is to help implement board policies, goals and projects. 

People Team duties include : handling membership applications and renewals, newsletter, website, facebook posts, coordinating EE awards, working with other groups, and attending and tabling at conferences and workshop. 

Purpose Team duties include: managing the certification program, providing logistical support for the conference, coordinating EE grants. 

Resources Team duties include: tracking and managing income and expenses, working with the treasurer and board to develop the annual budget, working with the treasurer and accountant to prepare the annual 990 EZs, apply for grants and scholarships, and develop and implement fundraising strategies. 

Governance Team duties include: researching issues for the board to consider, assisting with strategic planning, and filing required paperwork.

Governance: Meet our Amazing Team!

 

Board of Directors

Jeff Birchler, Springfield

Jeff Birchler, Springfield

President

I am currently the Center Coordinator for the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks where I facilitate education and outreach activities for groups of all ages and backgrounds.

Read more

Laurie Davis, Springfield

Laurie Davis, Springfield

Treasurer

I have had the privilege of working in a wide variety of education settings, both formal and informal, for over 30 years. I have always had a love for the outdoors and nature and can’t think of a better outlet for that enthusiasm than serving with MEEA.

Read more

Tonia Scherer, St. Louis

Tonia Scherer, St. Louis

President-Elect/Secretary

I’ve always had a passion for education, beginning my career as an English teacher. Eventually, however, I found myself feeling limited teaching in an indoor classroom setting and wanted to foster stronger connections between my students and the natural world around them.

Read more

Erin Graves, Herculaneum

Erin Graves, Herculaneum

I am a science teacher with a love of everything outdoors in nature and doing my part in helping to “save the world”. I teach high school Biology in Jefferson County, Missouri. I sponsor the Ecology club there and am proud to say the students have done so much to reduce the carbon footprint of everyone at our school.

Read more

Jill Hollowell, Rolla

Jill Hollowell, Rolla

My life path has provided phenomenal experiences as a formal and informal educator. My work with students ranges from “waders on” river excursions for water quality studies to developing environmental afterschool programming.

Read more

Sarah Holmes, Kansas City

Sarah Holmes, Kansas City

Immediate Past President

I am a science teacher at heart with a huge love of the outdoors. My love of nature was fostered by my father, who helped me flip over rocks to look at life below and showed me how garden spiders wrap their prey.

Read more

Christine Jie Li, Columbia

Christine Jie Li, Columbia

I am an Assistant Professor with the University of Missouri Columbia’s School of Natural Resources, specializes in environmental education and outreach. I teach undergraduate and graduate students majoring in Parks, Recreation, Sport, and Tourism, Environmental Science, and Human Dimension of Natural Resources Management. My research focuses on using community-based deliberative forums and gardening to cultivate underrepresented youth and family’s environmental awareness, hope and action competence.

Read more

Joan Ruppert, St. Louis

Joan Ruppert, St. Louis

I have been a nurse for 47 years and am recently retired as faculty from University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Nursing. When taking classes for my doctoral degree, I learned about schools that frame curriculum around nature and the natural curiosity of children.

Read more

Jennifer Schamber, St. Louis

Jennifer Schamber, St. Louis

I am the general manager of a family-owned garden center, Greenscape Gardens in west St. Louis County, Missouri. Greenscape was the 2015 national winner of Today’s Garden Center Magazine’s Revolutionary 100 for their work in the promotion of native plants.

Read more

Laura Seger, St. Louis

Laura Seger, St. Louis

Immediate Past President

I have worked as both an educator and a manager of EE programs, for infants to adults. I am passionate about the field and have strong networks that are accessible as resources.

Read more

Nick Speed, St. Louis

Nick Speed, St. Louis

Born and raised in St. Louis, MO, I developed a passion for taking care of the planet, food justice, and working with youth. From 2017-2020, I served as a Youth Educator for Gateway Greening. I’ve taught over 300 students in the St. Louis Public School District about science, nature, and urban agriculture. In addition to working with kids, I’ve facilitated professional development for other educators in the region, and assisted in the development of community garden projects.

Read more

Advisory Board

Leah Clyburn

Leah Clyburn

I currently work as a community organizer for the Sierra Club’s Missouri Beyond Coal campaign. Throughout my career, I have mobilized various communities across Missouri

Read more

Nikki Lemley

Nikki Lemley

The concept of experiential education entered my life when I was living in Germany as a young adult where I participated in a program that changed my lens of learning forever. 

Read more

Wilford Pinkney

Wilford Pinkney

I am current serving as the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth, and Families for the City of St. Louis.
Read more
Bill Ruppert

Bill Ruppert

I own and manage the St. Louis office of National Nursery Products, a horticultural sales, marketing and consulting company representing wholesale growers of a diverse variety of ornamental and environmental landscape plants.

Read more

Jennifer Schamber, St. Louis

Jennifer Schamber, St. Louis

I am the general manager of a family-owned garden center, Greenscape Gardens in west St. Louis County, Missouri. Greenscape was the 2015 national winner of Today’s Garden Center Magazine’s Revolutionary 100 for their work in the promotion of native plants.

Read more

Staff

Lesli Moylan, St. Louis

Lesli Moylan, St. Louis

Executive Director

Before leading MEEA, I was been a longtime youth gardening and outdoor education advocate, providing direct gardening and nutrition education to students as well as professional development opportunities for educators. Since working for MEEA, I have learned so much about how varied and expansive the field of environmental education is!

Read more

Jamin Bray, Salem

Jamin Bray, Salem

Assistant Director

I grew up loving the outdoors and knew early on that I wanted to become a wildlife biologist. I earned a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife from the University of Missouri, Columbia. The pivotal moment when I discovered Environmental Education was when working at a research laboratory. I was asked to interpret science to the public (especially school groups and community educators) as a Public Affairs Specialist. From that moment on, I have been determined to help citizens understand the challenges our environment faces, and how we can meet those challenges.

Read more

AmeriCorps VISTA’s

Stacey Parker “Parker”

Stacey Parker “Parker”

I returned to my hometown of St. Louis after 20 years of working as a clinical assistant professor and in residential education at universities across the country. The AmeriCorps VISTA opportunity is a dream come true, as I was seeking a way to be a positive force in the environmental justice movement.

Read more

Ben Freiman

Ben Freiman

I moved to St. Louis in early 2020 to start my first “real job” after graduating college. The pandemic was an unexpected twist on my journey, but I’ve been lucky enough to find this amazing opportunity to serve my community as an AmeriCorps VISTA .
Read more
Kathleen Larkins

Kathleen Larkins

I relocated from Texas to St. Louis to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA. I previously served yearlong VISTA terms in Michigan and Iowa, leading the development of joyful literacy experiences for young readers in public schools.

MEEA Members

MEEA’s members are the lifeblood of our organization, they’re why we exist and you drive our priorities. MEEA members include classroom teachers, informal educators, community members, parents, youth, and even organizations like schools, nonprofits, agencies, and businesses. We want everyone to have not only a seat at the table but a voice, which is why all membership levels include voting privileges and eligibility to serve on the Board of Directors. We have over 600 members to date, and we welcome you to join this community as well!

MEEA Organizational Members

Missouri Lake