Out West student blog

Getting an Education in Being an Environmental Educator

 

Theo at the Palisades Bluffs in their hometown of Los Angeles. (Photo Credit: Aislyn Murray)

By Theo Bamberger '21
Hometown: Los Angeles, California
Earth Systems
Stewardship Team Leader, Kittitas Environmental Education Network (KEEN)

 

 

What drew you to this internship?

Because of the pandemic, many of the classes I had been excited to take in my last quarter at Stanford were cancelled, and I was left looking for a fulfilling way to cap off my time in college. I've always thought the Bill Lane Center internships looked interesting, so I was thrilled to see some open up for this Spring. I was even more thrilled to see that there was a new internship opportunity working specifically in environmental education, a field I'm extremely passionate about. Since I will be going to graduate school to study environmental ed next year, this internship felt like a perfect opportunity to close out my time at Stanford and transition to what's next for me.

How does your role support the host organization’s mission?

In response to the pandemic, KEEN started a new school year program, Earth Explorers, which provides supplemental environmental education for K through 8th graders. Through my role, I'm helping them plan for the future of this new program and supporting them in managing and improving their other existing programs. Because of the pandemic, KEEN has had to do a lot of adapting, and I'm happy to help support them as they try to establish a new normal.

Describe at least one project you will be working on this summer:

One thing I'm working on is assembling all of the activities and lesson plans KEEN uses into an organized and searchable database. The goal of this project is to make it easier for KEEN's educators to access materials and plan their programs.

How does this project relate to your studies and/or career goals?

One thing I've enjoyed about this project is familiarizing myself with the wide range of environmental education activities and lessons that KEEN uses. It's been a great opportunity for me to see some tangible examples of environmental education curriculum that I can reflect on as I head into grad school. I've also really valued getting to talk with KEEN's environmental education director about what her work is really like in practice and brainstorm with her about how KEEN can continue to improve and expand its programs.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Generally, I love anything creative or crafty, especially painting and embroidery, and I've also spent a lot of my time at Stanford playing sousaphone with the LSJUMB. Since returning to campus for my last quarter here, I've rekindled my love of climbing trees and have been enjoying climbing the oaks by Lake Lagunita to watch the sun set.

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