Pennsylvania Woman Recognized For Innovative Environmental Leadership
Amy Weidensaul of Pennsylvania is one of 40 individuals nationwide selected as a 2011 TogetherGreen Fellow, a national conservation fellowship that will allow her to increase awareness and appreciation of the Kittatinny Ridge ecosystem while inspiring greater community action to protect it.
Supported by a conservation alliance between Audubon and Toyota, the TogetherGreen Fellowship offers specialized training in conservation planning and execution, the chance to work and share best practices with gifted conservation professionals, and assistance with project outreach and evaluation.
Each Fellow receives $10,000 towards a community-focused project to engage local residents in conserving land, water and energy, and contributing to greater environmental health.
With the help of her TogetherGreen Fellowship, Weidensaul will build on a teacher development program she created at Audubon Pennsylvania called Connecting Schools and Communities Along the Kittatinny Ridge.
This educational network will provide middle and high school teachers with the tools and training to implement place-based education and conservation projects for their students, while also supplementing their own academic and professional experiences. Participants will have the ability to collaborate through blogs, chat rooms, websites, and social media, to strengthen awareness and inspire action.
Weidensaul began her work with Audubon in Maryland as an intern at the Pickering Creek Audubon Center and went on to serve as director of the Shehan Audubon Center there. She is currently the Director of Grants and Program Development for Audubon Pennsylvania, where she has been able to extend her passion for conservation and for engaging students with the natural world.
“Amy has the passion and the skills to inspire others, exactly the kind of person the environmental community needs to tackle the huge challenges and opportunities confronting us,” said Audubon President David Yarnold. “Our TogetherGreen Fellows represent a talented and diverse group; each a proven leader with a commitment to both the environment and their community.”
“This TogetherGreen Fellowship is an honor to receive and will enable me to work with a large pool of teachers – and thus with thousands of students – to protect the unique natural resource that is the Kittatinny Ridge,” said Weidensaul.
Weidensaul earned her B.S. in biology with a concentration in ecology from the University of New Hampshire, where she also minored in environmental science. She then earned her M.Ed. in educational leadership from Lehigh University, with a concentration on non-profit management.
Fellowship recipients were chosen from a large pool of highly qualified individuals. All were required to have at least six years of experience in conservation, environmental education, policy, or related issues; a demonstrated passion for conservation and a proven track record of reaching previously under-served audiences. Applicants also need to express a desire to learn and grow.
An advisory committee composed of conservation professionals and experts in environmental education, communications, outreach, and conservation planning made selections.
A complete list of the 2011 TogetherGreen Fellows can be found online.
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