Salem Environmental Education creates awareness and understanding of our relationship to the environment, working in partnerships with our community. Our environmental education programs teach and motivate people to become active stewards of our environment.
Who Are We?
We are a nonprofit organization who have years of experience working with a wide range of ages from toddlers to senior citizens. We are committed to quality environmental education programming developed by SEE educators and are responsive to others from the community who come to us with requests for support of their educational programming. These partnerships with schools, agencies, and other community organizations at little or no cost are a unique feature of our organization.
Board Member – President
Jon was an award winning science teacher at North Salem High School for 23 years, ending his formal education career as the Science Specialist and the STEM Specialist for the Salem-Keizer School District. He organized efforts on the Mill Creek Project, a restoration and educational project that lead to the construction of a community-school environmental learning center. Jon has been involved with numerous local and state initiatives around environmental education . He has been a consultant and provided professional development nationally and has published a number of guides on community-based education.
Board Member – Treasurer
Gail is a semi-retired horticulturist with a long-time interest in environmental education. She has served as horticulture instructor at Chemeketa Community College, education director at the Oregon Garden, community horticulturist for the Oregon State University Extension Service, and Executive Director of Oregon Community Trees. She is particularly interested in the world of plants, but enjoys teaching about all aspects of the natural world.
Board Member – Secretary
Deborah Topp is the Natural Resources Outreach Specialist for the City of Salem, Public Works Department where she works with community members to conserve water, reduce water pollution, and protect local watershed resources. Internally, Deborah coordinates the City’s Environmental Action Plan, a City operations-based sustainability plan. She has over a dozen years of experience in water quality, water conservation, and science writing for education. Her work with City staff led to the City of Salem receiving awards in Excellence in Communications and Conservation Awards in the Water Conservation for Youth and Calendar and Posters categories from the American Water Works Association in 2008, and the Excellence in Environmental Education Award for outstanding organization from the Environmental Education Association of Oregon in 2009.
Ron Crouse has worked 12 years as the Natural Resource Education Specialist with the Marion Soil and Water Conservation District and Oregon State representative for the North American Envirothon. Ron has 42 years of environmental education teaching experience. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Education from Colorado State University and a Master of Science Teaching from Portland State University. Ron has worked for national and state parks systems, served as head teacher of marine biology at OSU’s Hatfield Marine Science Center and Education and Information Specialist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Hanford Reach National Monument in Washington State. Aquatic ecology is his specialty and outdoor pursuits are his passion.
Laurie Aguirre devotes her time to environmental student education with an emphasis on Jane Goodall’s “Roots n Shoots” student service. She is a certified Master Recycler and Climate Master and a long time educator in SK district as Environmental Coordinator for Optimum Learning Environments Charter. Aguirre has received multiple awards overtime. She says “I have already experienced the power of “joining the force” of SEE impact on youth via the variety of educational programs that SEE offers to our community.”
Kaileigh has been working in the environmental field throughout Oregon since 2012 and currently works for the City of Keizer’s Environmental & Technical Division. She has her B.S. in environmental science from Willamette University and her M.S. in education, leadership & policy from Portland State. She has a strong passion for community and sustainability and enjoys providing her experience and insight as an educator and environmental professional to help SEE serve the Salem community.