This past weekend I attended the annual conference of the Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE). MAEOE is a statewide organization with the mission of "promoting environmental literacy through education" by helping educators "explore the interconnectedness of natural and human systems; take responsibility for long-term environmental sustainability; make personal choices that contribute to ecological and human health; think globally and act locally; and use MAEOE's resources to expand (their) environmental ethic personally, and with (their) students."
I have been involved with MAEOE since 2009, when I attended their annual conference held at the University of Michigan - Dearborn. Since then I have attended five more annual conferences, missing only the 2012 and 2013 editionss. I have also been a presenter on three occasions (2011, 2014, and 2015).
This year the outgoing Past-President inquired if I would be interested in running for a position on the Board of Directors. After asking a lot of questions and and much deliberation, I decided to give it a try and filled out my application to run. I was one of five candidates for three available positions. One of other four candidates was an active (and well-liked) current board member seeking reelection - not surprisingly, he was reelected for another term.
Somewhat to my surprise, when the votes were tallied I was announced as one of two new members of the board!
What does that mean? It means some hard work - the board works on issues such as conference planning, membership, and marketing. It also means that over the next three years I get to help steer the direction that MAEOE takes as an organization and have a say in the direction of environmental education in the state of Michigan. I have lots of questions - despite being a member for years, there is a lot that I don't know about the organization.
I am quite excited about the possibilities and look forward to this new challenge.