BOARD OF DIRECTORS
LEEF is hiring an Operations and Outreach Manager!
See the job description here.
President: Jennifer Diaz
Jennifer taught mathematics and science to elementary and middle school students for more than 15 years and has extensive experience as a science coach and science curriculum development. In addition to the classroom, she served as a science leader, science club organizer, and team leader of the Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering. Prior to joining the Everglades Foundation, Jenny was a Science Curriculum Specialist for Miami-Dade County Public Schools working with school site administrators, teachers, students and parents. Diaz provided school site support for low performing schools, to model effective science teaching, share resources, motivate, encourage and support professionalism in STEM teachers. She also served as Miami-Dade County Public Schools director of two grants, University of Florida’s STEM TIPS teacher induction program-funded by the Department of Education and University of Miami’s Promoting Science Among English Language Learners (P-SELL)-funded by The National Science Foundation. She graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s in health education/community health and Nova Southeastern University with a master’s in educational leadership. In addition, Jenny holds a science-teaching certificate in STEM Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College, awarded by the NASA Endeavor Fellowship Program.
President Elect: Dr. Jennifer Jones
Dr. Jennifer Jones is an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Director of the Center for Environment and Society at Florida Gulf Coast University. Her research and teaching interests focus on the relationships between people and nature, including political ecology, biodiversity conservation, global food sustainability, and environmental governance. She previously served on the faculty of Virginia Tech, Williams College, and the University of Tennessee. Additional experiences include appointments as President & CEO of Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont and as a Program Director for the International Honors Program, part of World Learning, where she managed study abroad programs on five continents. She currently serves on several Commissions for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Dr. Jones served in the Unites States Army Military Police Corp for five years and has lived, traveled, and worked in more than 30 countries. She loves to travel, kayak, and hike with her dog.
Treasurer, Florida Environmental Literacy Plan, and SEEA Representative: Vicki Crisp
Today’s generation of children is the first to grow up almost entirely indoors. Our children are spending more time in front of a screen than they are outside. The greatest gift we can give to our children is a love for the outdoors, and the greatest gift we can give to the outdoors is a generation of children who love it. The League of Environmental Educators in Florida (LEEF) strives to ensure Florida’s children have daily opportunities to know and love their natural world—to engage in education in the environment, about the environment, and for the environment.
My name is Vicki Crisp and I am the current LEEF Treasurer. I have been an active member of LEEF for more than 30 years. Although I am a formal teacher by training, I am an environmental educator by passion. LEEF is my support system that allows me to network, learn, and bring sound environmental education to Floridians.
Secretary: Robin Reccasina
Hi, my name is Robin Reccasina. I have a B.S. in Zoology from North Carolina State University, an M.S. in Biology Education from Long Island University, and am a Florida Master Naturalist Instructor. I have been LEEF’s Board Secretary since 2011. I am also the Executive Director at the Sawgrass Nature Center & Wildlife Hospital in Coral Springs, FL where I have served in all capacities as an employee since 2014 and volunteer since the late 90’s.
I enjoyed a childhood with the freedom to explore the outdoors at my leisure and have always been amazed at the wonders of nature. I enjoy sharing my discoveries with others which led me to life of teaching both in and out of the classroom for over 30 years. LEEF offers a great forum to learn and network with others who share the same passion.
Native to North Carolina, I have been in Florida since 1996 where my husband and I have raised two children.
Director 1: Sylvia Collazo
Sylvia Collazo is a doctoral candidate in Exceptional Student Education (Special Education) at Florida Atlantic University, specializing in early childhood. She is interested in inclusive practices in environmental education as well as the integration of nature in early childhood special education. Presently, she is working on her dissertation where she is creating a professional development training package for teachers of young children with exceptionalities on embedding nature-based activities in their practice. Driven by her personal experiences as a sibling of a now-adult with special needs, Sylvia has spent nearly 20 years serving children with disabilities, their families, and fellow educators in a variety of roles including program assistant, early childhood special education teacher, behavior therapist, and consultant. She has over eight years of experience in teacher preparation and professional development and currently works as project supervisor for a federally-funded, special education graduate program. Sylvia has spent the last several years focusing on nature-based early childhood education and has served as an editorial assistant and consulting editor for the International Journal of Early Childhood Environmental Education (IJECEE). She enjoys music, reading, yoga, and photographing nature as well as spending time with her husband, family, and furry children.
Director 2: Dr. John (Jack) Scarbrough
Hi, my name is John (Jack) Scarbrough and my family and I have happily made Florida our home since 2010. Since this time, I’ve been teaching biology classes at AdventHealth University in Orlando. I grew up in a rural, northern California town and fondly remember my mother taking me on nature walks and teaching me the names of local plants and animals. From a very young age, she instilled in me a love and appreciation for nature that has continued throughout my adult life. In college, I majored in biology and especially enjoyed studying marine invertebrates along the California coast. My graduate work focused on genetics, but I have always been interested in ecology and conservation and people’s interactions with nature. For many years, I taught a non-majors, environmental science class called “Life in the Balance” and developed a passion for helping all types of students to appreciate nature and to give value to the natural world. One of my overall objectives is working with others to get learners, from all educational levels, into the outdoors and teach them about the interconnectedness of nature and our place within it. I am honored to serve as a LEEF board member and be part of a professional organization working to promote environmental stewardship, education, and literacy.
Director 3: Autumn Reich
Autumn Reich has a BS in Outdoor Recreation from Mars Hill College/University and is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP) and has worked with youth (and adults) for over 30 years in a variety of settings from homeschooling, church and in the municipal(parks and recreation) environment.
Over the last 20 years, Autumn has been employed with the City of Safety Harbor were she has been a Supervised Playground Supervisor, Nature Program Coordinator, Youth and Family Events Coordinator, Director of the before and after school programs for K-8th grade and Full Day Camps (K-8th) for the City of Safety Harbor. Most recently she has be assigned to the City’s nature preserve (11 acre parcel) and responsible for all programming on the property ranging from young children to families to adults. Her goal is to increase and improve the quality of nature or environmental programs for children and adults. She became a certified Florida Advanced Master Naturalist 2019.
She has also been actively involved with the Florida Parks and Recreation Association (FRPA) over the past 20 years as a speaker, VO and committee person for planning regional conferences. Her passion has always been nature and the great outdoors and now with the new job assignment she would like to give back and help others spread the message by promoting environmental stewardship through experiences, and education. Being a part of the board for LEEF is one way to accomplish that goal.
Director 4: Dawn Miller-Walker
I am the owner and program director of Science Eye and co-founder and program director of Environmental Conservation Organization. I have over 20 years of environmental education experience teaching principals of ecosystems, conservation, ethical angling, and other aspects of plant, animal, aquatic biology, Earth, and physical sciences through hand-on, inquiry-based in-school and in-the-field programs. For me, science is not a noun, but a verb… with a passion to encourage others whether it is students PreK-3-college, teachers or the general public to have a Take Action Now! approach to conserve our precious environment.
I have been a lifetime LEEF member since I started full time in the environmental education field because it fully supports my missions and values of EE. A board member since 2014, I remain on the board because I not only support what LEEF does, but I find it comforting to be surrounded by other board members who have the same drive and passion I do for EE.
Director 5: Alicia Torres
I am a native Floridian who spent her childhood running barefoot on the family farm, raising horses, tending my garden with my grandma, building tree forts in the nearby woods, exploring rivers and trails, and doing anything else I could think of in order to spend as much time as possible outdoors. These cherished childhood experiences set me on a path to value and appreciate the wonder and beauty of nature, both in my professional and personal life.
I earned my B.A. in Education from the University of Florida with a specialization in middle grades science, my M.A. in Education from Florida Atlantic University, and my Ed.S. degree in Curriculum & Instruction from FAU with a specialization in environmental education. I have 15 years of formal classroom experience teaching science to children ranging in age from PreK3 to the 7th grade. In all my years of teaching, the thing I loved the most was being a part of a student’s “Aha!” moment.
My love for the outdoors and passion for the environment eventually steered my career away from the traditional science classroom and more toward the field of environmental education. I spent three years working at Florida Atlantic University’s Pine Jog Environmental Education Center as a Program Coordinator. There, I worked closely with educators and students across the South Florida region in providing Everglades education, solar energy programs, Green School initiatives, and facilitating Project WILD and Project Learning Tree professional development. More recently, I shifted over to working at The Everglades Foundation where I am currently the K-12 Everglades Champion Schools Program Manager. My work now involves curriculum development, program management, and training educators who share the goal of helping their schools become Everglades Champion Schools.
SEEA Representatives: Autumn Reich and Vicki Crisp
Historian and Communications: Dolly Cummings
Parliamentarian and Project WET: Eileen Tramontana
Communications: Lilian Norris
Founded in 1983, the League of Environmental Educators in Florida is the professional association for individuals and organizations dedicated to the cause of environmental education in Florida. We are the state affiliate for North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), an organization that brings together those interested in the study and enjoyment of our natural world and one that has promoted excellence in environmental education throughout North America and the world for over four decades.
The League of Environmental Educators in Florida is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
© 2021by the League of Environmental Educators in Florida.