It’s my pleasure to announce that Samantha Murray has been selected to fill the MEEC Program Specialist position recently vacated by myself. Her first day on the job was Monday, March 4. Samantha is an Environmental Studies graduate of Sac State who comes to us with experience working in the nonprofit and environmental education outreach fields, and I know that she is the perfect fit for MEEC. We are looking forward to her new ideas and programs that she will bring to our organization.
Samantha Murray’s fascination with the natural world began at a young age with her first trip to SeaWorld. After spending far too much time staring at the penguins, she decided that she wanted to do something to help these creatures. That desire stuck with her as she grew up and lead her to pursue a degree in Marine Biology. However, after a year of courses, she quickly discovered that she preferred the land to the sea. This realization led Samantha to Sacramento State University’s Environmental Studies program. After spending 10 summers as a volunteer camp counselor in the San Bernardino National Forest and attending a “Tree Campus USA” school, she had developed an interest in forest and fire ecology. Samantha wrote her undergraduate thesis on the effects of the bark beetle on the southern pine forest and how California was managing the infestation.
During her final semester, she stumbled upon an Outdoor Education and Interpretation class. Samantha earned her Project Wild: Aquatic certificate and began planning EE curriculum for a special program presented by Camp Fire USA, a non-profit group that works with youth in different settings to develop future leaders. She knew then that she had finally found her calling. After receiving her bachelor of arts in Environmental Studies with a minor in Biological Sciences, she became an Outdoor Science Instructor teaching kids science topics including astronomy, renewable energy and everything in between. Looking for a more formal classroom experience, she earned her CBEST certificate and began working in afterschool programs for three years before finding her way back to the forest with The Southern California Mountains Foundation, a non-profit partner of the Forest Service focused on stewardship and sustainability of the San Bernardino National Forest. Her knowledge of environmental education allowed her to work on the opening team for a mobile exhibit where she developed and implemented EE curriculum based on state education standards.
“I am excited to be joining MEEC and look forward to working with a group of educators who value bringing environmental education to their students.” says Samantha, adding, “I am confident that my experiences will allow me to highlight relevant environmental issues through educator workshops and essay contests.”
In addition to her love of environmental education, Samantha finds joy in reading anything she can get her hands on (she owns 5 different library cards), watching Audrey Hepburn movies, crocheting and spending time with her dog, Harley.
To contact Samantha, call (760) 245-1661 ext. 6717 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org