Rob Blair has been studying birds since 1987. He has recently taught environmental ethics for undergraduates and will soon be teaching conservation biology for graduate students at the University of Minnesota. He is the co-director of graduate studies in the University of Minnesota Conservation Biology program and is engaged in promoting service learning for both undergraduate and adult learners. Through the Minnesota Master Naturalist program, Rob works with adults to promote awareness, understanding, and stewardship of Minnesota's natural environment to help them become well-informed citizens dedicated to conservation education and service within their communities. Through Schoolyard Ecology Explorations, he works with teachers to incorporate their school grounds in their everyday teaching.
Program Coordinator, Monarchs in the Classroom
Grant Bowers first got involved with the Monarch Lab through a freshman seminar about monarch biology and conservation Karen was teaching in his first semester at the U of M. After that, he took another class with Karen in the spring and was thrilled at the chance to work in the Monarch Lab in the summer of 2005. Grant spent three years as an undergraduate research assistant, helping out with graduate studentsí research and maintaining the lab until he graduated in May of 2008. After graduation, he became the Program Coordinator for Monarchs in the Classroom. Grant is excited to have the opportunity to work with teachers and provide the tools they need to teach science, inquiry, and conservation biology.
Extension Specialist, Wildlife and Fisheries, Crookston
John Loegering has worked on wildlife issues in urban and residential settings for over a decade. He is a regular contributor on wildlife-related topics to the Master Gardener, Master Naturalist, and White Earth Summer Science & Math Academy programs. He conducts research on the ecology and management of forest songbirds. During the academic year, he teaches courses in wildlife ecology and management, ornithology, mammalogy, fisheries, and environmental science on the University of Minnesota, Crookston campus.
Co-Principal Investigator; Extension Educator, Environmental Science, Rochester
Andrea Lorek Strauss has been an environmental educator since 1992, helping participants of all ages to build awareness of, respect for and a connection with the natural world. Her current projects include helping families to foster a connection with nature, developing training materials that will enable authentic inquiry through citizen science, developing materials for adult training in natural and cultural history, and a variety of other projects.
Co-Principal Investigator; Area Program Leader, Environmental Science, Cloquet
Nathan Meyer has been teaching about the environment, science and nature writing since 1996. He holds a MEd in Environmental Education, and years of experience teaching in classrooms, small nature areas, a college campus, and remote outdoor settings. Nate is currently an Extension Educator in Environmental Education with rank of Assistant Professor of Extension. He is very engaged with programming to support best education practices, citizen science and strategies to involve families in nature. Through the Best Practices for Field Days Program, Nate has delivered workshops for hundreds of professionals across the country. Nate is chair of the North American Association for Environmental Education Leadership Development Committee. He is a member of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Environmental Education Advisory Task Force. He is a past board member and vice-president of the Minnesota Association for Environmental Education.
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development, Cloquet
Rebecca holds a Masterís of Education in environmental education, and has spent 15 years designing and delivering experiential programs for youth. Beckyís programs have focused on environmental education in formal schools, non-formal settings, and nature areas. She is co-chair of the Minnesota 4-H Camping Initiative, co-author of the Building Environmental Youth Leadership: A High School Service-learning Curricula, and has been recognized for work in Girl Scout outreach efforts with diverse youth audiences and for work with 4-H receiving the ESP Early Career Award for scholarship and empowerment and Achievement in Service Award. In her current role, she provides leadership for the design and development of educational programs, curricula, and other educational resources for use with youth and adults. She enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, canoeing, and backpacking. She also enjoys playing with her children, gardening, and reading.
Kelly is excited to work as a scientist for the D2D team as she pursues her PhD in conservation biology. As an undergraduate at St. Olaf College, she majored in mathematics and biology. Kelly also spent a year researching Mongolian paleoecology and has completed field work in the forests of South India. After graduation, she spent the next few years teaching high school biology in rural Mississippi. Currently, Kelly is working in the Monarch Lab modeling butterfly migration using data from lab and field work, as well as information obtained from citizen science projects.
Co-Principal Investigator; Program Design Educator, Extension Center for Youth Development
Pam is a state faculty member at the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development and provides leadership to program evaluation for youth development programs. She earned her doctorate at the University of Minnesota in 1996 in Family Social Science and with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. Her dissertation research was based on a process evaluation of a new collaborative program, where she implemented and trained staff to use a clinical rating scale to support their assessments of families in crisis. Pam brings wide and varied experiences that she draws on as an Extension professional. She developed a passion for organizational development and evaluation through working directly with youth and families as a youth worker, a family therapist, a group facilitator, and an alternative school staff member. Subsequently, she provided program evaluation expertise and training through her work at Wilder Research Center, as a private consultant, and as Director of Research and Development (ServeMinnesota). She has experience in philanthropy, having served as program officer for a family foundation in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and has successfully written grant proposals that have brought private and public funding to advance programs serving families and youth.
Principal Investigator; Director, Monarchs in the Classroom Program; Associate Professor, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota; President, Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary Foundation.
Karen Oberhauser has been studying monarch butterflies since 1984. She works with teachers and pre-college students in Minnesota and throughout the United States using monarchs to teach about biology, conservation, and the process of science.
Extension Educator, Environmental Science, Morris
Extension Educator, 4-H Youth Development
Coordinator, Schoolyard Ecology Explorations
Elisabeth Young-Isebrand graduated from Macalester College in 1989 with a major in biology. She taught high school biology, chemistry, AP biology and environmental biology for seven years at Minneapolis Washburn High School. She left Minneapolis Washburn in 1999 to raise her son, work part-time in environmental education and finish her Masters degree.
Elisabeth began working with Dr. Karen Oberhauser at Monarchs in the Classroom (MITC) as program coordinator in 2001. Working with Dr. Oberhauser exposed her to the powerful impact monarchs have on motivating students to ask questions and learn.
In the spring of 2005 she began her current position as community program specialist for a new initiative called Schoolyard Ecology Explorations. She is interested in the ways students can learn science and other topics by studying the plants and animals in their schoolyard. She completed her M.Ed. in environmental education at the University of Minnesota in 2005.
We are grateful for the involvement and guidance of our Advisory Board. This Board meets yearly to advise the project on working with youth and research, as well as helping direct the evaluation. Members include:
- Cindy Petersen
- Rick Bonney
- Nancy Trautmann
- Michelle Prysby
- Jessica Miller
- Tim Vargo