On November 10, Liz Douglass-Gallagher, BEMP staff member and Bosque School 6th grade science teacher, was awarded the 2018 Rising EE Star by EEANM (Environmental Education Association of New Mexico). The award recognizes environmental educators who have been in the field for 10 years or less who demonstrate, among other traits: passion and commitment for environmental education along with integrity and a strong work ethic, innovation in environmental education activities and programs, a desire to seek opportunities for partnerships and collaborations, and equity and inclusion when developing activities and programs. Liz was nominated by a co-worker and had that nomination supported with many letters of support written on her behalf. One Rising EE Star is awarded each year by EEANM.
“I’m honored and humbled,” said Liz. “I was surprised. I had had some little hints that I would be receiving it, but I was really, really surprised and excited. It felt so wonderful being recognized by a community of folks that I really love and treasure...Having that recognition by the community has been really meaningful.”
Liz, who holds a BS from New Mexico Tech and an MA in Sustainable Communities from Northern Arizona University, said that prior to her work with BEMP, she had limited experience in education. “I had done some informal work in education before,” she said. “Classroom support, a counselor at camp, TA in college. But I hadn’t done classroom education or environmental education.”
But after completing her master’s studies in 2017, she moved back to Albuquerque and sought a position that would allow her to bridge her experience in the natural and social sciences. That’s when she discovered the opening with BEMP. “I was really drawn to the organization, teaching science literacy and about the environment and how to care for ecosystem,” she said.
It’s a position she’s flourished in and has now increased her capacity with her recently-acquired role as a 6th grade science teacher. She credits the support of the Bosque community for the opportunity. “It’s a really perfect environment for me to grow and explore in those ways,” she said. Liz also expressed gratitude to the EEANM. “(The provide) wonderful support for environmental education in Albuquerque and New Mexico as a whole. So having the support from that specific organization that supports so much of the work we do is so meaningful as well.”
Congratulations, Liz! Thank you for your passion for environmental education and your amazing ability to bring students, educators, and partners together!
The vision of EEANM is “a culturally and geographically diverse New Mexico citizenry with the knowledge, skill, attitude, and commitment, to make informed decisions about their environment. To learn more about the organization, visit www.eeanm.org.