Happy fall to all! My name is Suzanne Londeree, and I am the Sustainability Education Intern at the EarthWays Center this Fall. I am originally from St. Louis but have been out of state for several years. I earned my B.S. in Environmental and Ecosystem Sciences from Washington State University in May 2019 and spent the last year as an Education and Communication Fellow at the Aldo Leopold Foundation in Baraboo, WI. I am unexpectedly back in St. Louis for the season and am excited to learn and contribute in an internship that aligns so well with my interests.
As fate would have it, my career focus shifted from environmental science to environmental education as the result of an experience with the Missouri Botanical Garden two summers ago. In 2018, I had the good fortune to be the Place-Based Education Intern at Litzsinger Road Ecology Center! As an intern there, I learned to lead groups of students through the ecosystems on the property. My days were filled with coaching them to overcome their fears, encouraging them to engage their senses in observation, and challenging them to ask questions and think critically through inquiry-based learning. It was rewarding to follow the curiosity of diverse learners as I adapted daily adventures to the interests and abilities of elementary and middle school students.
Reflecting on that experience, I realized that while university taught me the technicalities of environmental science, as Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” I have a passion for environmental education, because communicating science to the public is essential for positive change. I'm on a mission to engage people in conservation!
As a Sustainability Education Intern at the EarthWays Center of the Missouri Botanical Garden, I am most excited to help update K-12 sustainability curriculum to reflect the Understanding by Design framework and Next Generation Science Standards. I am also learning about grant reporting and how to teach about watersheds with online tools and the EnviroScape model.
When I am not virtually at the EarthWays Center, I am working on my Teaching English to Foreign Learners (TEFL) Certification through the International TEFL Academy and learning Spanish. In my free time, I also love to read about the natural and cultural histories of places I plan to visit and explore State Parks in the region.
-Suzanne Londeree, fall 2020 Virtual EarthWays Sustainability Education Intern
The Garden offers unpaid internships designed for you to obtain academic credit or credentials to fulfill requirements of an apprenticeship or to experience professional development, perhaps in an area new to your career. Unpaid interns receive free admission to the Garden, as well as discounts at our retail shops and Sassafras Cafe during the internship period. Learn more!