YELLOW SPRINGS, Ohio – October 14, 2010 – Beth Krisko, director of the Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center, was one of two Ohio environmentalists to receive a national conservation fellowship to empower and energize children to make a difference.
Krisko and Nicole Conrad, an Audubon naturalist, were named 2010 TogetherGreen Fellows. Supported by a conservation alliance of Audubon and Toyota, the TogetherGreen Fellowship offers specialized training in conservation planning and execution, the chance to work and share best practices with gifted conservation professionals, and assistance with project outreach and evaluation.
Each Fellow receives $10,000 towards a community-focused project to engage local residents in conserving land, water and energy, and contributing to greater environmental health.
Krisko will use her TogetherGreen fellowship to create a new program at Antioch College's Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center, a residential environmental learning center serving students in grades 4-6 from 40 Ohio schools, many from the Miami Valley. Her project focuses on climate change and encourages energy conservation practices.
The program will empower the students and teachers that visit the center to make everyday choices to help protect the environment. Using solar thermal panels as a demonstration of an alternative energy source, students will interact with the technology and learn what they can do in smaller ways to reduce carbon dioxide emission. At the end of a Glen Helen visit, teachers will be given tools to take the message back to the classroom by leading energy-reducing initiatives.
By reaching over one thousand local students each year, Krisko believes that this project has will contribute to reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the Miami Valley. Krisko has demonstrated her commitment to conservation throughout her career at Glen Helen, holding a variety of leadership positions while motivating diverse groups of people to achieve conservation results. As Volunteer Coordinator, she organized stewardship activities for both university and elementary students, including a “Bioblitz,” a 24-hour science and educational event. She is now the Director of the Outdoor Education Center and continues to empower others to make positive differences.
“Nicole and Beth are the kind of people who can make a real difference in the health of our environment and the quality of our future,” said Audubon President David Yarnold. “Each of our TogetherGreen Fellows demonstrates exceptional environmental understanding and commitment, combined with tremendous potential to inspire and lead others. Together, they represent the talented and diverse leadership the environmental community will need to tackle the huge challenges and opportunities confronting us today and in the years to come.”
“TogetherGreen has given me the tools, inspiration, and the motivation to incorporate a program into Glen Helen’s environmental education lessons that not only teaches students, but actually motivates and inspires them to make positive environmental choices in their everyday lives,” Krisko said. “TogetherGreen is helping me localize a global crisis to actually make a real difference in my community.”
Krisko earned a master's in environmental science and a bachelor's in communications from Miami University of Ohio. She received her Ohio teacher licensure through Antioch University. She has played a variety of roles in conservation driven projects, including scientific research, land-use planning, and educational outreach.
Fellowship recipients were chosen from a large pool of highly qualified individuals. All were required to have at least six years of experience in conservation, environmental education, policy, or related issues; a demonstrated passion for conservation and a proven track record of reaching previously underserved audiences. Applicants also need to express a desire to learn and grow. An advisory committee composed of conservation professionals and experts in environmental education, communications, outreach, and conservation planning made selections.
A complete list of the 2010 TogetherGreen Fellows can be found at www.TogetherGreen.org/fellows.
Gariot P. Louima
Chief Communications Officer