Environmental Literacy Steering Committee Members

Member Bios

Thomas “Tom” Adams is Deputy Superintendent of the Instruction, Learning, and Standards Support Branch of the California Department of Education. He worked in the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division for 18 years, serving as director for 12 years. He has also served as Executive Director of the Instructional Quality Commission. In addition, he is a member of the school board of the Davis Joint Unified School District. He received his doctorate in modern European history from the University of California, Davis, and his undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Chico.

Bill Andrews is an environmental education consultant. Bill worked for 19 years at the California Department of Education, and for 11 years as a high school teacher. In 2003, he founded the California Environmental Education Foundation (CEEF), and he joined its board of directors in 2005. He directed CEEF’s “Best Practices of Environmental Education and Stewardship” teacher institute, and recently provided leadership for the development of California’s Blueprint for Environmental Literacy. In 2015, Bill was honored by the Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education with the Howard Bell Award.

Carl Anthony, architect, author, and urban–suburban–regional design strategist, is Co-founder of the Breakthrough Communities Project. He has served as Acting Director of the Community and Resource Development Unit at the Ford Foundation, and directed the Foundation’s Sustainable Metropolitan Communities Initiative and the Regional Equity Demonstration in the United States. Carl funded the national Conversation on Regional Equity (CORE), a dialogue of national policy analysts and advocates for new metropolitan racial justice strategies. He was Founder and Executive Director of the Urban Habitat Program in the San Francisco Bay Area. He co-founded and published the Race, Poverty and the Environment Journal, the only environmental justice periodical in the United States. In 1996, Carl was appointed Fellow at the Institute of Politics, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He has a professional degree in architecture from Columbia University.

Timothy B. Baird, Ed.D., is superintendent of Encinitas Union School District (EUSD). Dr. Baird led the implementation of a one-to-one digital learning program, including a suite of digital curriculum, for all EUSD students. EUSD has been recognized for two consecutive terms as an Apple Distinguished Education Program. Dr. Baird’s leadership in green initiatives and environmental stewardship has garnered state and national recognition for the district’s conservation efforts, including selection by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Green Ribbon District. In addition, EUSD has developed and implemented an award-winning, comprehensive Health and Wellness Program that incorporates yoga and character education classes for all students.

Shelley Brooks works for the California History–Social Science Project, part of the California Subject Matter Project, where she develops history–social science curriculum and professional development for K–12 educators. She holds a PhD in history, and teaches Twentieth-Century U.S., Environmental, and California History at the University of California, Davis.

Anne Campbell was elected as San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools in 2010, and re-elected in 2014. As superintendent, one of her primary responsibilities is ensuring the financial and academic stability of San Mateo County’s 23 school districts serving nearly 94,000 K–12 students. Prior to her role as superintendent, Ms. Campbell served as superintendent of the Portola Valley School District and the Belmont-Redwood Shores School District. She has also served as a middle school principal, counselor, and teacher.

Karen Cowe (ELSC Project Director) is CEO of Ten Strands, a San Francisco-based nonprofit whose mission is to build and strengthen the partnerships and strategies that will bring environmental literacy to all of California’s 6.2 million K–12 students. Karen is an education-industry executive with over 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, professional development, business development, and operations. She most recently acted as President and CEO at Key Curriculum Press. Karen combines her deep personal interest in environmental stewardship and place-based education with her education-industry experience. She holds a BA in business and a minor in education from Saint John’s College, York, and an MBA from Saint Mary’s College, California.

Ken DaRosa is Chief Deputy Director of CalRecycle. In this capacity, he oversees the operational roles of 740 staff throughout California and administers the department’s $1.4 billion budget. Prior to his tenure at CalRecycle, he worked with the California Department of Finance, where his fiscal policy responsibilities included environmental protection, energy policy, natural resources, and health and human services. Before embracing a public policy career, DaRosa was an English instructor at a language institute in South Korea, and a college composition instructor at California State University, Sacramento.

Jeff Davis is Executive Director of the California AfterSchool Network (CAN), where he has worked since its inception in 2006. Throughout his tenure with CAN, Jeff has played an integral role in creating quality frameworks, including the Quality Standards for Expanded Learning in California. As a seasoned expanded-learning stakeholder and the author of “State of the State of Expanded Learning in California,” Jeff brings understanding for the out-of-school time and expanded-learning landscape. Jeff advocated for a strong role for expanded-learning programs in the future of STEM education as part of Superintendent Tom Torlakson’s STEM task force. He has helped to shape statewide expanded-learning technical assistance and workforce-development efforts through participation in the CDE After School Division’s Strategic Implementation Team, and the Advisory Committee on Before and After School Programs’ Workforce Subcommittee. Jeff is excited to lend his experience in expanded-learning program development and implementation, informal science education, service learning, and early learning to the important work of the Environmental Literacy Steering Committee.

Candice Dickens-Russell serves as Director of Environmental Education at TreePeople and California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Regional Coordinator for Los Angeles County. Formerly TreePeople’s Senior Manager of Environmental Education, Candice develops and manages high-quality environmental education programs for Los Angeles-area students and teachers. She chairs the 89-member CREEC-LA Environmental Education Leadership Board, and the Los Angeles Watershed Education Collaborative. Candice is a member of the Los Angeles Area Women’s Environmental Coalition. She majored in environmental studies at San Francisco State University, with an emphasis in environmental sustainability and social justice.

Bryan Ehlers is CalRecycle’s Assistant Director for Education and Environmental Affairs at the Office of Education and the Environment (OEE). Prior to his work with OEE, Bryan was a consultant with the California State Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, where he advised state legislators on budgetary issues. Prior to his work in government, Bryan taught in the Hayward Unified School District, and spent 2 years providing care to emotionally disturbed children in New Hampshire. Bryan holds a BA in history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.

Jose Flores has served as a teacher at Brawley Union High School for 23 years, where he is head of the Social Studies Department. Jose teaches an award-winning civics class using curriculum that has a strong emphasis on the environment. He served as an advisor to California’s K–12 Civic Learning Task Force from 2012–2014. In 2015, Jose was appointed to the California Department of Education as an Instructional Quality Commissioner for a term of 4 years. His programs have won county, state, and national awards, and he has presented at the California School Boards Association Conference and Ronald Reagan Library & Museum. He holds a BA from San Diego State University and an MA from Grand Canyon University.

Bruce Holaday has been Director of Educational Advancement for Wildlife Associates since 2010. He was formerly the director of Newpoint Tampa High School from 2009–2010 and director of the Oakland Military Institute from 2004–2009. He served in multiple positions at Culver Academies from 1976–2004, including Development Director, Director of Summer Programs, and English teacher.

Tony Knight is superintendent of the Oak Park Unified School District and adjunct professor of education at the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education. He has served as a public school teacher and administrator for 38 years. Under Tony’s leadership, Oak Park Unified School District was named the first U.S. Green Ribbon School District in California, one of a handful in the nation recognized for commitment to environmental education and sustainable practices. Tony is an underwater photographer interested in ocean conservation issues, and serves on the NOAA Channel Islands National Martine Sanctuary Advisory Council. Tony is an environmentalist and animal welfare advocate. He and his wife enjoy traveling and exploring the world, especially areas set aside for conservation.

Gerald Lieberman, PhD, is an internationally-recognized authority on school improvement using natural and community surroundings as interdisciplinary contexts. He has created and conducted professional development programs for more than 9,000 educators at local, state, national, and international levels. He is founder and director of the State Education and Environment Roundtable. From 2003 to 2010, he served as the principal consultant for the State of California’s Education and the Environment Initiative. Dr. Lieberman served on the executive committee of the National Education and Environment Partnership. He received his PhD and MA from Princeton University and his BA from University of California, Los Angeles.

Kim Moore Bailey oversees Youth Outside’s strategic direction, grantmaking programs, and operations. Prior to joining Youth Outside, Kim served as COO for College Possible, a national nonprofit focused on making college attainable for low-income students. She was also vice president for Outward Bound Inc., manager of Denver Parks and Recreation for the City and County of Denver, and was a region manager for the Chicago Parks District. Kim holds a master’s degree in counselor education from New York University, and pursued additional educational opportunities at the University of Illinois and the University of Colorado.

Seaberry Nachbar has worked for NOAA for 16 years, and currently works at the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) in Monterey, California. She developed and directs the NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program, providing students and teachers the opportunity to connect with their environment through hands-on, inquiry-based activities aligned with state standards. Seaberry also developed and directs the NOAA Ocean Guardian School Program, and is National Evaluation Coordinator for the ONMS. Seaberry has a BS in marine biology from San Francisco State University and completed a non-thesis degree in fisheries biology from Moss Landing Marine Labs.

Will Parish is founder and president of Ten Strands, a San Francisco-based nonprofit whose mission is to build and strengthen the partnerships and strategies that will bring environmental literacy to all of California’s 6.2 million K–12 students. Will is a credentialed public high school science educator with a 30-year record of innovative accomplishments in the environmental and educational fields. He taught environmental science at Gateway High School in San Francisco, and serves on their board. He served on the California State Board of Education’s Curriculum Commission before founding Ten Strands to support California’s efforts to achieve statewide environmental literacy.

M. Paloma Pavel, PhD, President of Earth House Center, is Co-founder of the Breakthrough Communities Project and served as Director of Strategic Communications for the Sustainable Metropolitan Communities Initiative at the Ford Foundation. She has taught at many bay area institutions, including the California Institute for Integral Studies, where she co-chaired the graduate degree program in Organizational Development. Paloma is a frequent lecturer and keynote presenter nationally and internationally on the theory of living systems and urban sustainability. She co-edits the Sustainable Metropolitan Communities Books series, and her award-winning publications include Breakthrough Communities: Sustainability and Justice in the Next American Metropolis, and Random Acts of Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty (foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu). Paloma’s academic background includes graduate study at the London School of Economics (LSE) and Harvard University. Dr. Pavel is a current Fulbright Scholar in community development, environmental literacy, and climate justice.

Jennifer Rigby is director of The Acorn Group, which she founded in 1990. Jennifer has been working in the field of environmental education and interpretation since 1981 and has been an advisor on several national and state curriculum projects. She directed the California Department of Education’s Curriculum and Compendium Project, and served as project manager of the California Plan for Environmental Education, and the School Diversion and Environmental Education Law. She was also managing editor of the Education and the Environment Initiative. She holds a BA in social ecology, an MA in education, two California teaching credentials, and national certification as an interpretive planner.

Celeste Royer is Director of Environmental Education at the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education, where she directs the Rancho El Chorro Outdoor School programs. Celeste served as statewide director of the California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network for 10 years and currently serves as the fiscal partner for Network Region 8. She is the current state chair of the California Outdoor School Association, serves as administrator of the California Environmental Education Foundation Board, and is an advisor to the BEETLES program at UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science. Celeste received degrees from UCLA, San Francisco State University, and Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Emily M. Schell, EdD, is Executive Director of the California International Studies Project (CISP), one of nine California Subject Matter Projects. Dr. Schell has served as an elementary and secondary teacher and principal in San Diego Unified School District, as History–Social Science Coordinator for the San Diego County Office of Education, as liaison for the National Geographic Education Foundation, and as teacher education faculty at San Diego State University. She was a curriculum author and editor for the Education and the Environment Initiative, and committee chair and editor for the NSF-funded Road Map for 21st Century Geography Education report. Throughout her career, and especially in her work with the California Geography Alliance, Dr. Schell has maintained a passion for environmental education for all students and educators.

Dr. Maria Simani leads the California Science Project, a statewide network of 14 sites providing sustained professional development opportunities to K–12 school teachers in partnership with higher education faculty and educators. Since 2012, she has collaborated with the California Department of Education on the committee for the review and adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards. Dr. Simani and the California Science Project have been appointed by the California Department of Education as lead writers of the new California Science Curriculum Framework.

Jason Spencer is Principal Advisor to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson. Jason started his career in the legislature as part of the Senate Fellows program in 2006. In addition to serving on then-Senator Torlakson’s legislative team, Jason was Senior Policy Advisor to the superintendent during his first term as state superintendent. Jason has also served as Executive Director of the nonprofit Vasconcellos Legacy Project and has worked for a private firm lobbying for informal science education institutions and other education sector nonprofits. He holds a Master of public administration from University of Southern California, and bachelor’s degrees in sociology and political science from Sonoma State University.

Darrell Steely currently teaches 6th-grade science at Carmel Middle School, where he also serves as his district’s Habitat Liaison. As Habitat Liaison, Darrell helps design outdoor education lessons and manages the district’s 10-acre habitat with MEarth, an environmental nonprofit in Carmel. In addition to 6th-Grade NGSS science, he has taught 7th-grade science, high school biology, conceptual physics, AP Biology, and AP Environmental Science. Darrell received a BS in biology from University of California, Santa Barbara, and a MA in biology from Humboldt State University. When he is not teaching, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and two children.

Jane Steinkamp began her career as a high school English teacher before spending 8 years in the roles of assistant principal and principal at Tracy Unified School District and Jefferson School District in Tracy, CA. Jane also served as Assistant Superintendent for Personnel and Instruction in Linden Unified School District for 10 years. In January 2013, she joined the San Joaquin County Office of Education as Director of Operations, and she was appointed Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services in April 2013. She is currently the Curriculum Instruction Sub-Committee Chair for Science. Jane serves on the board of one.Charter School, is a member of the Cal Pass Plus Advisory Board, and is president of the San Joaquin County Educational Foundation. Additionally, she has been an adjunct professor at California State University, Stanislaus and has taught at Teachers’ College of San Joaquin.

Craig Strang is associate director of UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, and is part of the Hall’s executive leadership team. Craig is the founding Director of MARE: Marine Activities, Resources & Education. In 2012, he received the National Marine Educators Association President’s Award in recognition of his leadership of the Ocean Literacy Campaign. Craig is a founding member of ChangeScale, an environmental education collaborative in the San Francisco Bay Area, and served as co-chair of the California Environmental Literacy Task Force.

Leslie Tamminen is director of the Ocean Program for Seventh Generation Advisors, an international nonprofit environmental organization. Formerly, she was a special advisor to California Lt. Governor John Garamendi, and was Legislative Director and staff attorney for the environmental nonprofit organization Heal the Bay from 1997–2008, where she successfully ensured adoption of the state’s model Education and the Environment Initiative. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Southern California Law Center.

Kirk Anne Taylor is director of ChangeScale, an environmental education collaborative in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she provides strategic and tactical leadership, and supports ongoing collaboration among the ChangeScale partners. Previously, Kirk Anne served as Urban Conservation Manager for The Field Museum in Chicago, and as chairperson for the Calumet Stewardship Initiative, a bistate consortium of more than 40 government, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations. She holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Illinois, Chicago, a B.A. in English from Hendrix College, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Lesley Taylor is a Field Representative in the California Department of Education’s School Facilities and Transportation Services Division, where she provides planning services to more than 200 school districts in Northern California. She is the program lead for the Green Ribbon Schools recognition programs, and recipient of the 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Director’s Award. Her environmental-literacy work at the California Department of Education emphasizes education for sustainability and opportunities for relevant place-based learning. Lesley holds bachelor’s degrees in government and Spanish and a Master of Public Policy and Administration from Sacramento State University.

Eric Zilbert is Education Research and Evaluation Administrator in the California Department of Education (CDE). Dr. Zilbert previously served as Education Research and Evaluation Consultant in the Standards and Assessment Division, with primary responsibility for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) as NAEP State Coordinator. Dr. Zilbert was a teacher educator and researcher at the University of California, Davis, where his work included development of curriculum guides for Natural Resources and Forestry and development of a curriculum framework for agricultural and environmental literacy. He is a former teacher of high school biology and college-level Spanish. Eric received his B.S. from the University of California, Davis, and holds a Master of Education and a Doctorate of Education.