MEET THE AAEE LEADERS
AAEE Board of Directors
LoriAnne Barnett Warren - Executive Director
LoriAnne (she/her) lives in Tucson, AZ on O’odham and Pascua Yaqui land. She is the Program Manager for the Urban and Community Forestry Program at Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, educating our communities about the value of urban trees and how to care for them. She previously served for 10 years as the Director of the USA National Phenology Network‘s education program, focused on engaging a variety of formal and non-formal audiences in phenology and the Nature’s Notebook Citizen Science program and has worked in a number of educational settings over the last two and a half decades, teaching both youth and adults the importance of place and connections to the natural world. LoriAnne holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania and an M.A. in Environmental Science and Environmental Education from Prescott College in Arizona. She is the Executive Director of the Arizona Master Naturalist Association, a volunteer leadership training program for natural and cultural history volunteers. Her areas of expertise include program development and evaluation, strategic planning, and volunteer management. Board member since 2014.
Ellen Bashor - Board President
Ellen (they/she) lives in the beautiful central highlands on the homelands of the Yavapai people in Prescott, Arizona. There, Ellen is the Outdoor Learning Coordinator for an intergovernmental agreement between Prescott Unified School District and the City of Prescott's Community Nature Center, where they oversee multiple programs & initiatives to increase children’s equitable access to outdoor and environmental experiences, including Nature Niños Prescott. Ellen holds both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Environmental Education, and previously taught Environmental Education at Prescott College and professional development for the college’s Center for Nature and Place. They also serve on the Greater Prescott Outdoors Fund board and coordinate the City of Prescott's annual children's Earth Day Celebration. In 2019 they were selected as an ee360 Fellow by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE), in 2020 they were awarded Arizona Environmental Educator of the Year, in 2021 they were honored with the international NAAEE Environmental Education 30 Under 30 award, and in 2023 with the First Things First Regional Champion for Young Children award. Ellen's career and service work is deeply embedded in their commitment to increasing access to the outdoors, environmental learning, and opportunities that cultivate a more healthy, just, and sustainable world for all. Board member since 2018.
Julia Davis - Board Secretary
Julia (she/her) is the Program Manager for Project Cities, a program through the Sustainable Cities Network in the Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation at Arizona State University. Project Cities is a university-community partnership that pairs faculty and students with city partners to co-create sustainability solutions. The program provides unique opportunities for students to gain hands-on skills and experiences, developing career pathways and fostering connections with local sustainability leaders. Julia holds a Master of Arts in Sustainability, Bachelor of Arts in Sustainability, Bachelor of Arts in Geography, and Certificate in Environmental Education from Arizona State University. While in graduate school her research was focused on exploring sustainability literacy through nature journaling in school gardens and she worked with the National Sustainability Teachers’ Academy to train educators in sustainability science and how to implement sustainability projects in their schools and communities. Julia is passionate about providing educators with professional development opportunities to support high-quality environmental and sustainability education programming in schools and communities. She enjoys hiking with her dog and exploring the beautiful and biodiverse landscapes of Arizona. Board member since 2021.
Staci Grady - eeCertification Committee Chair
Staci (she/her) teaches Environmental Science and STEM at a public high school in Avondale. She educates teens from 10-12th grade about how Environmental Science impacts them and their daily lives with the goal of creating deeper connections between them, their communities, and their environment. Learning to teach is a constant developmental practice so her next steps to further her teaching will be to attend local professional development events to learn more about my community and the environment we interact with on a deeper level. She would like to further her relationships with local organizations that offer enriching experiences to educators and their students while continuing to deepen my knowledge of Sonoran desert ecology and cultural history. Board member since 2020.
John Bello - Board Member
John (he/him), Director of Education and Interpretation at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, is currently completing a Doctorate of Education in Leadership and Innovation from Arizona State University. As Director of Education and Interpretation, he is responsible for the development, implementation and coordination of all education and interpretation programs at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. He is dedicated to building access for all communities to connect and experience nature while building their compassion for the land and space we live on. As an avid learner, he will continue to learn and build on nature experiences through professional communities to multi-modal ways and experiences with Arizona Association for Environmental Education. Board member since 2023.
Kate Studey - Board Member
Kate (she/her) is a Junior High Science Teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. She also leads the Outdoor Learning Committee and after school Garden Club at her school. Kate is an Environmental Education Certified Professional, and she is currently working on her Master Naturalist certification. In 2018, Kate served as the Teacher on Public Lands intern for the Bureau of Land Management. In 2022, Kate was selected as one of six teachers nationwide to work in Acadia National Park as an Acadia Teacher Fellow. Kate’s passion is to connect students with Nature by providing them with outdoor learning experiences that align with their classroom learning. Her next goal for professional development in support of her career is to complete her certification as a Master Naturalist, become a certified Project WILD trainer, and return to Acadia for a second summer in 2023. Board Member since 2023.
Carmen (she/her) is an AmeriCorps VISTA with Arizona Serve. She is also a graduate student at Prescott College pursing a degree for a MS in Environmental Studies. Her husband works as a PA in General Surgery and Cardiology. They moved from Colorado to Nebraska and then to Arizona. Carmen enjoys being outdoors and learning about natural habitats. Skiing, hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, and atv riding are her favorite outdoor activities. She likes to spend time with her husband, their daughter, and their dogs. She grew up in the San Luis Valley, Colorado and learned a love for the outdoors with her family. From the time she was young she knew she wanted to study environmental science and help others to be stewards of the land.
Dannie Blakeley - eeFellow
Dannie (he/they) grew up on the homelands of the Yavapai people, in Prescott, Arizona, and continues to live there. Originally planning on being a nurse, Dannie spent his first few years of college studying and working as a CNA. Being a nursing assistant taught Dannie the importance of human connection and communication, he mainly worked one-on-one with nonverbal members of his community. Dannie is deeply passionate about empathy, kindness, and equity because of his experiences. However, this job field was no longer serving him, so Dannie decided to switch gears and pursue environmental education. He is currently an Americorps VISTA at Prescott’s Community Nature Center as a program coordinator and Park Ranger. In this position Dannie does weekly programming with K-6 grade, often sharing his love of birding and nature art with students.
Samuel Paddock - eeFellow
Samuel (he / him) is a relative newcomer to the world of environmental education, unofficially starting his path in this field when he accepted a position as a zookeeper at the end of 2020. During his time in this role, he quickly discovered that his favorite part of the job was the education aspect. Samuel would regularly give impromptu programs to the public regarding the animals that were in his care. While he did eventually move on from the zookeeper profession into the lumber industry, education was always in the back of his mind. Following his interests, he applied and accepted a position as a seasonal Natural and Historical Interpreter with Missouri State Parks in 2022. He ultimately fell further in love with teaching people about the subject he cared most about, and knew he wanted to continue his path in this field. Thus when his term with Missouri State Parks came to a close, he applied to work as an environmental educator and City of Prescott Park Ranger with the Community Nature Center in Prescott, Arizona. Here he has found his footing in this field, and has taken the steps to better himself professionally by starting the path to finish his degree and has begun to work on his Environmental Education Certification through the Arizona Association for Environmental Educators.
Jordan Sene - eeFellow