OEFA! Steering Committee Members
Steering Committee Meetings
Outdoor Education for All! is guided by a Steering Committee comprised of individuals dedicated to increasing access to outdoor education opportunities in our area. The Steering Committee is tasked with creating the goals and actions planned for the next five years.
Marti Leicester retired from a wonderful 32 year career with the National Park Service in 2005, moving between parks on the west and east coasts. Her passion has always been place-based experiential education and she was fortunate to enjoy applying this passion as a field ranger, park superintendent and in her final position she served as a Deputy Regional Director in the Pacific West Region. Her focus has been attitude and behavior changes as a result of public education in both formal and informal settings and organizational development for government and non-profit groups. A third generation Californian, Marti and her husband moved to Butte County in 2005 where they embarked on the adventure of building two “green” geodesic domes where they currently enjoy living. In 2006, Marti indulged her interest in writing as a North State Voices columnist for the Chico Enterprise-Record and co-authored a book with David Nopel, The Humboldt Wagon Road, in 2011. In 2010, Marti established a business for parks and non-profit groups, Community Partnerships Consulting. In 2013, she was part of the first group that conceived and initiated Outdoor Education for All! and has served as the groups Facilitator since that time. Here’s to environmental literacy for all generations!
Jeff Mott graduated from CSU, Chico in Biology and Chemistry in 1980. He pursued graduate work in fisheries for two years and left grad school to work for the Butte County AQMD. Jeff became Executive Director and Air Pollution Control Officer for the AQMD before moving to CSU Chico in the Department of Environmental Health and Safety. Jeff managed the department for 2 years and then spent the last 12 years managing the BCCER. Jeff retired last July and is now volunteering for various non-profits. He convened the initial Outdoor Education For All exploratory working group in February, 2013 and is a current member of the Steering Committee.
Dr. Anthony Catalano worked as an Outdoor Educator/Elementary Teacher and Principal from 1976 through 2011. Dr. Catalano organized and led many Outdoor/Environmental Education experiences for students K-8 over the course of his career. Most recently acted as a Support Teacher at Forest Ranch Charter School working with grades 3-7 and moving to a new opportunity in 2015 as the Education Programs Developer at the Forebay Aquatic Center in Oroville. Volunteering with OEFA! since early 2014.
Mary Anne Pella-Donnelly has been a science teacher for 29 years. Her passion and expertise lie in providing real world experiences that translate scientific concepts into an understanding of how science affects the lives of junior high students. She takes students regularly to Big Chico Creek where her students learn and connect to nature and our community’s resources. She has assisted on research projects all over the world and has used these experiences to emphasize the importance of research and evidence based scientific understanding. Working on the steering committee for Outdoor Education For All has provided the opportunity to collaborate with some of the tremendous community resources available to bring outdoor education to school-age children and the greater community.
Nathaniel Millard, Ph.D. is a lecturer and experiential educator at CSU Chico where he teaches Sustainability, English, Science Education, Outdoor Education, and more. He has a Master’s in English from CSU Chico and recent PhD in Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management with emphasis in Recreational Resource Management from Utah State University. He has over 18 years working in the Outdoor Field as guide, educator, and researcher. He sits on the accreditation and curriculum committee for the Wilderness Education Association. Research and publications include: feedback in outdoor education, looking at science attitudes with First-Year College students, Science Attitudes with kids and outdoor education, and is developing a survey instrument for sustainability education. He is a member of the Steering Committee for Outdoor Education For All and loves working across the North State with Outdoor Education providers to try and bring experiential, place-based education to every single child.
Shannon Johnson recently graduated from Chico State where she received her Bachelors in Social Science, with concentrations in environmental studies and anthropology. She is currently the Outdoor Education Teacher at Forest Ranch Charter School as well as Outreach Assistant for Region 2 of the California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC). In addition, Shannon volunteers as a Steering Committee Member of Outdoor Education For ALL! (OEFA) and has assisted in the development and strategic planning of the organization. For her, OEFA is an avenue to explore community collaboration and lasting solutions through sustained efforts to address social and environmental issues of our time. It helps to provide the connections necessary for youth to become better equipped in dealing with future struggles. Shannon's interest in Outdoor Education stems from her history of working with youth and passion for social and environmental justice.
Debbie Chakarun - coming soon
Lisa Speegle graduated from CSU, Chico with a Bachelors in Management Information Systems. After years in the business world, Lisa began working in the education field after Chico Unified School District closed Forest Ranch Elementary School in 2008. With the intention of helping that school become a K-8 charter school with a strong emphasis in Environmental/Experiential Education, Lisa was on the Founding Board of Forest Ranch Charter School and is currently the Business Manager for that school and three other local charter schools. Volunteering with OEFA! is a natural extension of Lisa's continued interest in encouraging children to explore and appreciate the natural world around us.
Lucas RossMerz - Born in Chico, Lucas RossMerz is a native to the region. As the Executive Director for the Sacramento River Preservation Trust he manages outings and float trips, organizes public outreach, facilitates advocacy and legislative campaigns, and gives educational presentations about the Sacramento River Watershed. Lucas earned a B.S. at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, in Environmental Management and Protection in 2010, concentrating his studies on water resource policy issues and hydrologic systems. Lucas is a certified white-water guide on the south-fork of the American River and has enjoyed trips on many of North America's iconic rivers. Lucas also serves on the City of Chico's Sustainability Task Force as a volunteer commissioner to help Chico reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to acceptable levels by 2020. Lucas is an engaged citizen who believes that an active citizenry is the only path to liberty and the American Dream we all grew up wanting to be a part of. Lucas has been active in helping shape the future of Outdoor Education For All (OEFA) as a founding member of the steering committee and is excited to remain engaged for years to come.
Dr. Anne Stephens - coming soon
Gretchen Bender - coming soon
John Aull graduated from CSU, Chico with a Master’s Degree in Recreation Administration, Parks and Natural Resources option. He has worked as a naturalist and educator in Butte County since 2002. He was education coordinator with Kids and Creeks for two years, and with the Chico Creek Nature Center (CCNC) for nine years in a variety of roles: educator, program developer, PR, website developer, museum curator, volunteer coordinator, and interim director. He coordinated and helped develop the exhibits for the Howard Tucker Exhibit Hall and Kristie’s Nature Lab for the CCNC’s building that opened in 2010. He has immersed himself in the geology, flora, fauna, and human history of the Big Chico Creek Canyon for over 15 years, and loves to share his passion through outdoor education programs for all ages. He now works as the education coordinator for the CSUC Ecological Reserves.
Agenda - 11/18/15
Agenda - 10/29/14
Minutes - 4/28/16
Minutes - 9/10/15
Minutes - 6/8/15
Minutes - 2/25/15
Minutes - 2/4/15
Minutes - 1/13/15
Minutes - 9/3/14