We’re kicking off this month’s Member Highlight by welcoming our newest Coalition member, Virginia Association for Environmental Education (VAEE). VAEE is a Virginia based non-profit organization comprised of a web of environmental education professionals, working together to advance sustainability and environmental education throughout the Commonwealth. We had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Helen Kuhns, VAEE secretary and advocacy chair to gain insight into their organization.
Tell us more about your organization and your mission:
VAEE is the professional organization for environmental educators in Virginia. Our organization represents a professional network of outstanding environmental educators, individuals and supporting organizations who work together to achieve our mission: to support environmental education capacity, professional learning and networking among our membership, as well as advancing Environmental and Sustainability Education in the Commonwealth of Virginia. VAEE offers conferences, trainings and support to regional EE teams and individual members throughout Virginia. VAEE is the official Virginia affiliate for NAAEE, the North American Association for Environmental Education.
What is one of your current projects you are the most excited about?
VAEE has developed and recently launched the first cohort in the VAEE Virginia Environmental Education Certification Program which provides in depth opportunities to new and seasoned EE professionals who are focused on:
Building a strong foundation of environmental literacy.
Networking with other Virginia environmental educators.
Improving your organization’s programs with new environmental education techniques.
Supporting professionalism in the field of environmental education.
What issue do you hope to focus on more of in the future?
VAEE represents Environmental Educators across the Commonwealth who focus on a variety of issues unique to each region. Whether it is water quality, air quality, carbon emissions, sustainable energy, habitat, ecosystem and watershed preservation and conservation, equity, climate change, sea level rise, or any of the other pressing issues in Virginia, there are EE professionals teaching of needed changes and modeling behavior. There is no environmental issue that does not touch our EE community. Therefore, we wish to focus on those issues that impact our community’s lives regionally and locally towards a healthier environment in Virginia.
What are you most excited about joining the Coalition?
VAEE is looking forward to the opportunity become part of this network of environmental professionals, to strengthen its messaging and provide the added resources of the VCN community to its members. VAEE looks forward to having a stronger voice through the platform provided by VCN to take a stand on issues that impact our EE community.