Meet the Board of Directors

DAEE maintains an active Executive Committee, Board of Directors,  and various Committees who are responsible for keeping focus on the vision, mission, plan, and goals and keeping them current and responsive to the needs of environmental education in Delaware. The Executive Committee is comprised of individuals from the Board of Directors who are elected to one- or two-year terms.

Executive Committee

Chair: Dr. Todd Klawinski
Delaware Nature Society

Dr. Todd Klawinski is the current Education Coordinator for the Delaware Nature Society. He completed his doctorate in educational leadership from Wilmington University. He previously served as the Environmental Education Specialist (EES) at the Caesar Rodney School District for six years, where he secured grant funding and resources to support student, staff, and community initiatives while integrating environmental literacy (ELit) into the district’s curriculum. He helped design, install, and maintain meaningful outdoor learning and sustainable education facilities, while also reviewing and supporting project proposals by the school community.

Vice-Chair: David Pragoff
Delaware Nature Society

David Pragoff, Delaware Nature Society

David Pragoff is the School and Group Programs Team Leader with Delaware Nature Society, based at the Ashland Nature Center in Hockessin, Delaware. David oversees program development and delivery for school, scout, and group audiences including children and adults together reaching approximately 35,000 participants each year. In his 16 years working at the Delaware Nature Society, David has collaborated with numerous groups to advance environmental education in Delaware. David was the 2021 DAEE Awards for Excellence, Exemplary Partnership recipient and is a long serving DAEE Board Member.

Secretary: Claire Mickletz
Delaware State Parks

Claire Mickletz is the Interpretive Programs Manager at White Clay Creek State Park, and has been with Delaware State Parks for 16 years, and previously worked as a park naturalist for Kentucy State Parks. She has a BS in Environmental Biology and  a BS in Education from the University of Dayton. 

NAEE Liaison: Maureen Larkin

Maureen Larkin
Maureen Larkin, NAEE Liaison

Maureen M Larkin is the NAEE Liaison and a Certified Environmental Educator  as well as a Delaware & Maryland Master Gardener.  She holds an M.A. in Teaching (UMBC) and became a Certified Environmental Educator (through MAEOE). Her philosophy is focused on Teaching children that we are all connected and to “Let nature be your teacher.” (Wordsworth). 

 

At Large Member: Ashley Melvin
Delaware Forest Service

Ashley Melvin
Ashley Melvin, Delaware Forest Service

Ashley Melvin is the Training and Education Specialist at the Delaware Forest Service. With a B.S. in Plant Science from Delaware State University, Ashley serves serves as the Project Learning Tree (PLT) Coordinator and manages two education centers at Blackbird and Redden State Forests. She also coordinates the Annual Arbor Day Poster Contest and the Smokey Bear Fire Prevention Program. Ashley serves on the state and national FFA Forestry Career Development Event (CDE) as well as the state and national Envirothon Planning Committee. A founding member of the Delaware Association for Environmental Education (DAEE) and current Member at Large, Ashley works to increase the quality and opportunity for outdoor learning on a state, regional and national level.

A native Delawarean, Ashley developed a deep connection with nature at a young age and understands the importance of fostering that connection in today’s youth. When she outreaches to the public, her tagline is “I grew up playing in the woods and now I get paid to play in the woods.” Ashley loves to share her passion for the outdoors in the hopes it will inspire other people to want to get involved.

Ashley spends time outdoors with her 6-year-old son on their farm in Hartly.

Board of Directors

DAEE is governed by a Board of 10-20 Directors. Our DAEE Board is comprised of a diverse group involved with informal and formal environmental education and related fields.

The membership of the Board of Directors is approved at our Annual Conference in late winter/early spring each year. Look for a call for applications to the board starting a few months before the next annual conference. Please consider getting involved! We’re always looking for new faces, ideas, and perspectives.

David Christopher
Delaware Sea Grant

David Christopher
David Christopher, Delaware Sea Grant

David Christopher is the Marine Education Specialist at Delaware Sea Grant/University of Delaware. He holds an M.A. in Teaching (UMBC), a Bachelor of Arts from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and a Masters of Education from Goucher College. He is a Certified Environmental Educator through the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education. (MAEOE)

Before coming to Delaware Sea Grant, David worked for 18 years at the National Aquarium. He has served on the Board of DAEE, the Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association, and the National Marine Educators Association. He received the 2013 National Aquarium Innovation Award, 2017 National Marine Educators Association President’s Award, and the 2023 Mid-Atlantic Marine Educators Association President’s Award. His philosophy is to teach children that we are all connected and his goal is to help advance Environmental Literacy at the state and regional level. In his spare time, he is also an amateur event DJ.

2024-25 Board of Directors

  • Lisa Watt, Delaware State Parks
  • David Christopher, Delaware Sea Grant
  • Cheryl Jackson, Gore & Associates
  • Kerry Wilson, Delaware Nature Society
  • Katie Pollock, University of Delaware Lab School
  • Lisa A. Swanger, Delaware Center for the Inland Bays
  • Jen Cipolla, Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids
  • Tess Charney
  • Laurel Sullivan, Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • Karen Igou, Green Building United
  • Leah Brooks, Mt. Cuba Center
  • Sonia Saunders, Red Clay School District
DAEE Board of Directors, August 22, 2019

Committees

Most of the work that DAEE does gets done through a variety of standing or ad hoc committees. 

You do not need to be a Board member to be part of one of our committees and we welcome you joining. Please contact us at DAEEonline@gmail.com if you may be interested in participating on one of them.

The following committees are an important way that we accomplish our mission. 

Our Current Committees

  • Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion and Accessibility Committee (JEDIA) – Works to ensure environmental education and meaningful experiences with nature are accessible to everyone. 
  • Marketing & Media Committee – Maximizes our organization’s marketing strategy and communications including the newsletter, website, and social media.
  • Communities in Nature– Works to engage communities and promote environmental
    and outdoor education to facilitate positive impacts.
  • Outdoor Learning Network– Works to coordinate a unified voice for outdoor
    learning. Helps to schedule tours and gather resources.
  • Events (non-conference) & Program Planning Committee – Plans and implements non-conference DAEE events (behind-the-scenes tours, paddling trips, etc.), and professional development workshops.
  • Membership Committee – Determines how to attract, retain, and best serve our members.
  • Conference Committee – Plans and implements the annual DAEE conference.
  • Finance Committee – As a 501(c)(3) organization, bookkeeping is of utmost importance. This committee ensures the fiscal responsibility and well-being of DAEE.
  • Strategic Plan Committee – Ensures DAEE is working toward its current strategic plan, and updates the document as needed, during its life.
  • Budget Committee – Helps DAEE grow as an organization by creating monthly, annual, and multi-year budgets.
  • Audit Committee – Works with an external auditor to ensure DAEE has proper financial reporting and disclosure.
  • Awards for Excellence Committee – Determines winners of DAEE’s annual Awards for Excellence. 

Our Board and Committees are a great way to get involved in environmental education in Delaware and help people get outside to have meaningful experiences in nature.