Senior Education Manager
Through my position, I have the opportunity to plan and implement STRAW’s educational goals and programs. I work closely with our incredible STRAW teachers, students, STRAW Faculty, partners, and STRAW team to connect students to place, empower students through hands-on restoration and environmental education, and equip the next generation with tools to face complex, environmental challenges.
I grew up among the saguaros and ocotillos of the Sonoran Desert in Tucson, AZ (land of the Tohono O’odham, Sobaipuri, O’odham Jewed, and Hohokam people) and migrated North to attend Regis University in Colorado. After college, I lived in Alaska and Oregon as a Jesuit Volunteer, where I first worked with students doing stream restoration service learning. Knowing I had found incredible joy in connecting students with their backyard through environmental education, I set off to hone my skills as an educator and naturalist at the Teton Science Schools Graduate Program in Grand Teton National Park (land of the Shoshone and Cheyenne people). I then completed my master’s in Natural Science Education & Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming, where I designed my thesis around the discovery of common themes and practices of water and watershed education programs in the western United States.
I participated in the 2019 Pacific Cohort of the Environmental Leadership Program and am honored to be a Senior Fellow.
As an educator, I believe learning must be fun and care for the whole student. I find restoration to be an engaging and effective way of putting students in touch with solutions, forming connections with communities, and making learning relevant and long-lasting. I aim to always center diversity and inclusion in environmental education and am excited about ways to work equitably to increase access and opportunities for BIPOC students. I find it critically important for students to know any path is possible, that they are genuinely welcomed to the decision-making tables conservation offers.
Outside of work hours, I can usually be found hiking a nearby trail, cooking a family recipe, teaching a Zumba class, or adventuring along a river or coast.
Email: Gina Graziano