Congratulations to Chewonki educator Jessica Woodend, one of our Traveling Natural History Program staff, who has been honored by the National Association for Interpretation (NAI), a not-for-profit organization for professionals “involved in the interpretation of natural and cultural heritage resources in settings such as parks, zoos, museums, nature centers, aquaria, botanical gardens, and historical sites,” as their website explains.
The National Association for Interpretation lauded Woodend as a mid-career “shining star.” Always modest, she says she appreciates “the nice recognition of the work I have done to create programming with an impact here at Chewonki, and for a couple of non-profits for which I volunteer that also help educate people about wildlife and conservation. Not only do I receive the recognition, but Chewonki does as well.”
Woodend is the Maine state coordinator for the national organization, which is based in Colorado. “That means I am helping more people in Maine get…trained as environmental educators,” she says.
The National Association for Interpreters announcement read as follows:
“Jessica has spent the last 10 years involved in interpretation. She has used her interpretive skills to update and increase the impact of some of Chewonki’s programs. Not only does she strive for best impact for her programs at work, but she is also a volunteer with two other non-profits helping to bolster their education and outreach. This past year she has been lending her interpretive eye and creating/facilitating programs for ocean (and shark) conservation organizations in order to help highlight the work that they do, and reached over 700 people in her first three months. “
“Jessica has also coordinated the start of an outreach program for a marine mammal rescue organization. She has developed and facilitated an interpretive program that teaches the public about the impacts humans have on these animals and what they can do to help in a positive way.
“Her passion for creating connections to animals and the environment is clear in all of the time she dedicates among those organization…She is presenting on behalf of NAI at the Maine Environmental Education Association’s annual conference. Her goal is to get more people in the state involved.”