Stephanie is the Executive Director for the State of Indiana Cooperative Invasive Species Management (SICIM). Prior to that, she was the restoration ecologist and land manager for the 70-acre Nina Mason Pulliam EcoLab property on Marian University's campus, and led many of the K-12 environmental education programs there as well. She also served in the Peace Corps as an Environmental Action Volunteer, and worked as an animal keeper and environmental educator at the Indianapolis Zoo. She received her Master of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Management from Ball State University, where her enthusiasm for native plants and restoring natural areas began. She enjoys spending her free time making her own yard more wildlife friendly and pretends to be a photographer when she can.
I grew up in the west suburbs of Chicago where I spent the summers camping with my family and exploring the wetlands. In one of those wetlands, I caught a three legged frog which further sparked my interest about wetlands and the life within them. This three legged frog and spending summers exploring inspired me to study the natural world more. I graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in zoology. Soon after graduating, I went to Costa Rica and interned with a sea turtle patrolling project. This is time when I learned how important it was to educate others about the significance of the environment around them. This led me to a position at Dunes Learning Center where I spent two years as an educator, before accepting my current manager position as Residential Education Coordinator. One of the best parts of working in Northwest Indiana is being able to expose children to the natural world around them as well as beautiful Lake Michigan and seeing their amazement.
Board member since 2017
Darci has spent the last 32 years as the educator for the Kosciusko County Soil and Water Conservation District, working with both adults and youth. Her job has taken her to classrooms, rivers, lakes, streams, ag fields, woods, and wetlands. (Tough job, right?) She was one of the organizers of award-winning educational raft trips for high school students in northern Indiana and has continued rafting with youth for over 25 years. Her current passions include serving as Indiana Envirothon’s Immediate Past-President, an international environmental competition for high school students and Chairperson of the Arrow Head Country RC&D Education Committee. She coordinates a Master Naturalist program, which recently received the Host of the Year Award. She is a firm believer of progress through partnerships, and has worked with a variety of lake associations, STEM Academies, soil and water conservation districts, municipalities, watershed groups, colleges and universities. She is also a self-proclaimed soil geek, birder and kayaker. She is a past director, secretary and president of EEAI, and has been the recipient of both the Joe Wright and Howard Michaud awards. EEAI is her favorite organization and she has been a life member for many years.
Board member since 2020
Megan Gunn earned her B.S. from Purdue University in Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Science in 2012. She minored in fisheries and aquatic sciences which is where she got her start with the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR). From 2013 to 2020, Megan served as the manager for Dr. Reuben Goforth’s Aquatic Ecology Research lab which included managing graduate and undergraduate students in the lab. She spent the summers leading teams of undergraduate technicians, in ideal and sometimes less than ideal conditions, on field sampling expeditions ranging from conducting population assessments of fish and macroinvertebrates in the tributaries of the Wabash River to tracking Asian carp from Logansport to Covington, Indiana and everything in-between. In the winter, she taught undergraduates different processing techniques as well as analyzing the data collected during field season.
As the recruitment and outreach specialist for FNR, Megan is focused on increasing enrollment in FNR's 3 majors (aquatic sciences, forestry, and wildlife) and providing experiences for youth to experience hands-on activities related to natural resources and learn about the vast career opportunities that are available. Using her expertise from the lab, she is also involved in several outreach events in the community demonstrating fish and macroinvertebrate sampling techniques to different age groups as well as explaining to them the importance of biodiversity and stream ecosystem health to ecosystem services. Additionally, Megan works with the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant as an Aquatic Education Associate educating youth in NW Indiana and NE Illinois about Lake Michigan and its wonderful resources.
Additionally, Megan is the project leader for The Familiar Faces Project (TFFP), a program designed to increase the interest in natural resource science careers by bridging the gap between underrepresented minority youth communities and professionals in the field that look like them. She has also been the advisor for the Purdue Student Chapter of Environmental Education since Fall 2017.
I grew up on a farm outside of the small town of Hope, Indiana. We had a woods and creek running through the farm. I often played in the woods swinging on vines and climbing trees. We would wade in the creek and try to catch crayfish by hand. We had quail, pheasant, pigeons, doves, rabbits, and other traditional farm animals. We also had raccoons, red and grey foxes that DNR would use in their education programs. After grow up and moving to the Indianapolis, I began working in urban schools, I soon came understand how many children are limited in their experiences and their understanding of the nature world.
I have worked as an educator for over twenty years, primarily in the middle school grades. I have worked mostly in urban schools as well as rural and suburban schools. I have also worked as Resource Conservationist for the Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District and on environmental projects with USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service. I am current working for Hoosier Academies Charter School and I do some part time work for Marian University’s EcoLab. I have a BS degree from IUPUI and a Master in Educational Leadership from University of Indianapolis. I am married with four children. As a lifelong Hoosier I have always had an interest in making Indiana better for my family and all Hoosiers. I believe one way is to increase students understanding of our state’s natural environment.
With the last name of Wolf, it’s no surprise that Sarah has been inspired by nature from an early age. Sarah Wolf’s most memorable childhood activity was camping with her family to explore the outdoors and she turned her passion into a career. Sarah is Park Naturalist with Hendricks County Parks and Recreation, located just west of Indianapolis.
Sarah earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from Purdue University. Through college, she worked at Turkey Run and Shades State Parks as an Interpretive Naturalist. To complete her Master’s, Sarah managed 1,000 acres of certified wildlife habitat at Eli Lilly Tippecanoe Labs in Lafayette. She studied for two semesters in Europe. Sarah worked for a bit in the soil conservation field. She brings National Parks experience as she was an Interpretive Park Ranger at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Big Thicket National Preserve, and Padre Island National Seashore (where she got to work with sea turtles!). Her passion is sharing the natural world with park visitors, especially children. She loves helping them discover new natural aspects about our parks with each visit. In her free time, Sarah enjoys camping, hiking, traveling, and learning.
Alison Zajdel is a former environmental nonprofit director and a current nonprofit contractor and project manager. She works primarily with Earth Charter Indiana as a Resiliency Coordinator with a focus on local climate action and with Stamm Koechlein Family Foundation as their Philanthropy Advocate. Alison managed Cope Environmental Center's first major capital campaign and building project resulting in Indiana's first certified Living Building (https://visitcope.org/living-building). She volunteers for a wide variety of community organizations and events including Richmond Art Museum, Richmond Friends School, Richmond Redevelopment Commission, and the Richmond Meltdown Ice Festival. She graduated from DePauw University in 2001 and currently lives in Richmond with her husband Kyle, their two children Maggie and Joel, and their dog Jake.
Board member since 2019
Mary had a baby sheep growing up, which influenced her to become an environmental educator. It had very white fur and would always follow her to school. She eventually became the chief environmental educator of Tippecanoe county.
Board member since 2019
Mindy is Director of Recreation Services for Zionsville Parks and Recreation Department. Prior to her promotion she was Park Naturalist/Manager for the Zionsville Nature Center since 2014. A transplant from Northeast Ohio, Mindy worked as a Naturalist with Cleveland Metroparks for 13 years as well as several other park districts in Ohio. She became a Certified Environmental Educator through the Environmental Education Council of Ohio. She is also a Certified Heritage Interpreter and Certified Interpretive Guide through National Association for Interpretation. Recently she began studying for her Certified Park and Recreation Professional CPRP.
Mindy received her Master of Science in Biology at University of Akron, and has a Bachelor of Science in Zoology from Kent State University. In addition to the EEAI board, she is also on the steering committee for Indiana Children and Nature (ICAN). Mindy is passionate about helping and encouraging others to get outside and discover the wonders of nature in their own backyard. In her free time you can usually find her out playing in a park, gardening, and exploring nature with her husband and daughter.
Staff members since 2021
Megan Sharp is EEAI's first employee (Hooray!) and also the Founder and Chair at STRIVE Worldwide, Inc, a nonprofit that works with community partners in Indianapolis and Haiti on projects that improve quality of life and quality of place.
Megan has long been passionate about sustainable development, education, and global engagement. She has lived, worked, and studied in places as diverse as Germany, India, Guatemala, Mali, and Haiti and is excited to share what she has learned from these experiences! She earned her Bachelor of Arts from Ball State University in International Studies with a focus on International Resource Management and earned her Masters of Environmental Science from Taylor University. Megan has taught environmental management and various topics in sustainability to students from Kindergarten to graduate school, and currently teaches Environmental Science at St. Joseph’s College and Marian University. Megan also manages an urban homestead supply outlet to promote urban agriculture and sustainable practices in Indianapolis and serves as the Resource Coordinator for the Environmental Education Association of Indiana.