Environmental Collaborations for the Next Generation with Lindsay Patterson
Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission
As the Education Coordinator with the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) in Charleston, SC, my responsibilities include developing, coordinating, and implementing all park-based environmental and social studies education programs for pre-school through high school students. Additionally, I am tasked with tracking and influencing the overall direction of the CCPRC's education programs. Since the Charleston County Parks include parks and facilities with beaches, marshes, hardwood forests, and more, I have many opportunities to plant seeds of ocean literacy and conservation to over 13,000 students during the school year.
A great component to my position is my ability to be involved in local, state, and national organizations that exist to support formal and informal natural and cultural history education. When I joined the South Carolina Marine Educators Association (SCMEA) in 2013, I had the opportunity to learn a bit about NMEA. So much that thought it would be great for SCMEA to host the NMEA 2017 Annual Conference! Serving as SCMEA’s President and as a NMEA 2017 Conference Co-chair has definitely propelled me professionally and taught me so much about myself! I am so proud to be a part of NMEA as a Member and Director. I look forward to continuing to assist with making known the world of water, both fresh and salt.
Currently, one of my favorite projects is collaborating with colleagues in the South Carolina BioDiscovery Project. Funded by the Bosch Community Fund, this project is coordinated by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission in partnership with the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, College of Charleston’s Grice Marine Lab, and Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service. At its foundation, the BioDiscovery Project is based on Maryland Sea Grant’s Biofilms and Biodiversity program that engages teachers and students in the exploration of biofouling communities in coastal Maryland. This week, I got to continue to collaborate with my fellow NMEA Board Member Adam Frederick. What a great opportunity to work with Adam outside of our board association to connect students and teachers through the collection of biodiversity and water quality data!
When I was walking across the stage at Clemson University (Go Tigers!), I had no idea what I would be doing with my Biological Sciences degree. I am so thankful for that because it challenged me to find out what I wanted to do. Now, I am truly working my dream job as an informal educator and teaching while looking through the eyes of a child. I am fervent about environmental education and relish the opportunity to impact many young lives, including that of my fascinating 2 ½ year old son, Cameron Ace.
If I don’t know you already, I hope to meet you in New Hampshire at NMEA 2019!