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MAEOE's Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees represents a wide range of environmental, outdoor education and natural resource issues from organizations and institutions from across the state.


President: Katrina Jones
Past President: Lisa Jones
President Elect: Gina Felter
Treasurer: Jeremiah Chiappelli
Secretary: Chandra Harvey
Members at Large: Bart Merrick, Lee Derby
Executive Director: Laura Johnson Collard

Current MAEOE Board Members

Jeremiah Chiappelli

Chiappelli Law Firm, LLC

Jeremiah has been a member of the Maryland bar since December 2006. His commitment to public service has led him to the Womens Law Center and the YWCA Annapolis where he has participated as an attorney in the Reduced Fee Custody Project. He is also a member of Civil Justice, Inc., an organization dedicated to providing legal services to people who might not otherwise be able to afford it. As a former Air Force brat, Jeremiah understands the military lifestyle first-hand. 

Prior to starting the Chiappelli Law Firm, LLC, Jeremiah was privileged to apprentice with The Law Offices of Alan S. Forman, LLC, Walsh and Company, PA, and Gary Greenwald, PC. Before settling into a legal career, Jeremiah enjoyed a brief Hollywood career as a background actor and production assistant. If you ask him, he will be more than happy to share the highlights. As part of his commitment to public service, Jeremiah ran for state delegate for Maryland District 31 in 2010.

Lee Derby

Cedar Grove Elementary School
Montgomery County Public School

Lee is a lifelong resident of Maryland and lover of all the natural beauty found in this America in Miniature. This love of the outdoors and dedication to preserving it has infused his work as a counselor, teacher, and administrator in Montgomery County for over 25 years.  

Partnering with local, state, and national organizations he and his staff have built on the state’s environmental literacy standards to provide their students and staff with expanded opportunities to learn in and about the outdoors and take actions as they develop their environmental stewardship. These efforts have resulted in Cedar Grove’s recognition as a Maryland Green School and National Green Ribbon School.

Lee and his wife Shelley live in a recently empty nest in Damascus with their two dogs and enjoy travelling to beaches near and far.

Gina Felter

Carroll County Outdoor School

Ms. Gina C. Felter has spent the 41 years of her life learning about and caring for our local, natural environments here in Maryland. Following high school, Gina attended Virginia Tech to attain a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Science/Pre-Veterinary Medicine and then attend Towson University to attain her Master of Arts in Teaching.

For the past 15 years, Gina has been an educator in Carroll County Public Schools working as a science teacher Sykesville Middle School, the Carroll County Outdoor School and Francis Scott Key High School.  During these experiences, Gina also worked to attain her administrative certification from McDaniel College and now works as an Assistant Principal at Manchester Valley High School.

For the past three years, she has provided unique professional development opportunities for her staff and was the advisor for the North Carroll H.S. Green Team, a club created by NC students to improve the local environment both in and around the school.  North Carroll High School became both a MD Green School and a USDE Green Ribbon School under Ms. Felter’s direction.

Throughout her life, Gina has strove to learn more about and then to positively change the local environment through the education of others using creative, hands-on, authentic environmental learning experiences.

Katelin Mielke Frase

Education Director
Environmental Concern

Katelin Mielke Frase is currently the Education Director at Environmental Concern’s Wetland Learning Center in St. Michaels, Maryland. Kate has been with Environmental Concern since 2009 developing curricula and teaching wetland and environmental education programs to children and adults, both in the classroom and outdoors in wetland environments. Environmental Concern is a non-profit organization that has implemented and connected students as habitat designers to create over 100 sustainable schoolyard habitats.

Kate has been involved in wetland restoration projects, with a particular focus on outreach and education, for the last eight years.  Ms. Frase is an accomplished presenter and environmental educator.  She leads professional development workshops for educators throughout the country in wetland education and schoolyard habitat creation, including WOW! The Wonders of Wetlands, WOW! Facilitator, Wetland Plant Identification, POW! The Planning of Wetlands, Rain Gardens: Landscaping for Water Quality, Wetland Plant ID for Educators and more.

Kate has a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL.  She is also a certified Environmental Education Professional through the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education.

Kate is an Eastern Shore native, and currently resides in Preston, MD with her husband and daughter, Amelia.

Chandra Harvey

Founder and CEO

Chandra Harvey is the Founder and CEO of ESTEAMM Inc., established in January 2017.  Chandra was recently an honoree at the Women of Color STEM conference in Detroit, MI for her achievements in "raising the bar" for BioEYES where she worked for 4 years.

Chandra spent most of her professional career as an analytical chemist in pharmaceutical/environmental industries. She analyzed and monitored for safety of potential and current over the counter medications and other products for 13 years. Chandra began her second career as educator by receiving certifications as a Northern Virginia Master Naturalist, stream monitor, and volunteer educator in Arlington County Public Schools. She received formal training to monitor streams for E-Coli in Arlington County, VA.

Chandra is a volunteer aquarist assistant at the National Aquarium, Baltimore in both the Atlantic Coral Reef and Black Tip Reef exhibits.  She is also a former volunteer for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Chandra assisted in monitoring fish stocks and snakeheads in the Potomac River.

Chandra currently serves as a Pre-College Initiative Chair for NSBE-BMAC (National Society of Black Engineers-Baltimore Metropolitan Alumni Chapter).  She coordinates STEM events and establishes NSBE Jr. chapters in junior high and high schools within Baltimore City.he is also former Vice-Chair of the Engineers Club in Baltimore.

Allison Lane


For more than two decades, Allison has built her diverse experience in marketing, PR, crisis and reputation management – working with some of the country's most recognizable brands including SAS, The Body Shop, Burt's Bees, Unilever, Quaker Oats, Kraft and Claiborne.

With uncanny intuition and swift wit, she builds brand reputations through compelling storytelling, connecting trailblazers and inciting change. Allison helps organizations deepen relationships with the community, customers, employees, media and other stakeholders. 

Through her consulting firm Tree Swing, she serves higher education institutions, non-profit organizations, foundations, independent K-12 schools, governmental organizations and businesses.

Katrina Jones

Outreach Coordinator
Maryland Port Administration

Katrina Jones is the outreach coordinator for the Maryland Port Administration's dredging program where she works to build diverse stakeholder engagement and maintain partnerships for enhancing the public's knowledge and support of the State of Maryland's dredged material management program (DMMP), with the purpose identifying potential dredged material disposal options and getting project approval. She also co-chairs the Baltimore Port Alliance's Education and Outreach Committee, which is a collaboration of public and private agencies in the maritime industry, educators, and representatives from government and civic organizations.

Katrina coordinates directly with schools and organizations such Maryland Environmental Service, Living Classroom Foundation, Arlington Echo, and the National Aquarium in Baltimore to help facilitate meaningful field experiences at the Port facilities. She is a graduate of Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Communications.

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Lisa Jones

Living Classrooms Foundation

Lisa Jones is from Owings Mills, Maryland. She received a B.S. in Human Development from St. Mary's College of Southern Maryland and a Masters in Elementary Education from Towson University. She has been working for Living Classrooms Foundation since 2000 beginning as an educator and then became the Director of Shipboard Education in 2001.

When she is not working, she spends time rock climbing both indoors and out, taking agility classes with her dog, embarking on adventures and enjoying time with friends.

Bart Merrick

Education Coordinator
NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office
Environmental Science Training Center

Bart Merrick has been an environmental educator for eighteen years (15 of which have been in Maryland), working with teachers and students from Massachusetts to Virginia, to promote environmental literacy and foster understanding, awareness and respect for the natural world.

He developed an appreciation for the many opportunities to learn and explore offered by Maryland's diverse environments, especially the Chesapeake Bay, through his work with both Living Classrooms and Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

Upon receiving a Masters in Environmental Science, Bart went to work for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as the Education Coordinator for the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. In this position he began to grasp the breadth of scientific work occurring in the Bay and along with many others he began to incorporate more of this work into education programs.

Currently, Bart Merrick is the Education Coordinator for NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office's Environmental Science Training Center focusing his energies on integrating the use of environmental science and technology with field-based learning experiences.

Josh Schmidt

Independent School Teacher

Josh Schmidt, a resident of Arnold, MD, retired recently after a career in education that he began as an English teacher when he graduated from college in 1968. As a teacher, coach, college counselor, English Department Chair, then later Head of School – all in independent schools and for over 20 years in Quaker Schools – his primary and resolute focus was on helping each student grow, learn, develop sensitivity to others and other cultures, and find ways to make the world a better place.

Most recently he was a fundraising consultant for nonprofits, including Sidwell Friends School, Partners in Care Maryland and The National Foundation for Cancer Research. He also serves on the Education Advisory Board of the Annapolis Maritime Museum, and is a former Board member for Friends Meeting School.

Board Emeriti

The MAEOE Board of Trustees Emeritus position is a designation of honor that represents the lifetime achievement and dedicated service provided to the organization. An individual should meet at least two of the following qualifications:

  1. Served three terms on the MAEOE Board of Trustees
  2. Served two terms on the MAEOE Executive Staff
  3. Served as a MAEOE Officer

Dave Honchalk

Designated 2016

Dave Honchalk retired from Montgomery County Public Schools in 2007 and has been involved with outdoor and environmental education for more than 35 years. He holds a BS in elementary science from California University (PA), a master’s in outdoor education from Northern Illinois University, and certification in Administration and Supervision.

While a graduate assistant at Northern, Dave had a unique opportunity to interact with many of the pioneers in the field of outdoor education. In fact, half of Dave’s professional career was spent as an outdoor education teacher at the Lathrop E. Smith Environmental Education Center in Montgomery County, MD.

For eight years, Dave served as the supervisor of the outdoor education program, one of the largest in the state. Dave served on the Board of the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education for nine years, where he served as executive Board member, president and conference chair. He firmly believes that creating environmentally literate students is one of the most important goals in education and will only increase in importance in the next decade.

Elena S. Takaki

Designated 2013
Director, Project WILD, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies

Elena is EE Specialist for NAAEE, where she works on EE Capacity initiatives, including building state capacity, Guidelines for Community Engagement, and Community Climate Change.

Prior to coming to NAAEE, Elena was the Program Manager for National Geographic’s Chesapeake Bay FieldScope program and the co-lead staff for Maryland's Partnership for Children in Nature at Maryland DNR. With a B.S. in Natural Resource Management (Environmental Education concentration) from the University of Michigan, Elena has had the privilege of working with Dr. Bill Stapp, who has profoundly influenced her life and career.

Additionally, she has a M.A. in Science Education from the University of Michigan and a M.S. in Environmental Science from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to working at National Geographic, Elena worked at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Michigan. In her spare time, Elena is training to be a teacher of hula.

Steve Heacock

Designated 2012
Carroll County Outdoor School

Background: 26 years with Carroll Co. Outdoor School (22 as a very happy teacher 4 as administrator). BS Towson State College; MS Northern Ill. – Outdoor Ed/Environmental studies; MS Western Maryland College – Ed. Administration.  Certified wilderness education. Associate Director Maryland summer centers for gifted students.  Environmental Studies. Federal and state licensed raptor rehabilitator. Married Patti, 2 sons, Forrest 15, Taylor 18.  Hobbies hunting reading, Passion fly fishing. Educational Philosophy: "Education is not about life, Education is living"...John Dewey.

Carol Thompson

Designated 2008

Former MAEOE Executive Director. Carol received a BS in biology from Tulane University and a Master's of Arts in Teaching (Biology) from Tulane. She taught biology and general science in the New Orleans city schools. Later, Carol volunteered for the Marine Docent program at the University of New Hampshire where she fell in love with marshes, bays and anything estuarine.

While developing the Java History Trail at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, she learned about the impacts of land use on water quality. Carol has worked for the Department of Natural Resources since 1994. She served as the Director of Conservation Education and is currently the manager of the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Maryland where she gets to combine her love of science with her interest in education.

Willy Agee

Designated 2007

Cindy Etgen

Designated 2006
Education Section Chief
Maryland Department of Natural Resources

A Harford County native, employed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources since 1987, Cindy is an Education Section Chief and the Project WET Coordinator for Maryland.

Spending the summers of her youth in Avalon, NJ, her passion quickly became water and sand which led to a zeal for travel and collecting sand and sea glass from all over the world. All things water led her to her role in helping create Green Eggs and Sand, establishing the Hooked on Fishing clinic program in Maryland as well as work in Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) on a national level. Cindy has a B.S. in Environmental Science from Juniata College and a M.A. in Natural Resources Management/Outdoor Recreation from the University of Maryland.

After joining the MAEOE Board in 1995 she has served on the MAEOE Executive Board as President (1999), Treasurer, and Member at Large, and has also served as the MAEOE conference chair or co-chair for many years.  She has served as Council Member, Committee Member and Board Member for several national organizations including NAAEE, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, Aquatic Resources Education Association and more.  Cindy recently joined Towson University as Adjunct Faculty.  She lives in Arnold, MD with her husband Lou (A former member of the MAEOE Board of Trustees).

Gary Heath

Designated 2006
Maryland State Department of Education

Bernie Samm

Designated 2006
Montgomery County Public Schools

Bernie Samm hails from Baltimore and has lived in the Washington suburbs since graduating from the University of Maryland with a BS in Science Education in 1967. He holds a BS in Science Education for the U of M and an MA in Special Education from Trinity College.

In 2000 he retired from his job as Supervisor of Outdoor Education for Montgomery County Public Schools. He continues to work part time for the school system. Maryland is his home and its environment is his passion. He helped found both the Montgomery County Outdoor Education Association in 1974 and MAEOE in 1985.

He was MAEOE's first president and has served on its Board ever since. Bernie spends most of his free time at a little waterfront shack on the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland.

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