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Meet the MAEOE Staff

Laura Johnson Collard

Executive Director
410-777-9530 x 162

Laura has more than 15 years experience in non-profit and for-profit management in the UK and USA. She has worked with non-profit leaders to develop successful strategies for strengthening and diversifying funding bases.

Her skills include change management, strategic planning and start-up planning and implementation. She has positioned organizations for growth, new initiatives and sustainability. Areas of expertise include increasing capacity of non-profit organizations, strategic planning, financial management and team building. Additionally, she specializes in connecting public and private sector leaders while enabling them to work in partnership and build better communities.

Laura holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. She speaks Spanish as a second language and enjoys spending time outdoors with her family.

Mary Westlund

Program Director
(Office Phone) 410-777-9530 ext.164
(Office Cell Phone) 443-699-6791

Mary Westlund is the Program Director at the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE). She has 20+ years of experience in education as both an educator and facilitator. Previously she studied and worked in interior design.

Mary was introduced to both sustainability and interactive learning while studying energy efficient lighting and museum exhibit design. After several years in the architectural field Mary pursued a long-term desire and transitioned to elementary education. During her time as an educator, she focused on increasing student engagement and integrating multiple subject areas to improve critical thinking skills. This is when her passion for environmental education blossomed. Mary shifted from classroom education to other opportunities in the educational field. She worked as an environmental educator in Pennsylvania and Maryland and as a facilitator creating customized professional development experiences for adult learners across the U.S.

In her role as the Program Director at MAEOE, Mary brings her considerable professional experience to the programs that MAEOE offers, serving a diverse community and connecting people and organizations to environmentally focused resources and opportunities. She strives to help learners of all ages find a love of nature, be open to outdoor exploration, and become environmental stewards.

Mary holds a BS in Interior Design and Elementary Education, and an MEd in Teaching and Learning. She is an active member of the Association of Talent Development (ATD) and the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD). When away from work, Mary enjoys long-distance cycling, baking, gardening, playing her upright bass, and participating in improv classes.

Camille Jefferson

Special Assistant to the Director
office: 410-777-9530

Camille Jefferson joins MAEOE as Special Assistant to the Director. Camille is a Communications Professional with combination of 20+ years of experience in operations management, project management and marketing in profit and non-profit organizations. During her career as a media professional she’s worked for numerous broadcast and cable companies throughout the country.

Having spent many years in studios and control rooms, Camille is extremely excited about being involved with outdoors and education. As a Project Manager and Educator, her passion is now her second career. From early in life, Camille encouraged literacy, diversity and community involvement with the environment. The depth of her commitment with the environmental community was deeply enriched when Dr. Mamie Parker became her Advisor. She has partnered with Dr. Parker to work on several environmental projects.

Camille has a BA in Communications from the University of Maryland, College Park and a MBA from Saint Edwards University, Austin. She is an active member of Project Management Institute D.C. Chapter and a member of the Dunn-Loring Merrifield Rotary. She enjoys authentic hands-on experiences, spending time on farms, at beaches, and in parks.

Alisa Fried

Education Coordinator

Alisa joined MAEOE in March 2022 and uses her passion for the environment and experiences as an educator to support environmental education initiatives across the state of Maryland. Her passion for the environment includes human connection to the natural world, and to make environmental educational experiences accessible to all.

A Marylander and Baltimore-area native, Alisa is proud to work with formal and non-formal educators across the state and with the hundreds of Green Schools in Maryland, including those she attended as a student! She considers the experiences she had a child, both inside and outside of the classroom, as the drivers for her love of the natural world. From camping trips with her parents across the Northeast to adventures in Costa Rica’s rainforests in college to creating ant habitats in her backyard, the outdoors have always been a place where she was able to “come alive”.

While Alisa’s experiences have made the outdoors a place of wonder and excitement for her, she knows that not all people have had been able to experience the natural world in the same way. She hopes that in supporting environmental educators, both in and out of the classroom, that she can provide opportunities for everyone to feel connected to and understand the natural world in a safe and meaningful way.

Alisa graduated with a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Towson University and with B.A.’s in Environmental Studies and International Languages and Culture: Spanish from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. When she is not exploring the outdoors o, Alisa enjoys listening to music and NPR, reading and cooking.

April Amacker

Youth Leadership Coordinator

April Amacker is currently a graduate student at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland where she is studying Cultural Sustainability. She has worked with youth in various communities for over 15 years teaching self-empowerment, enrichment and implementing visual arts as therapy for inner-city youth. April has always been resourceful and innovative which has led to the success of several social entrepreneurship projects in which she managed to help new businesses and entrepreneurs develop products and models to address social and economical issues.

She is ecstatic to work with the Youth Advisory Council as she and the students both share a love for ensuring our earth is treated with care.

​Jemima LaClair Clark

Maryland Environmental Literacy Advisory Network (MELAN) Coordinator

Jemima LaClair Clark has been teaching in formal and non-formal settings since 1998. She has a degree in Biology from Washington College and a Master's in Education from Wesley College in Delaware. A Maryland certified teacher, she spent many years at Queen Anne's County High School before moving outside to teach in an informal setting at Evergreen Heritage Center in Allegany County, MD. Since June of 2015, Jemima has served as Asst. Director of Educational Programs at the Center for Environment & Society at Washington College. She spends her time working closely with K-12 educators and administrators, delivering the engaging programs classrooms, facilitating teacher Professional Development experiences, and coordinating Environmental Literacy Plan development.

In the Fall of 2021, 2 & 23, Jemima served as faculty for the Chesapeake Semester Integrated Course at Washington College. She also teaches Science Methods for Elementary Educators and is active in the Higher Education Environmental Literacy (HEEL) Faculty Development Program. Jemima has been a consistent member of the Chesapeake Bay Program Education Workgroup, Project Green Classrooms committees, and MAEOE, including working on the revision for the MD Environmental Literacy Standards and several successful grant proposals.

She is excited about the new position as Coordinator for MELAN, Maryland Environmental Literacy Advisory Network, funded by NOAA BWET. She is a native of the Eastern Shore and resides in Ingleside Maryland in an old house with her two college age children, Shiloh & Joce, and her adorable dogs, Puck & Gus.

Vanessa Young

Little Black Book, Ltd, Contractor


There are no do-overs in this business. We take what we do very seriously because we want our clients to have the best memories. You invest time and money into your day to make it perfect and we are your insurance plan to protect your investment and execute your plan. Planning events is our passion. The details matter and we love bringing clients’ visions to life, allowing them to create the best-shared experiences.

Chief Planner, Vanessa Young founded Little Black Book in Washington, D.C. to provide clients with exclusive access to vendors and services starting with event planning that exceeds expectations. With an Event Management Certification from George Washington University and over 7 years of industry experience, she is a seasoned event professional.

We take time to understand each of our clients’ communication styles, visions, and needs. We then build a plan based on that foundation, leveraging our years of experience and vast network of vendors. We manage all aspects of the day, behind the scenes, ensuring that our clients are able to be present and enjoy every emotion of their day. Let us be your connection to just the right people, places, and services. Let us make your event unforgettable.

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