Tuesday Jan 3, 7pm Monthly Membership Meeting & Lecture: “Getting to Know Pine Jog” with Ray Coleman, Pine Jog Executive Director, and Lauren Butcher, Coordinator of Pine Jog’s Green Schools Recognition Program

Monthly Membership Meeting & Lecture: “Getting to Know Pine Jog” with Ray Coleman, Pine Jog Executive Director, and Lauren Butcher, Coordinator of Pine Jog’s Green Schools Recognition Program
Tuesday, Jan 3, 7pm

Join us for an opportunity to learn more about the fascinating history and diverse programs of Florida Atlantic University’s Pine Jog Environmental Education Center. Pine Jog’s relationship with Florida Audubon goes back over 50 years, from its establishment in 1960 as one of the first centers of its kind in the country, to its evolution into a nationally recognized demonstration center in the field of Environmental Education.

Our speakers Ray Coleman and Lauren Butcher will look back at how Pine Jog came to be and ahead to a number of Pine Jog’s most innovative and dynamic programs, including Pine Jog Fellows, H2O to Go, the OrKids Program, and the Green Schools Recognition Program, which serves over 76,000 students in Palm Beach and Martin Counties each year. We will learn how these programs are fostering greater environmental stewardship and sustainability at the local, national, and global level and how we can get involved.

Ray Coleman, the Executive Director at FAU Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, has over 28 years of nonprofit leadership experience. He holds a B.S. degree in Psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Master’s degree in Social Work and a post-master’s certificate in Industrial Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. Ray has written, implemented, and managed over 30 programs geared at engaging and educating youth. Prior to joining FAU in 2012, he served as the Executive Director of the Mohican Outdoor School and Environmental Learning Center in North Central Ohio. Since joining FAU, Ray has incorporated new initiatives such as the H2O to Go Residential Research Program, the Community Laboratory (Co-Lab), a fully operational micro-propagation laboratory for native wild orchids, the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Mentoring Program (STEM2), and the Apple Snail Adoption Program (ASAP). Additionally, he has forged strong ties with community partners such as the Everglades Foundation, for which Pine Jog created a conceptual Everglades literacy framework, assembled and piloted a series of lessons to foster Everglades literacy for students in grades K-12, and trained 1,200 teachers in 14 Florida counties to use the curriculum.

Lauren Butcher is the coordinator of FAU Pine Jog’s Green Schools Recognition Program, which encourages schools to develop cultures of sustainability and environmental stewardship throughout Palm Beach and Martin Counties. She also coordinates the new Everglades Champion Schools Recognition Program developed by Pine Jog in partnership with the Everglades Foundation as a component of its broader Everglades Literacy initiatives. Lauren holds a Master’s Degree in American Literature from Rutgers University, where she focused on 19th-century natural history writing, and she is currently working on a second Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management at FAU. She brings to Pine Jog over 15 years of experience in the educational and environmental non-profit fields, including 8 years as the Education Director of New Jersey’s Raptor Trust, an avian rehabilitation center focused on birds of prey. A third-generation Floridian, Lauren is glad to be back in her natural habitat.

Also at the meeting, our expert Clive Pinnock will tell us more about the January Bird of the Month: American Oystercatcher.

Doors open at 6:30 pm for light refreshments in rooms 101 and 102 at FAU Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, 6301 Summit Blvd (near Jog Road) in West Palm Beach. Meeting is free and open to the public.