Why I’m Excited to Lead EEANM

A Letter from EEANM’s Executive Director

Greetings Environmental Education Community,

Spring is in the air as evidenced by all of the tumbleweeds blowing across the landscape. As I am getting settled into this new position, I thought I would take a few minutes to reach out and share more about why I was so excited to take on this new challenge as Executive Director of the Environmental Education Association of New Mexico (EEANM).

Many of you have asked, so I thought it was time to share a bit more about myself in hopes of better explaining my enthusiasm for EEANM and this new position:

1)  I am the product of a childhood spent outdoors.


Growing up on the edge of suburbia and an urban environment, I feel fortunate that my mom kicked us outside whenever the weather was nice. I now understand it was to get us out of her hair, but spending time outdoors exploring the neighborhood helped lay the groundwork for a life-long appreciation of being out-of-doors. I have experienced first-hand the magic that occurs when bringing our youth outside, whether it is in their schoolyard or on a field trip; I want to see this happen even more in our beautiful state.

2)  Twelve years ago, I fell in love with environmental education.

As a young wildlife biologist, I was seeking opportunities to make a difference. One day, I sat down and wrote a job description and it turned out to be for an environmental educator. I then wrote a letter to the Executive Director of Audubon New Mexico, David Henderson, and, to my surprise, he took a chance on me. I have never looked back, and my passion and commitment to environmental education has only grown over time.

3)  I genuinely want to leave the world a better place (and am willing to work hard to do so).

For my undergraduate education, I applied to only one college, College of the Atlantic. COA was the first U.S. college to focus on the relationship between humans and the environment – it’s “for idealists with elbow grease.” Well, that is me in a nut shell. I strive for a better world, one where we are kinder to each other and our planet. However, I do not shy away from hard work and “Persistence” is my middle name. I truly believe EEANM has the potential, with your support, to embed environmental literacy across New Mexico, and I will work hard to make this happen.

4)  I understand what it takes to be an environmental educator.

I feel honored to have had the opportunity to teach over 20,000 of New Mexico’s youth, mostly in multi-day outdoor education programs. I know what it’s like to wake up in the morning and look forward to being outside with youth. I also know what it’s like to be physically and emotionally exhausted at the end of the day from the pressures of being the one responsible for little lives out-of-doors. I hope to find ways to support you and your work, which I value very much.

5)  In each of my interactions, I strive for integrity and compassion.

To leave the world a better place, it must begin with our interactions with and support of one another.

The Environmental Education Association of New Mexico is not one person or even a handful of people; EEANM is all of us and all that we collectively offer to promote quality environmental education in our great state.

We need you and your support to realize this vision.

You have my promise that I will strive to reach out to you and support the great work you are accomplishing.

Your support, through an EEANM membership or donation, will go a long way towards creating an environmentally literate citizenry. Please consider a membership at the $50 level and I promise that your support will be leveraged to its maximum potential. I look forward to working with each of you more in the future.

Yours in promoting quality environmental education statewide,
Eileen Everett
Executive Director