Rhode Island Environmental
Education Association

Jen West

Meet RIEEA board member Jen West! Jen is the Coastal Training Program Coordinator with the Narragansett Bay National Esuarine Research Reserve. Jen decided to join the RIEEA Board, knowing that in addition to contributing her knowledge and skills to the best of her ability, she “had the opportunity to work with incredible folks doing impactful work while learning ‘the ropes’ of non-profit governance from the best of the best”. Read on to learn a bit more about Jen!

What’s your favorite outdoor place in Rhode Island, and why?

Steere Hill in Glocester, because I love the woods and you feel like you’re deep in them here. Big, beautiful trees and other flora, and very few invasives!

How did you get involved with the environmental field?

I participated in an Environmental Interpretation Institute at Rogers Environmental Education Center in Sherburne, NY, my first summer following college graduation. The staff members were incredible and helped me further fall in love with the outdoors and sharing it with others.

What’s your favorite environmental fact to share?

While I tend to share more stories than facts, I often remind folks that the primary cause of impairments to our water bodies in RI, including Narragansett Bay, is polluted runoff. While that fact is distressing, we need to remember that we have the solutions. Hurray for green infrastructure!

What has been your favorite memory of working with RIEEA? 

The people. RIEEA members have proven to be some of the most welcoming, authentic, caring, dedicated, supportive, creative, honest, humble and fun people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. And the RIEEA Annual Summit is always a highlight for me; I’ll never forget the power and inspiration conveyed by keynote speakers like author, educator, storyteller, and Narragansett tribal leader Wanda Hopkins and local leaders Jo Ayuso, Kufa Castro, and Tonay Gooday-Ervin who spoke about the connection between trees and environmental justice for Rhode island’s frontline communities.

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