The Environmental Learning Center welcomes Maryam Ghadiri as its new Education and Research Director. Ghadiri holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and a Master’s Degree in Conservation Biology, both from the University of Tehran, and is finishing her PhD in Ecology and Informal Learning at Purdue University.

Ghadiri has worked as an Environmental Educator for Audubon Society camps, Perkins School for the Blind, and other nature programs, and is currently an Environmental Specialist with Purdue’s Center for Global Soundscape Ecology. She is an Emerging Leaders in Science & Society Fellow with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, received the “30 Under 30” Environmental Educator Award from the North American Association for Environmental Education, and has received multiple grants and produced multiple journal publications and conference presentations in areas of conservation biology and environmental education practice and learning research.

In addition to her teaching experience, which includes work with both traditional and special needs populations, she has extensive experience in curriculum design and program assessment in informal learning environments. A practicing visual artist as well, with much of her work inspired by nature, she works to integrate science and art in educational programming and citizen science research projects.

“Our board and staff could not be more thrilled with Maryam joining us,’’ said ELC Executive Director Molly Steinwald. “Her extensive background as a conservation scientist, environmental educator, curriculum designer, evaluator and even artist moves ELC to an entirely new level of cross-disciplinary leadership in our region and beyond. Her joining us continues our strategic positioning to serve at the collaborative forefront of understanding and implementing best practices to heal the relationship between humanity and the environment.”

The Environmental Learning Center is located north of Vero Beach off County Road 510 at the end of the Wabasso Bridge. Its mission is to educate, inspire and empower all people, including those with minimal access to nature, to be active stewards of the environment and their own well-being. The 64-acre campus includes exhibit areas, native plant gardens, picnic facilities and visitor center. ELC membership benefits, a list of its many field excursions, EcoVentures, including nature walks, canoe excursions, and boating adventures can be found at

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