Thursday, October 25, 2018

Educator Spotlight: Angela Roach

Congratulations to Angela Roach for completing the N.C. Environmental Education Certification. Angela is a park ranger at Falls Lake State Recreation Area near Wake Forest, NC, where she works to improve visitor experiences and protect natural resources.

Angela enjoys learning and teaching about wildlife, and when asked what stood out to her about the certification program, she stated that it was the chance to work with other passionate wildlife conservationists. "I love reptiles and amphibians and this certification program paved a way for me to interact with and become cohorts with some of the key conservationists in the state." Angela also benefited from the certification program through a course in teaching methodology. "The Methods of Teaching EE class really showed me that everyone learns differently...I have now tailored my teachings to a variety of teaching styles so I can reach a much broader audience."

For her community partnership project, Angela partnered with a boy scout troop and other park rangers at Falls Lake to design and build a podium containing fish identification information. Angela said that the project was inspired by her first few months working at Falls Lake, during which the most common question she fielded was, "What kinds of fish can I catch here?" This made her realize that there was a lack of publicly available information about fishing and fish species at Falls Lake.

A local boy scout working on his Eagle Scout Project designed and constructed the wooden podium, while Angela designed a mini flip book to help people identify and learn more about the fish species found in Falls Lake. The weather resistant flip book will go inside the podium, and the podium will be placed on a day use fishing pier inside the park. Angela also kept younger children in mind while designing the project, and created a special activity for kids that might be too young to fish. "The podium was finished with a chalkboard paint and a chalk box will be located near the podium so smaller children will have something to do while their parents fish."

Angela said she was thankful that she was able to start the certification program prior to becoming a park ranger, and that she looks forward to incorporating all she learned into her career at Falls Lake. She concluded by describing the certification program as "a great way to meet professionals in the field, gain contacts, share ideas and establish a network."

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