Monday, May 13, 2019

Educator Spotlight: Megan Tumpey

Congratulations to Megan Tumpey for completing the N.C. Environmental Education Certification! Megan is a senior at NC State University. She will be graduating in May with a major in Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, and minors in Forest Management and American Environmental History. Megan has worked in a variety of environmental education settings, including county parks and summer camps. Currently, she works as the Children's Program Assistant at JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh.

When asked what she enjoyed most about the certification program, Megan replied "One of my favorite aspects is the relationships you form with others who are pursuing their certification. I became familiar with many participants as we saw each other frequently at the same workshops and events." She also mentioned the physical resources participants receive while taking part in workshops. "I love the plethora of materials and resources I now have as a result of obtaining this certification. Those activity guides have come in handy with my program planning already!"

For her community partnership project, Megan designed and installed a new orienteering course at Lake Crabtree County Park in Morrisville. As Megan explained, "Orienteering is a fun outdoor activity that involves trekking through the woods using a compass, map, and directions to guide you from point to point." The park had an existing orienteering course, but park staff members were interested in improving the course and making it more accessible to the public. Megan partnered with the park and a local Girl Scout Troop to update the current course and expand it to cover a larger portion of the park. Megan also created an "Adventure Backpack," which provides all the materials and instructions needed to complete the course.

Through funds from Lake Crabtree County Park, Megan was able to purchase the necessary materials to complete the orienteering course. The Girl Scouts assisted Megan in building new markers for the navigation points along the trail (pictured below). "The girls gained self-confidence and had a great time getting to use drills to attach the signs to the posts, digging the holes, leveling the posts, and attaching the punches. I love seeing young girls empowered by completing projects like this one."

The Girl Scouts helped Megan construct markers for the "control points" along the course.
Now that Megan has finished her project, she is preparing to graduate from college and start a new chapter in her career. She said she is looking forward to using the skills she gained through the certification program. "The certification program has helped me learn how to tailor the same content to different grade levels. I had struggled with knowing exactly what to include or how much depth to go into, but after interacting with the certification materials and activities, as well as seeing the differences between programs geared towards different ages, I am much better!"

To learn more about the N.C. Environmental Education Certification, visit the N.C. Office of Environmental Education website.

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