Leadership Team

Marianne Krasny

Professor and Chair in the Department of Natural Resources and Director of the Civic Ecology Lab, Cornell University
Project Lead

Marianne Krasny is Professor and Chair in the Department of Natural Resources, and Director of the Civic Ecology Lab, at Cornell University. Her work focuses on environmental education and social-ecological systems theory in urban and other settings in the US and internationally.

Marianne has a long history of conducting science and environmental education outreach in partnership with community-based organizations. She is interested in civic ecology practices, including community gardening, community forestry, watershed enhancement, and other forms of urban restoration. Her research investigates how environmental education programs situated in civic ecology practices foster resilience in social-ecological systems.

As chair of a multi-disciplinary and cutting-edge natural resources department, Marianne leads efforts to integrate the social and biological sciences to address conservation issues. For two years she served as Chair of the North American Association for Environmental Education Research Commission, where she led discussions about the larger goals of environmental education research.

She also directs EPA’s national environmental education training program, through which she fosters exchange of ideas between community and youth development educators and the environmental education community, with the goal of redefining environmental education for a more urban society.  

Marianne holds bachelors degrees in Human Development and Botany, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Forest Ecology. She has taught courses in environmental and civic ecology education. Her responsibilities at the Cornell Civic Ecology Lab include educational outreach, applied research, and administration.

Anne Ferguson

Project Manager

Anne is the Project Manager for the EECapacity Project. In this capacity she has overall responsibility for the day-to-day operation and administration of the project. Anne builds collaborative relationships with project partners and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with respect to policy, program planning and implementation, evaluation, outreach, and finances.  Anne brings to her new role over 12 years experience working in conservation education, extension, and training. Previously she worked at the National Audubon Society developing and managing the Conservation Leadership Fellows Program of TogetherGreen, Audubon’s 5-year $20 million innovative conservation program in alliance with Toyota. As the first Fellows Program Manager, she led the program’s initial design and implementation, including the program’s stellar Leadership Institute. The Leadership Institute brought together the inter-disciplinary group of Fellows and other leaders in the field of environmental education, strategic communications, evaluation, conservation planning, and diversity and inclusion, to network and learn from each other.

Before Audubon she worked over four years at the Department of Environmental and Conservation Programs at the Field Museum of Chicago as the International Programs Manager for education. She organized EE training and natural resource use workshops for forest communities within a newly established 3.4 million acre protected area in Bolivia’s super diverse Amazon region. She led environmental education workshops on topics that focused on cultural practices related to sustainable livelihoods and led community workshops about their aspirations for the future and the links between quality of life and the conservation of natural resources. Her first experiences with EE began in Ecuador where she was a Natural Resources Peace Corps Volunteer. As a Volunteer she first discovered the power of environmental education to inspire creativity, learning, and cross-cultural exchange. 

Jose Pepe Marcos-Iga

Chief Operating Officer, Western National Parks Association

Pepe has more than 15 years of international experience as an environmental communicator and educator, with a background in capacity building, cultural competency development, and online training and networking. Pepe is currently the Chief Operating Officer of the Western National Parks Association. Previously, as the International Programs Manager at the Environmental Education Exchange, he managed a wide array of bilingual networking and capacity building efforts for environmental educators along the US-Mexico Border, which include conferences, training workshops, and social media that reach thousands of educators on both sides of the border. Pepe has served on NAAEE’s board since 2007, expanding and diversifying the organization’s reach, working with key partners to increase participation from Mexican and Canadian professionals as well as from underserved audiences within the United States. As part of the Guidelines Trainer’s Bureau, he has taken the Guidelines for Excellence in Environmental Education to Spanish-speaking educators. Pepe holds a Ph.D. and a M.Sc. in Natural Resources with a focus on Environmental Learning from the University of Arizona, as well as a M.Sc. and Bachelor Degree in Communications and Media Arts from Monterrey Tech and University of Monterrey respectively.

Judy Braus

Executive Director, NAAEE

Judy Braus serves as NAAEE Executive Director, bringing to the position a wealth of experience in environmental education and conservation. Throughout her career, she has focused on using the power of education to help communities restore and protect the environment. She comes to NAAEE from the National Audubon Society, where she was the Senior Vice President of Education and Centers, overseeing a nationwide network of nature centers and educators. Prior to that, she led the education programs at World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the U.S. Peace Corps, and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).

Her notable achievements include the creation and implementation of TogetherGreen, a $20 million alliance between Audubon and Toyota to build leadership, engage more people in conservation, and promote diversity and inclusion in the field. To date, TogetherGreen has engaged hundreds of thousands of Americans through fellowships, grants and a community-based volunteering initiative. At Audubon, she developed a planning guide, “The Tools of Engagement: A Toolkit for Engaging People in Conservation,” in collaboration with the EPA-funded Environmental Education and Training Partnership and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Judy also developed “Windows on the Wild” at WWF, and “NatureScope” at NWF, educations materials that are still widely used. While at Peace Corps, Judy co-authored “Environmental Education in the Schools: Creating a Program that Works,” which is used in dozens of countries around the world. She also believes in the power of partnerships and has cultivated lasting relationships with Toyota Motor North America, REI, National Geographic, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Eastman Kodak, Aardman Animations, and many others.  Before becoming the Executive Director of NAAEE, Judy served on the Board for more than 10 years, and served as president in 1999 and conference chair in 1995. She has published extensively and has also won numerous awards for her work in education and conservation.

John Fraser

President and CEO, NewKnowledge.org
Project Evaluator

John Fraser, Ph.D., AIA, is a psychologist, architect, and educator, and an internationally recognized researcher working in the conservation and cultural change community. Johnny’s research focuses on how worldviews impact learning attitudes, motivations, and ability to develop new knowledge in free-choice settings. Johnny currently serves as President and CEO of NewKnowledge.org, an entrepreneurial think tank dedicated to the study of how society comes to terms with the grand challenges of our time. He is adjunct faculty at Columbia University and CUNY Hunter College, teaching conservation psychology and is a Fellow of the Wildlife Conservation Society. He is leading external research and evaluation for a number of collaborations that integrate giant screen film, public broadcasting, media experiences, and place-based experiences of nature. His work with health and wellness has primarily focused on how adults' belief systems impact willingness to accept and implement wellness strategies in their lives, and the complex emotional issues associated with work in environmental conservation and education. His current work is also exploring how sculpture, public art, and poetry impact understanding of environmental sustainability and the development of a new American land ethic. Johnny recently completed a study of the outcomes resulting from citizen science projects coordinated by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, and was the lead author on a major four-year national study of American perceptions of zoos and aquariums.

Bora Simmons

Founding Director, National Project for Excellence in Environmental Education

Bora Simmons is the founding director of the National Project for Excellence in Environmental Education. The Project was initiated in1993 by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) to help educators develop and deliver effective environmental education programs.  After twenty years as a professor of environmental education at Northern Illinois University, Bora retired in 2007 and moved the Project to the Institute for a Sustainable Environment at the University of Oregon. 

Bora has been actively involved in environmental education research, evaluation, and professional development for over thirty years.  She served on the NAAEE board of directors and as its president.  She was chair of the National Council for the Social Studies’ (NCSS) Environmental Education SIG, NCATE EE standards writing committee, and ASCD EE Network. She currently serves on numerous steering committees and boards of directors, including the National Project Learning Tree Education Operating Committee and Environmental Education and Conservation Global. For her achievements in research and service, Bora has received various recognitions, including Walter E. Jeske Award for Outstanding Contributions to Environmental Education (NAAEE) and Outstanding Contributions to Research in Environmental Education (NAAEE).

The United States Environmental Protection Agency funds the EECapacity Project through a cooperative agreement with the Cornell University Civic Ecology Lab. This website was developed under Assistant Agreement No. NT-83497401 awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It has not been formally reviewed by EPA. The views expressed are solely those of EECapacity, and EPA does not endorse any products or commercial services mentioned.