Environmental Education Program Coordinator
Carissa is a Pennsylvania native who has worked in the EE field for over 17 years. She spent her childhood playing in the creeks and woods of Northeastern Pennsylvania. This instilled an early passion for nature and conservation education. She graduated from Binghamton University in 1996 with a BA in Environmental Studies. She began her career working on an EE-themed kid’s summer day camp in northeast PA. She continued her career as an Instructor at Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. From there, she became the Environmental Education Coordinator (EEC) at the Wyoming County Conservation District (WCCD). She joined the Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR)- PA State Parks family in May of 1998 as a seasonal Environmental Education Specialist (EES) at Beltzville State Park. In December 2013, she became the Environmental Education Program Coordinator for the DCNR- Bureau of State Parks, Education & Interpretation Section. She coordinates the bureau’s Watershed Education and PA Land Choices curriculums. She is the also the bureau’s Host Institution Coordinator for Project WET. Carissa is a NAI Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG).
Carissa has been teaching Project WET for 15 years. Her favorite WET activity is a “A Drop in the Bucket.” It is a deceptively simple (yet complicated) lesson that imparts a dramatic message with the resounding “thunk” of that single water drop. She loves presenting Project WET workshops because most of what you need to facilitate a great workshop is contained in the guide. The lessons are well-written and material lists are clear and concise.
"For years, Pennsylvania had one statewide Project WET coordinator. We are very new to having multiple Host Institutions and no statewide coordinator. Pennsylvania State Parks just recently became one of the Host Institutions for Project WET.
I have been a WET PA State Park Host Institution Coordinator for only a few months, but I’ve been teaching Project WET for 15 years. It is a wonderful curriculum, and I’m excited to share the new 2.0 edition with teachers. I’m thrilled to work with our Outdoor Programming Services staff during upcoming Project WET Refreshers and Facilitator trainings."
Interviewed October 2014