First of all, I would like to say hello! to all of our new readers out there. With the launch of Green Fork, I am so eager to be able to reach out to the community in a way that we never have been able to before. Yes, you have heard it is an exciting time for environmental education. There are stimulating things happening on every front from the No Child Left Inside Coalition to talk in our own Salt Lake City newspapers. But these conversations will have to wait for another day. As much as I would like to talk about all of the amazing things that are coming together for environmental education, I must instead tell you a bit about myself first.
My name is Nicole Thomas and I am the Programs Assistant at USEE. I have been working here for a little over half a year and I love it! I was also working as a Youth Education Specialist at Red Butte Garden, but I now am dedicating my full time and attention to USEE. I was born in Salt Lake City, and have lived here for most of my life. My parents divorced when I was young and afterward my dad spent most of my life moving around to different parts of the country in pursuit of better career opportunities. Summers and Christmases were spent in Minnesota, Colorado, Indiana, and Tennessee. I also spent a fantastic five months in Alaska out on my own. Through these experiences I have developed a unique palate of landscapes, but after all is said and done, I keep coming back to the Utah backdrop.
My love affair with the outdoors started from an early age. I remember camping with my family in the Northern Wasatch Mountains when I was three or four, asking my mom, "why can't we bring the TV and plug it into a tree?" I soon vanquished this wild notion as I realized the joy to be had in the simplicity of the pine-forests and aspen groves. Since then I have explored many different types of outdoor enjoyment from hiking to rock climbing to cross-country skiing. My other interests and hobbies include playing my guitar, reading, and riding my bikes.
I attribute my attraction to environmental education to my early years spent in the vast wilderness of Utah and Colorado. This interest is ever expanding as I learn more and more about the troubles of our society and the solutions provided by getting kids outside. My continued involvement with USEE fosters my growing curiosity in matters of environmental education and I look forward to going on this journey of environmental literacy with you!