Ron Smith is a science educator, naturalist, and community science project leader from Merchantville, New Jersey. With over 25 years of project-, place-, and problem-based learning experience, Ron leads community science adventures for children and adults alike. Collaborating with various conservation organizations and scientists from universities and state agencies, Ron has initiated community science projects ranging from horseshoe crab rescues to frog surveys. With Pinelands Preservation Alliance of Southampton, New Jersey, Ron established and directs the Life Science Field Training Institute, a weeklong program that trains teachers on field study techniques designed to enhance and expand community science projects in schools and nature centers. He is the director of the Drexel University Environmental Science Leadership Academy for high school students, a program that brings together students from across the country to study field-based environmental science in preparation for university study and professional careers in science. When not in the field chasing frogs, counting shorebirds, or searching for freshwater mussels, Ron enjoys hiking, gardening, playing the fiddle, and sharing all adventures with his wife, Lisa, and their two children, Lily and Gabriel. Lily Smith is an artist studying at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. As an art therapy major, Lily has engaged in various disciplines from painting to photography. She has applied her creative talents to conservation projects with emphasis on migratory birds, climate change, and ecosystem services and has assisted with art education projects for National Audubon’s Family Camp in Maine and various community science youth projects.Karen Acton is an educator, artist, and nature conservationist. She has intentionally embraced the beauty of what happens when art meets environmental science. Karen is passionate about calling on curiosity and awareness as the essentials for cultivating individual as well as community experiences in the never-ending quest for an intimate understanding of the wonders of nature.
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