Simple Moments, Lifelong Activism: Welcoming Nicole Schmidt to our Education Team

I am excited to introduce myself as the new Restoration Education Specialist for Save The Bay. I am very grateful to be a part of a passionate and talented team dedicated to the protection and restoration of the tidal marsh wetlands of the San Francisco Bay. Studying Environmental Studies and Sociology was certainly part of the reason I became an environmental educator and environmental justice activist. My main source of inspiration? Reading Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv . In his thought-provoking book, Louv connects the rising trends of childhood obesity, depression and attention disorders to a decrease in spending time outside. I want to inspire people of all ages to unplug, at least for a bit each day. I want to encourage them to slow down, be present, and explore the outdoors with friends, family and the surrounding critters. I am coming to Save The Bay with over 7 years of experience working as an environmental educator with people of all ages and backgrounds. I have experience working with marine invertebrates, teaching about marine ecology and inspiring an ocean conservation ethic. I also worked as a Naturalist teaching lessons about sustainability, ecology, organic gardening, alternative forms of energy, and natural history through experiential lessons hiking in the Santa Cruz Mountains. For the past two years, I had the incredible opportunity to work with Education Outside as the instructor at Cleveland Elementary in San Francisco. I managed the school garden, as well as sustainability programs on campus and throughout the community.  My favorite moments as an educator in these roles were when students found something that interested them, slowed down, observed, asked questions, and remained in awe. They were completely present. Not worried about anything. Simply inspired by the beauty and wonder of nature - whether staring at the ocean, standing in a redwood forest, or spotting a small plant growing in the cracks of a sidewalk. These are precisely the moments that inspire people of all ages to become environmental stewards. I am so excited to bring my passion as an educator to Save The Bay. I am looking forward to leading education, public and corporate Restoration Programs at our sites and engaging folks in hands-on restoration work. I will also be working on updating Save The Bay’s curriculum to include lessons and activities aligned with Next Generation Science Standards for each grade level. I am thrilled that I’ll get to develop Climate Change curriculum for middle and high school students. How lucky are we to live in a breathtaking urban area that’s so close to vibrant wildlife habitats? I am looking forward to working on the restoration of our tidal marshes. I encourage everyone to come and volunteer at one of our volunteer events and help the Bay Area remain ecologically diverse and resilient! See you in the marsh!