AUGUSTA — The Maine Timber Research and Environmental Education Foundation (Maine TREE) has hired Jessie Rack as its new director of education. This position is responsible for sustaining and expanding Maine TREE’s capacity to meet the needs of schools, teachers, parents, students and other partner organizations for environmental education programs connected to Maine’s forests. In her most recent role, Rack coordinated the University of Arizona’s Supporting Environmental Education and Communities Program, providing environmental education outreach to Title I K-12 classrooms.

“I am excited to be joining Maine TREE because it gives me the opportunity to help connect Maine teachers and their students with the forest, giving them the tools to engage safely and effectively with nature,” Rack shared in starting in her new position. “I’ve used the Project Learning Tree curriculum for many years and love how it is both multidisciplinary and inclusive in its approach to teaching and learning.”

While her previous position in Tucson, Arizona found her using school gardens and outdoor spaces as living laboratories to teach students about community science and the scientific method, Rack is no stranger to New England. She earned her PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Connecticut and had been an environmental educator and interpretive naturalist across the region. Adding to the diversity of her experience, she also interned as a science journalist for National Public Radio and worked as a writing professor at Princeton University.

To learn more about Maine TREE’s forest-based education efforts, visit www.mainetree.org. To inquire about bringing our environmental education programming to your school or organization, including the Project Learning Tree curriculum, please email at info@mainetree.org.

Founded in 1989, Maine TREE’s mission is to educate and advocate for the sustainable use of the forest and the ecological, economic and social health of Maine’s forest community.