In this episode, Dave chats with Mary Ford from Jane Goodall's Roots and Shoots. Mary is a passionate advocate for science education and has had an extraordinary career. Listen in to hear about her work with primates in Borneo, making toast on a clothes iron with Jane Goodall, starting your own Roots and Shoots club, and how to get involved with more citizen science!
Mary and Dave also discuss her belief that teachers should be empowered to teach science in whatever way best suits an individual student. Teachers have one of the toughest jobs in the world. They have to be 100% planned and prepared, but also ready at a moment's notice to toss all of that out the window and pivot to what is best suited for their classroom. We hear Mary's take on how teachers of the world can feel empowered to do just that!
Mary Ford is the Senior Director of Roots & Shoots USA, the youth program of the Jane Goodall Institute, where she supports young people making a difference in their communities for other people, other animals and the environment we share. This work builds on over a decade of experience in the education division of the National Geographic Society, serving K-12 students and educators globally. She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and a master’s degree in environmental management, but her love of children, teaching, and learning led her quickly to a career focused on environmental education, citizen science and youth empowerment. She has also worked as Program Leader for Youth and Educators at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY, and Manager of Education at the national headquarters of the World Wildlife Fund and the National Audubon Society in Washington, DC. Mary has served on advisory boards at the San Diego Natural History Museum, BSCS Science Learning, and Project Learning Tree. She is the chair of the board of the North American Association for Environmental Education and co-chair of the Education Working Group of the Citizen Science Association. Mary is a longtime resident of Washington, DC and also loves to spend time in her hometown of Minneapolis, MN.