Position Available: We are currently in search of our next Visiting Naturalist. Those who are interested in the position should ready the Visiting Naturalist position description, then send resume and cover letter to

Contact Us !

(Some pictures compliments of Greg Pyle Photography)

Nathan Smallwood brings over 15 years of executive and non-profit leadership as Executive Director of Cope Environmental Center. He holds a bachelors degree in biology from Dartmouth College, a Masters of Environmental Management from Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and a Masters of Business Management from Yale University School of Management. An avid birder and amateur naturalist, Nathan rose to leadership in marketing, strategic management, and fund raising. He has worked in a variety of arts/music based organizations as well as environmental organizations before arriving at CEC. Most recently, he served as Executive Director of Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee, one of the largest and most developed nature education centers nationally. He has two sons, Jack and Wolf, and a collie, Houdini, a talented escape artist and thief.


Dana Risch is the office manager at Cope Environmental Center. She has a Bachelor degree in biology, with minors in Environmental Science, and in Anthropology from Indiana University East. Before returning to school Dana spent most of her life working in preschools and childcare, owning her own licensed daycare as well as working with several other programs. Dana sees opportunity at CEC to enable her to mesh both worlds together, passing on her knowledge of the natural world to children. Her face will usually be the first one that you see inside the door of Cope Environmental Center, and she is the go to person to get a message to any of us. When not at CEC, you will find Dana spending time with her family, reading, or gardening. She is very happy to be at CEC!


Aubrey Blue is the Program Director and focuses on writing curriculum and leading community, family, school and summer programs. Aubrey has a General Studies degree with a concentration in Natural Sciences and Mathematics from Indiana University East and oversees all programming at CEC. Aubrey became a Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) in 2005 and is also certified in other programs including, but not limited to: Project Learning Tree, Growing up WILD, Indiana Master Naturalist, Healthy Water, Healthy People, Hoosier Riverwatch, and Project Underground. She is on the Board of Directors, the steering committee for Wayne County Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Conference, and a past member of Cardinal Greenway’s Wayne County Steering Committee and the Family Earth Day Celebration planning committee (10 years). Aubrey has classroom teaching experience and truly excels in outdoor and environmental education. Her ability to connect with young students benefits CEC through all the program seasons.


 Brent Evans is the Facilities and Grounds Coordinator. He received his Associate’s Degree in Conservation Law from Vincennes University and his Bachelor’s Degree in General Science from Indiana University East.  He has taken classes in forestry through Purdue Extension and is well-versed in the care and development of natural areas.  Before becoming a year-round employee, Brent served as a summer intern. His knowledge of natural resources and equipment maintenance makes him an invaluable addition to the team. Brent lives in Centerville with his wife Courtney.





kaitlyn-website-pictureKaitlyn Blansett is the Community Outreach Coordinator. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and History from Indiana University in Bloomington. Kaitlyn has programming experience working with children in nature as a counselor at CEC in the summers of 2012-2014 and 2016. She spent the summer of 2015 vetting materials for the Living Building Challenge project that will open as the Sustainable Education Center in the fall 2016. She has a Certificate for the Project Learning Tree Program. Outside of CEC, Kaitlyn enjoys hiking, reading, knitting, and spending time with her cat, Harvey.




Regan Lowring is the Volunteer Coordinator. He received his bachelors degree in Environmental Policy and a minor in Economics from Earlham College. Regan was an Earlham Bonner volunteer at Cope for 2 years where he worked closely with the former Volunteer Coordinator, Traci. In his free time Regan enjoys canoeing, hiking, camping, and reading.


Board of Directors

Cope Environmental Center has an amazing volunteer Board of Directors! They work well with the staff and are passionate contributors to the community and the programs of CEC. All board members can be reached via email using the following address equation:

Cope Environmental Center’s Board of Directors meet on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 4:30pm. If the meeting falls on or near a holiday, the meeting time and date might be rearranged to accommodate schedules.

Karen Black
Ed Cope, Ex-Officio
Marianne Cope
Susie Ferrell
Robert Green
Teri Grossman

Susy Hasecoster
Pat Heiny
Cheri Jetmore
Kate Johnson
David Jose, Emeritus
Randy Kirk
Francie Klinge
John Kuhn

Kevin McCurdy
Marie Cope Nicholson

Ali Carter-Rivera
Neil Sabine
Tim Smock
Alan Spears
Jim Tanner
Brad VanVleet