STAFF & BOARD

Contact Us !

(Some pictures compliments of Greg Pyle Photography)

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Dana Risch is the Office Manager and Interim Executive Director 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 Waynet.org 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.

 

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 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.

 

 

 

Traci Lewis is the Volunteer Coordinator. Traci spent 26 years in the film industry directing actors and extras in films, commercials, and TV series. She uses these skills to wrangle our volunteer corp-pairing each person with their skills and talent. Traci lives on a farm in Centerville and enjoys farming, gardening, and taking care of her animals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

kaitlyn-website-pictureKaitlyn Blansett is the Development Director. 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 CEC’s Living Building Challenge project. She has a Certificate for the Project Learning Tree Program. She also served as the Community Outreach Coordinator from 2016-2018. Outside of CEC, Kaitlyn enjoys hiking, reading, knitting, and spending time with her cat, Harvey.

 

 

 

Regan Lowring is the Sustainability 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.

 

 

Erica Hile is the Visiting Naturalist. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Wright State University.  While earning her degree, she worked as an undergraduate laboratory assistant in an Aquatic Ecology Lab, traveled to the Amazon rainforest, sank in mud to her waist while learning to delineate a wetland, participated in bird banding at Hueston Woods and Magee Marsh, and waded in the mudflats of Seahorse Key, Florida while in pursuit of gastropods and bivalves. She has programming and wildlife handling experience from her time as an Education Intern at Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm, and as an Intern and Education Fellow at Brukner Nature Center and Wildlife Rehab. She hopes that her experiences and love of nature will inspire the sense of wonder in others. Outside of CEC, Erica enjoys spending time with her family, going on adventures, gardening, reading, writing stories, and drawing.

 

Alexandra Estes is the Naturalist at Cope Environmental Center. She has a Bachelor of General Studies with a concentration in Natural Science and Mathematics and a minor in Biology from Indiana University East. Alexandra became a Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) in 2017, while working as the seasonal Interpretive Naturalist at Versailles State Park. She also spent time as an Exhibit Coordinator Intern at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis during the Fall of 2015. In her free time, Alexandra enjoys painting, paper crafting, hiking, and spending time with family.

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: firstinitial.lastname@copeenvironmental.org.

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
Gail Connerley
Ed Cope, Ex-Officio
Marianne Cope
Rick Duncan
Susie Ferrell
Robert Green
Teri Grossman
Pat Heiny
Cheri Jetmore
Kate Johnson
David Jose, Emeritus
Randy Kirk
Francie Klinge
John Kuhn
Karen Mager
Kevin McCurdy
Marie Cope Nicholson
Neil Sabine
Tim Smock
Alan Spears
Jim Tanner
Brad VanVleet
Ian Wright