Environmental Educator Talks to EXCEL Students

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Melissa Parrott, the director of education and outreach for the Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning and Policy Commission, paid a visit to the middle school in early March, speaking to fascinated students as part of the EXCEL program’s ongoing “Inventing Self” series of inspirational talks.

In her wide-ranging career, Parrott has also worked as an ABC natural history documentary producer; a naturalist at El Dorado Nature Center in Long Beach, California; outreach coordinator for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County; director of education of Sweetbrier Nature Center in Smithtown; director of environmental education for Massachusetts’ Executive Office of Environmental Affairs; and an environmental educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension.

“Do your best,” Parrott encouraged the students. “When it’s hard, persevere, and be thoughtful about what you do and how you work with others. It will benefit you in the long run.”

To conclude the presentation, Parrott displayed photos of her years of environmental work and took thoughtful questions.
“I get my hands dirty out there, teaching you about water quality and the environment, so you can be the stewards of our future,” she told the students.