Staff Overview

Neil Markowitz, Executive Director

Neil has been actively involved as a professional environmental educator for over 25 years. With an undergraduate degree from Rutgers University, and a Masters of Science from the University of Michigan, he has successfully taught graduate level coursework, and managed educational projects for a wide range of agencies and organizations. For two years in the mid-1980’s he lived in Australia while on the faculty at Deakin University in the College of Education. In 1991 he co-founded the Environmental Education Exchange, dedicated to promoting the development of environmental education in the U.S. and Mexico. As the Executive Director for this organization, Neil is responsible for program administration (fund raising, finance, project management, curriculum materials design, and strategic planning initiatives), and keeps an active involvement in program development and implementation. Neil has been closely involved in the administration of grant and contractually based educational programs and planning efforts ensuring that projects are completed on time and within budgetary constraints.


Debbie Gevirtzman, Outreach Programs Coordinator

Debbie was an active Middle School teacher in Tucson for over 15 years before joining the Exchange staff in 2001. Debbie has an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Geology and also received a Master?s Degree from the University of California, Davis also in Geology. She also holds a Secondary Teaching Certification from the University of Arizona. Debbie is responsible for the coordination of a team of seven part-time classroom presenters who conduct over 850 elementary education outreach programs on water conservation and recycling each school year.  In addition, Debbie manages the distribution of curricula on water conservation, stormwater, and recycling to middle school teachers across Tucson.  She also assists in the design and development of classroom presentations, educational curricula, and training workshops.



Adam Kingery, Tucson Energy Programs Manager

Adam Kingery was a classroom teacher in Arizona for 13 years before joining the Exchange as an outreach presenter in 2016. For many of those years, Adam’s students benefitted from the programs offered by the Exchange. Adam is a Masters Degree candidate in Educational Leadership and has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Arizona, as well as a teaching certificate from Prescott College. He manages the logistics and team of energy presenters for the Bright Students middle school program and the Home Energizer Workshop for both Tucson Electric Power and Unisource Energy Services. Adam also assists with curriculum revisions and new program development.



Claudine Truxal, Phoenix Energy Programs Manager

Claudine Truxal joined the Exchange in 2011 as a presenter and is currently Energy Programs Manager for the Phoenix-based POWERING OUR FUTURE Energy Bike Program and additional environmental outreach programs.  Claudine is responsible for networking with Phoenix-area teachers, scheduling outreach presentations and managing a dynamic team of presenters who visit almost 14,000 elementary and middle school students annually.  Claudine also assists with curriculum revision and new program development and implementation, and serves as Faculty Educator for Salt River Project, instructing POWERING OUR FUTURE teacher professional development workshops, assisting in new workshop developments and serving on the learning grants team.  Claudine holds a B.A.E. in Elementary Education from Arizona State University (Magna cum Laude) and enjoys applying her teaching skills to help students develop a well-rounded, “big picture” understanding of the relationships between human energy usage demands, conservation efforts and earth’s natural resources.



Jeremy Markowitz, Multimedia Producer

Jeremy Markowitz has been working for the Exchange for nearly a decade creating digital media. His work includes developing  digital presentation materials to accompany in school programming, producing educational videos and working to manage the logistics of program giveaway materials. Notably, he worked designing and building a multi-screen visual journey, and full length historical documentary  for the Juan Bautista De Anza visitors center, for the National Park Service, in Martinez, California. Jeremy previously worked as an Interpretive Technology Technician for Cleveland Metroparks in Ohio developing interactive electronic exhibits, producing educational videos, and designing audio visual systems. 



Conservation Division


Trica Oshant Hawkins, Director, Conservation Division

Trica has over 25 years experience developing and presenting environmental education programs and brings her expertise in the environmental sciences as well as her extensive experience in K-12 classroom education to the Exchange. After receiving a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Renewable Natural Resources from the University of Arizona, Trica guided natural history and diving expeditions in Mexico. She left the Southwest for three years to serve as Education Specialist for Hawk Mountain Sanctuary in Pennsylvania. Returning to her desert home, she worked as a field biologist before envisioning and co-founding the Environmental Education Exchange in 1991. As Education Director for the Exchange, Trica oversees all program and materials development, teacher training workshops, and strategic planning efforts for Exchange clients. She develops classroom presentations, educational curricula, field trip programs, audiovisual programs, and strategic plans.