The Environmental Education Exchange was founded in the spring of 1991 in response to the growing demand for environmental education programs in schools K-12 nationwide. E3 has grown to a full-time staff of six professionals with a diverse range of backgrounds, skills, and areas of expertise. Additionally, E3 employs over 20 part-time outreach presenters, as well as specialized support staff. At E3, we believe in collaboration, and solicit team feedback, ideas, and suggestions at all stages of project development. Together our goal is to enhance the quality and effectiveness of environmental education, leading students and adults to greater participation in current environmental and societal issues.
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 Master 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, SENIOR Programs MANAGER
Debbie was an active middle school science and math teacher in Tucson for over 15 years before joining the Exchange staff in 2001. She received a Bachelor of Arts cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in Geology and a Master of Science 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 eight classroom presenters who conduct over 1,700 elementary and middle school education outreach programs on water, recycling, electrical safety, bicycle and pedestrian safety, and living history each school year. In addition, Debbie assists in the design and development of classroom presentations, educational curricula, and training workshops.
Adam Kingery, 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 holds a Master's Degree 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 teams of energy presenters for the Bright Students middle school program and the Home Energizer Workshop for both Tucson Electric Power and Unisource Energy Services, as well as the Salt River Project's Powering Our Future Renewable Energy program. Adam also assists with curriculum revisions and new program development.
Claudine Truxal, Phoenix Energy Programs Coordinator
Claudine Truxal joined the Exchange in 2011 as a presenter and is currently the Phoenix Energy Programs Coordinator for the Phoenix-based POWERING OUR FUTURE Energy Bike Program. Claudine is responsible for networking with Phoenix-area teachers and scheduling outreach presentations. 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.
Vanessa Yellig, Phoenix Programs Manager - Water and Recycling
Vanessa Yellig is a former Communication and Business Analyst within the semiconductor division of Intel in Chandler, Arizona. A graduate of Arizona State University, Vanessa earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication and brings years of experience in corporate and educational environments to the presenter team. In addition to presenting POWERING OUR FUTURE and E3’s Queen Creek recycling and water programs, Vanessa enjoys volunteering to help facilitate children’s activities and enjoys the energizing unpredictability of working with children of varying ages and backgrounds. Vanessa has two children and together they enthusiastically practice recycling and energy efficiency efforts, serve as a foster family for a local dog rescue, and enjoy cycling and hiking. The 2018-2019 school year is her fourth year with E3, and she is currently serving as Phoenix Water & Recycling Programs Manager and Lead Presenter.
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 managing the logistics of program giveaway materials. Notably, he designed and built 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. Jeremy has a Bachelor of Science from Kent State University where he worked extensively with the award-winning student media television station TV2, hiring and managing a staff of 150 students, producing news, sports, and entertainment broadcast television programs.
Every school day, our enthusiastic and engaging outreach presenters are in classrooms across Arizona presenting programs on a diverse range of environmental and social topics. For more information on the programs they conduct, explore our Outreach section.
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's Conservation Division. 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 former Education Director and current Director of the Conservation Division for the Exchange, Trica oversees all program and materials development, teacher training workshops, and strategic planning efforts.
Board of Directors
Francis Morgan, President
Founder - ReadingTeacher.com
Susan Randolf, Vice President
Teacher (retired) - Tucson Unified School District
Michael Brown, Secretary/Treasurer
Attorney - Private practice
Sariya Jarasviroj Brown
CEO - Circo Vino
Richard "Fe" Tom
Principal, Lead Designer - The Architecture Company
Hugh Rose (IN memoriAm)
Founding Board Member E3
Corporate Executive (retired) - Cummins Diesel