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Colleen is a gardener and educator who planted her first seed, a sunflower, at three years old. That childhood fascination with nature, gardening, and everything outdoors led to her career path as an environmental educator, author, and CEO of NatureTalks. Colleen founded NatureTalks with a simple, single mission: to help people connect to nature. Her special style of educating is as a storyteller for gardens and gardeners.
Dr. Carroll has over 20 years of experience in urban forestry and environmental education, a masters in social ecology and a doctorate in environmental education. Her research is focused on generating practical materials for teachers, urban foresters, and the community. She works with community gardens, school garden programs and urban and community forestry projects, enhancing education, program success and community outreach. Several years ago, in order to study the benefits of greening Dr. Carroll traveled to Baltimore, the South Bronx, Tucson, and Chicago to learn on-site from neighborhood activists. These stories, captured in the book Engaging Uninvolved Audiences in Urban Forestry: It’s About More Than Trees, showcase the individuals who created change in their neighborhoods through greening.
Recent projects include writing for the Department of Forestry and Wildlife about current issues in Hawaii’s Urban Forest and presenting the workshop “Children’s Perspectives on the Environment: Gaining Insights” at the Center for Ecoliteracy School Garden Teachers Workshop on the Island of Hawaii. Examples of her work can also be found on the website NatureTalks and in her books, Growing an Educational Garden and It’s About More Than Trees.