Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park is pleased to announce the appointment of Sarah Hooper of Brooklin, Maine, as Education Specialist. In this new role at Schoodic Institute, Hooper will support the development, coordination, and implementation of educational programs for all ages, including Acadia National Park’s Schoodic Education Adventure, Earthwatch Institute citizen science programs, and community shellfish investigations with local students.
Since 2006, Hooper has worked as a teacher and leader of the science department at the Bosque School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, an independent middle and high school that emphasizes environmental stewardship, social justice, service learning, and inquiry to develop student skills and foster diverse perspectives. She has also served as a wildlife biologist with the Bureau of Land Management in New Mexico, Arizona, and Oregon. She has a master’s in wildlife management from the University of Maine.
“As a wildlife biologist, I took a systems approach to land management, balancing often-competing needs of ecosystems and humans. In time, I found what I loved was taking my passion for ecology and wildlife management into the classroom as a guest presenter with live reptiles, tools of field scientists, and unabashed enthusiasm,” said Hooper. In those classrooms, she discovered an interest in education and made the transition from scientist-educator to educator-scientist.
Hooper encourages students to engage deeply in a topic with curiosity and mindfulness rather than broadly memorizing disconnected facts. “Inquiry is a learning environment where teachers and students are co-learners, because truly, as a teacher, I love learning as much as I love teaching,” she said.
“Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park is very excited to have someone of Sarah’s skills and experience join us. Sarah shares our commitment to learning by doing, and will be helping create more citizen scientist opportunities for everyone, from casual visitors to structured programming. We can’t wait to get started,” said Don Kent, President and CEO of Schoodic Institute.
Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park is the park’s primary partner in science and education, pursuing collaborative solutions to the most critical environmental challenges facing national parks and beyond through discovery and learning.