top of page

2021 COEEA & CCNR Joint Conference


Hosted by:
CT Conference on Natural Resources ​&
CT Outdoor & Environmental Education Association

University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

Day of Program

Check out the amazing line up of speakers! Click on presentation titles to see concurrent session presentation abstracts or previews of poster presentations.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Creating a More Equitable & Inclusive Environmental Sector

PLENARY PANEL: BIPOC Young Environmental Professionals
Stories & Reflections to Guide Ways Forward

Conference Speakers

Noah Schlager (Panelist)

Conservation Program Manager at

Native Seeds
​(Yale Environmental Science M.S. 2018)

Dickens Molo (Panelist)

Climate Change-Food Security Researcher & Environ. Sustainability Advocate for Myclimate 
​(UConn Agricultural Economics M.S. 2016 & UConn Natural Resources M.S. 2020)

Dr. Stephany Santos (Facilitator)

​Associate Director of Engineering Diversity

& Outreach Center

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Parker McMullen Bushman
Making the Outdoors Welcoming Spaces for All People


Parker McMullen Bushman is the Colorado State University Director of Extension for the City and County of Denver. Her background in the education, conservation, outdoor recreation, and interpretive fields spans over 23+ years. She has a Master of Natural Resources from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, with a focus in Environmental Education and Interpretation. Parker has a passion for equity and inclusion in conservation and the outdoors. Her interest in justice, accessibility, and equity issues developed from her personal experiences facing the unequal representation of people of color in nonprofit and environmental organizations. Parker tackles these complex issues by addressing them through head on activism and education. In Colorado she works with environmental organizations to aid them in building a culturally diverse and culturally competent organizations that are representative of the populations that they hope to reach and serve. Parker brings this focus on inclusion to her work at Denver Extension, as she works cooperatively to collaborate with communities in research-based programming that is attuned to Denver and enhanced by partners, and campus- and community-based expertise and resources.

Parker believes in the importance of community-based environmental education programs to empower local community members to take an active role in sustainable development of their communities while protecting their environmental resources. In addition to Parker’s role at Colorado State University Extension she is also the Founder of an DEI Consulting Firm called Ecoinclusive, the creator of KWEEN werk, and the co-founder of Inclusive Journeys. You can read more about Parker on her website here.


Wanjiku Gatheru (Panelist)

Environmental Justice Advocate & Rhodes Scholar at The University of Oxford
​(UConn Environmental Studies B.A. 2020)

Alex Rodriguez (Panelist)

Climate Advocate, including youth & community organizing, at Save the Sound
​(Central Connecticut State University Junior)

Dr. Holly Brown (Panelist)

Ecologist & STEM Ed Researcher at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
​(UConn Ecology & Evolutionary Biology PhD 2017)

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

BONUS WORKSHOP: Parker McMullen Bushman
Inclusion in Outdoor Recreation - Examining Culture & Bias

This workshop introduces learners to the concepts of implicit bias and encourages learners to explore and reflect upon how personal values, biases and assumptions can impact the quality of daily work that we do. Building a more inclusive outdoor movement requires us to examine these deeply subconscious attitudes that span race, gender, appearance, age, wealth and much more. Throughout this presentation, we will examine our personal cultural competence and, increasing our ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with all people.

During our time together, we will explore:

  • The relationship between culture and bias

  • The definition of unconscious bias and the cognitive processes which enable it

  • Systems of oppression- How are they set up? How do we perpetuate them?

bottom of page