Moving Education outside the Classroom

MikePictureMy name is Mike Mathis and I am ecstatic to become the new Program Coordinator for Partners for Clean Streams.  Becoming a part of Partners for Clean Streams has been an interesting journey for me.  My enthusiasm for the outdoors started when I was a kid fishing on Lake Huron with my grandpa and taking trips to a small woods behind our house to cook over a fire with my dad on the weekends.  Growing up on a farm in Ida, MI gave me many opportunities to be connected the land.  Memories of this sort propelled me into a professional life concerned with the interaction between people, land, and water. 

After graduating high school I started college at the University of Toledo.  There I completed a Bachelor’s of Education in Middle Childhood Education.  At this time, I also became an intern with Metroparks of the Toledo Area.  Through college I worked for the Metroparks in many capacities from interpreting aboard a historic canal boat, to leading summer camps, and teaching environmental education programs.  After graduation I spent time as a middle school teacher.  More recently I completed a Masters of Education in May 2015 from the University of Toledo.  During this program I led science education professional development as a part of the NURTURES program.  My time at Metroparks as an Environmental Educator and my work at the University of Toledo helped guide me to new areas of teaching that are beyond the classroom.  Partners for Clean Streams provides me an opportunity to combine my passion for the environment with my love of teaching and connecting communities to the natural places around them.