steering committee members

EEAC Officers

Amanda Levy, Chairperson
Robin Sanchez, Vice Chairperson & Program Chairperson
Open, Secretary
Fran Agnone, Membership Secretary/Treasurer

Steering Committee

Fran Agnone, Sanitation Foundation
Jessica Bonamusa, NYC Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene
Elisa Caref, Billion Oyster Project
Tania Goicoechea, NYU Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education & Sustainability
Quin Hricik, Environmental educator
Bethany Kogut, EarthGen
Amanda Levy, NYC Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene
Shig Matsukawa, Food Waste Recycler
Ray Pultinas, James Baldwin Outdoor Learning Center
Robin Sanchez, NYC Dept of Environmental Protection
Daniel Tainow, NYC Parks, Urban Park Rangers
Adam Walker, The Battery Conservancy
Robert Wallace, New York University
Ilana Weinstein, City Parks Foundation
Mike Zamm, EEPF/TEEP, a project of EEAC

Fran Agnone

Fran Agnone (she/her/hers) has been supporting informal science education for over a decade in New York City. Prior to her current position, she developed and led programming with The New York Botanical Garden, The National Wildlife Federation and ExpandED Schools. She currently works as the Director of Youth Education at the Sanitation Foundation.

Jessica Bonamusa

Jessica Bonamusa (she/her/hers) has been a City Research Scientist in Public Health and Engineering in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene since 2022. She has extensive experience as an informal educator to students of all ages as well as adult citizen scientists. She is passionate about communicating scientific concepts in ways that are clear and understandable. In her previous jobs, she has acted as an educator for students on field trips, as well as an educator for members of the public. She holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in Marine Biology and one in Classical Studies, from the University of Rhode Island, and a Master’s of Environmental Management from Duke University.

Elisa Caref

Elisa Caref (she/her) has been in the NY Harbor education world since 2012 starting her Masters in Environmental Conservation Education at NYU. Since then she has worked at The River Project and at the Sarah Lawrence College Center for the Urban River at Beczak (SLC CURB). Currently she’s the Teaching and Curriculum Specialist at Billion Oyster Project, where she writes and hones their free curriculum and runs dozens of professional development workshops and trainings for teachers each year.

Tania Goicoechea (she/her/hers) is an environmental educator born and raised in Costa Rica. She is the Program Manager for the NYU Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education and Sustainability and the founder of CLEA (Latin American Coalition of Environmental Educators). Her motivation is to promote environmental literacy and increase access to climate resources, with a special focus on Latinx communities and the Spanish-speaking population. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Master’s degree in Environmental Conservation Education from NYU and is currently pursuing a second Master’s in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences at CUNY.

Quin Hricik

Quin Hricik (they/them) is an environmental educator committed to making informal science and environmental education accessible and inclusive. Weeks from completing a master’s in Environmental Conservation Education at NYU, Quin brings a genuine passion for connecting people with the wonders of the natural world. They have worked as an environmental educator at the Gowanus Canal Conservancy and Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy.

Bethany Kogut

Bethany Kogut (she/her/hers) is a Program Coordinator for EarthGen based in Seattle, Washington. She previously worked with The Hort (The Horticultural Society of New York) as a Program Manager. She also has had the opportunity to work for the NYU Wallerstein Collaborative as a Garden Educator under an EPA Funded Grant called Bees Alive! to bring native plants and pollinators to the Greenpoint community through stewardship programs. Additionally, Bethany has worked as a Curriculum Writer and Educator with Newtown Creek Alliance developing a passion for NYC’s Waterways. She received her Bachelors in Elementary Education from Michigan State University where she founded a student-run tea and honey company called Land Grant Goods, and a Masters from NYU in Environmental Education Conservation.

Amanda Levy (she/her/hers)

NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene

Amanda Levy is a City Research Scientist and lead for Community Outreach and Health Education within the Bureau of Communicable Disease. She works directly with New York City and state agencies, community-based organizations, non-profit organizations and academic and education based organizations conducting outreach and education on vector-borne disease and environmental health, foodborne, respiratory and waterborne illness. She received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Trinity College, a Master of Science degree in Environmental Management from University of Maryland, a Master of Public Health in Environmental Health from the City University of New York and a Doctor of Education degree in Science Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her academic and professional research has focused on children’s environmental health, swimming equity, health equity, experiential education, systems thinking, trauma pedagogy, and elementary science and water engineering.

E. Shig Matsukawa (he/him)

Shig has been a volunteer educator on bokashi composting ( since 2009. Based in NYC, Shig provides workshops to community gardens and schools throughout the city. He is involved with El Sol Brillante community garden (522 E 12th St, Down to Earth Garden (546 E 12th St, steering committee member of Vamos A Sembrar community garden (198 Ave B, member of the East Side Outside Community Garden (415 E 11th St, advisor to Earth Matter NY (, and is on the board of LUNGS (Loisaida United Neighborhood Gardens, He has been studying and applying bokashi and EM (Effective Microorganisms)—used in bokashi and other gardening and environmental applications—since 1993. 

Ray Pultinas (he/him) taught English at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx for 25 years and served as the school’s Sustainability Coordinator. He continues to consult and work part-time gardening, permaculture farming, maintaining fruit trees, promoting zero waste, composting, administering student internships, fostering community partnerships, and designing curriculum. Ray is Founder and Director of James Baldwin Outdoor Learning Center (JBOLC) a 501c3 nonprofit organization that strives for project-based solutions at the juncture of food, environmental, and social justice. All JBOLC initiatives rely upon community engagement and utilize sustainable practices. He has been blogging at since 2010 and has presented to both local and national audiences.

Robin Sanchez (she/her/hers)

Director of Education at New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

Robin first joined DEP as a graduate student intern while studying at NYU. She was later hired as Deputy Director in 2014 and then promoted to Director of Education in January 2020. As Director of Education, Robin leads DEP’s Education Office in developing, facilitating, and evaluating environmental education programs and resources for pre-Kindergarten through college students and educators in NYC and the NYC watershed. Prior to DEP, Robin completed a year of service with NYC Civic Corps and worked for Appalachian Mountain Club’s Youth Opportunities Program. She has a BA in Environmental Planning from Binghamton University and a MA in Environmental Conservation Education from New York University. Born and raised in Westchester County, Robin now resides in Queens, NY.

Daniel Tainow (he/him)

NYC Parks
Urban Park Rangers

As an Urban Park Ranger with the New York City Parks Department, Daniel connects New Yorkers to the natural, historical, and outdoor recreational opportunities in their parks through environmental education, guided adventure programming, and wildlife conservation.

Before joining the Urban Park Rangers, Daniel facilitated student engagement in sustainable agriculture and building as a Teacher and Coordinator at the Urban Assembly School for Green Careers, led community greening and environmental education efforts as the Education Director at the Lower East Side Ecology Center, and coordinated outreach and education about composting and waste reduction as a Compost Coordinator and Educator for the New York City Compost Project at the Queens Botanical Garden. Daniel achieved an MA in Environment and Community from Humboldt State University and a BS in Environmental Science and Technology from James Madison University.

Adam Walker

Adam Walker (he/him/his) is the Programs Manager for The Battery Conservancy, where he directs the park’s school and public program offerings and manages the educational urban farm and native plant forest farm.

His career in environmental education has taken him across the country and included work in science classrooms, botanical gardens, production agriculture fields, and forest land. He received a Master of Environmental Management degree from the Yale School of the Environment, and is driven by the goal of strengthening place-based community networks to promote environmental justice and ecological health.

Robert Wallace

Robert Wallace (he/him) is currently the head of the science education program at New York University. He is a marine biologist who has created and led an environmental research center for teachers and their students in East Hampton. In addition, he is founder and former administrator of an NYCDOE environmental education themed K-8 school. He is excited to serve on EEAC’s Steering Committee.

Ilana Weinstein

Ilana Weinstein (she/her/hers)

City Parks Foundation
Program Manager, Seeds to Trees & Coastal Classroom

Ilana Weinstein is the Program Manager for the Seeds to Trees & Coastal Classroom middle school programs at City Parks Foundation. Ilana leads a middle-school inquiry-based ecology program in under-resourced communities in the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. In this role, she leads, evaluates and adjusts the curriculum to fit students needs and diverse learning backgrounds. She also leads semi-annual professional development workshops for partnering teachers so that they can incorporate hands-on environmental education into their regular curriculum. Prior to working for City Parks Foundation, Ilana was an Urban Park Ranger for the NYC Parks Department, serving her local community in the Bronx by providing free public programming and school programming in parks. She received her bachelor’s degree in Conservation Biology from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF), and her master’s degree in Environmental Conservation Education from New York University (NYU).  Her academic and professional work has focused on urban ecology, urban environmental education, and culturally relevant education practices. Born and raised in the Bronx, she continues to serve her community as well as the larger NYC community.

Mike Zamm

Mike Zamm (he/him)

Mike earned a Bachelors Degree from City College with a major in psychology and a minor in sociology and social work and was later granted a Masters Degree in Public Administration with a major in urban and regional planning from New York University.

In 1975, he began what became a 41-year tenure as Director of Environmental Education at the Council on the Environment of NYC, now GrowNYC. In that role, he created a number of urban environmental education programs including, “Walking: A Realistic Approach to Environmental Education,” “Energy Conservation Education: An Action Approach,” and the “Training Student Organizers (TSO) Program,” which grew into the primary environmental education effort at the organization for four decades.

Mike is the principal author of the concept paper which convinced the then NYC Board of Education to create the High School for Environmental Studies in 1992. He played a significant role in the development of the school’s curriculum.

He has been a member of EEAC since 1976 and has been on the steering committee for 43 years. In that role, he led the campaign to work with the State Education Department to infuse environmental concepts into the New York State Syllabus and Curriculum in most subject areas.

In 1998, Mike was given a lifetime achievement award by the Christadora Community in recognition of his “outstanding service and dedication to the children and environment of New York City.”

Since 1999, he has coordinated EEAC’s Teacher Environmental Education Preparation (TEEP), a project to motivate colleges of education to incorporate environmental education into their teacher preparation programs. TEEP has evolved into the Environmental Education Projects Forum, a forum for the discussion and generation of projects to grow environmental education in NYC and the surrounding region.

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