steering committee members

EEAC Officers

River DiLeo, Chairperson
Sarah Pidgeon, Vice Chairperson & Program Chairperson
Ray Pultinas, Secretary
Mary Most, Membership Secretary/Treasurer

Steering Committee

Fran Agnone, ExpandED Schools
Lynn Cole, Children’s Library Discovery Center
Isa Del Bello, Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy
River DiLeo, NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation
Joy Garland, Stuyvesant Cove Park Association
Mary Leou, New York University
Shig Matsukawa, Food Waste Recycler
Bonnie McGuire, NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation
Mary Most, DSNY Recycling & Sustainability
Sarah Pidgeon, Solar One
Ray Pultinas, James Baldwin Outdoor Learning Center at DeWitt Clinton HS
Bonnie Ralston, NYC Dept of Parks & Recreation
Robert Wallace, New York University
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 the National Park Service. She currently works as the STEM Program Manager At ExpandED Schools, supporting a collaboration among school day science teachers and after school educators.


Isa Del Bello

Isa Del Bello (she/her/hers) has a background in elementary education, and moved from New Mexico to New York to pursue a master’s degree at Teachers College, Columbia University. Shortly thereafter she began teaching with Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy as an environmental educator, introducing numerous students to urban ecology and wild spaces found within and around the Brooklyn waterfront. Presently she leads the BBP education team as Director of Education. She holds a M.A. in cognitive and developmental psychology with a concentration in risk, resilience and prevention and a B.A. in elementary education with dual concentrations in science and literacy. 


River DiLeo

River DiLeo (they/them) has spent the past 11 years facilitating a connection to an understanding of nature in a variety of settings. In their current work as the NYC EnvironmentalEducator for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), River coordinates programs that connect youth and families to the nature that is in their neighborhood, often facilitating bird walks around city blocks and “fishing” trips in pocket parks. They also facilitate professional development workshops where educators learn how they can use the outdoors as a teaching tool. With A constant eye toward creating inclusive programs, River works with a number of community organizations to create engaging lessons that are relevant and accessible to all participants. 


Dr. Mary Leou

Dr. Mary Leou (she/her/hers) is a Clinical Professor of Environmental Conservation Education and founding Director of the Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education and Sustainability at New York University created in 2000. She is also the Director of the Environmental Conservation Education Graduate Program in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.  She earned her doctorate and masters degrees from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Mary Leou has received numerous awards and over $5 million in grants for developing environmental education programs serving classroom teachers, K-12 schools, and environmental organizations. Currently she has been awarded a grant by the USA Environmental Protection Agency to promote environmental conservation through civic ecology. She is also the recipient of a grant from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to foster environmental stewardship in low income coastal communities in Staten Island that have been negatively impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Dr. Leou serves on numerous boards and state-wide committees, and is the former Chair of the Environmental Education Advisory Council of NYC. She has received two Environmental Quality Awards from the Environmental Protection Agency for her leadership in environmental education and in 2012 she was recognized by the National Audubon Society as a “Woman Greening the City” and co-chairs the New York State Environmental Literacy Committee.  Her courses and research focus on teacher education, place-based education, environmental literacy, experiential learning, and culturally responsive teaching. 


Shig Matsukawa

E. Shig Matsukawa (he/him)

Shig has been a volunteer educator on bokashi composting (recyclefoodwaste.org) 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 elsolbrillante.org), garden coordinator of Down to Earth Garden (546 E 12th St downtoearthgarden.org), steering committee of Vamos A Sembrar community garden (198 Ave B vamosasembrar.org), the East Side Outside Community Garden (415 E 11th St eastsideoutsidegarden.org), and is an advisor to Earth Matter NY (earthmatter.org). He has been studying bokashi and EM (Effective Microorganisms)—used in bokashi and other gardening and environmental applications—since 1993. 


Bonnie McGuire

Bonnie McGuire (she/her/hers) is interested in connecting people to nature through informal education.  She has spent the past 18 years in NYC Parks providing a variety of environmental education and interpretation programs to park patrons across the city and is passionate about helping New Yorkers have a better understanding of their green spaces. Bonnie has a Master of Science in Entomology and is very interested in what ‘bugs’ people. 


Mary Most

Mary Most (she/her) – EEAC Membership Secretary / Treasurer 

As the Senior Agency Liaison / Grants Administrator at DSNY Recycling and Sustainability, Mary has promoted recycling and waste prevention for the NYC Department of Sanitation since recycling became mandatory in 1989. She’s written and edited many of the program’s informational brochures and web content. She is currently helping agencies and institutions to reduce their carbon footprint by recycling and reducing waste; and securing state and federal grants to continue the Bureau’s work.  

Mary served as the EEAC Newsletter Editor, publishing several issues and coordinating the organization’s social media and outreach materials, before being elected to her current role. 


Sarah Pidgeon

Sarah Pidgeon (she/her/hers) is the K-12 Education Director at Solar One. Prior to joining Solar One, Sarah worked as an educator for several years at the Center for the Urban Environment in Brooklyn, where she taught classes in Urban Design and Ecology. Sarah is currently pursuing her MBA in nonprofit management and sustainability at Marlboro College in Vermont. When She is not busy teaching about all things sustainable, Sarah enjoys riding her bike, cooking,and drawing.


Ray Pultinas (he/him) taught English at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx for 25 years and served as the school’s SustainabilityCoordinator. He continues to consult and work part-time gardening, farming, maintaining fruit trees, school-wide recycling, healthy school food programs,composting, student internships, community partnerships, youth markets, and curriculum design. Ray is presently collaborating with a team of designers, architects, environmentalists, and artists on the James Baldwin Outdoor Learning Center and starting a nonprofit that will strive for project based solutions at the juncture of food-,environmental-, and social justice through community engagement and sustainable practices. He blogs on sustainability in schools [wittseminar.blogspot.com] and has presented to both local and national audiences.


Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston (she/her/hers) serves as the Director of Programming & Development for NYC Parks. Her team facilitates the creation of programming, resources, and partnerships that foster public understanding of the value of urban parks. Prior to joining Parks in 2017, Ralston worked in environmental education for Audubon New York, Central Park Conservancy, GrowNYC, The Horticultural Society of New York, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. 

Bonnie holds an MS in Ecological Teaching and Learning from Lesley University, and a BFA from Hartford Art School. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Mark. If she’s not out birding, biking, or backpacking, you will find her in the sculpture studio.


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 SteeringCommittee.


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), an 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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