Co-founder and President of the Children and Nature Network, she has long been a leader in the field of environmental education. She served for nearly 20 years as National Director of the two most widely used K-12 environmental education programs in North America, Project Learning Tree and Project WILD.
Charles is a member of the Steering Committee for the World Conservation Union's Commission on Education and Communication, and she co-chairs its Education for Sustainable Development Working Group. The Union is a worldwide effort involving 80 nations and more than 1000 non-governmental organizations and businesses.
Working closely with the legendary singer and songwriter John Denver, Charles served for six years as CEO and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Windstar Foundation, an educational nonprofit founded by Denver. She also co-founded and served for seven years as President and CEO of the Windstar Land Conservancy. It protects and manages for educational and scientific purposes a 1000-acre property in the high country of Colorado.
Her most recent book, co-authored with her husband, Bob Samples, is Coming Home: Community, Creativity and Consciousness. She holds a B.A. from the University of Arizona, an M.A. from Arizona State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. She has taught at the elementary, secondary, undergraduate and graduate levels.
Charles has given hundreds of public presentations and scores of keynote addresses. Her speaking topics cover all aspects of environmental education, but she has a special focus on the multiple benefits of bringing children into direct contact with nature. This contact, she explains, improves creativity, academic performance, and self-esteem while at the same time fostering a greater love for the Earth.
Videos of presentations and interviews, speaking testimonials, audio clips, and book information are available here. To explore engaging Cheryl Charles as a speaker, email her here. For the most up-to-date information about Cheryl, visit her website here.
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