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A Season of Change at EENC

EENC Community,

The cooler weather in recent weeks is evidence that fall is upon us! Fall heralds many changes for our natural world, including changing leaf colors, migrating animals, and shorter days, and this year, it also marks a season of change for us at EENC.

After almost six years of service as EENC’s first executive director, Lauren Pyle will be leaving the organization as of September 24, 2023. Lauren is moving out of state, and thus will no longer be able to support North Carolina's environmental education community.

EENC will conduct a thoughtful and thorough hiring process to find our next permanent staff member in early 2024. Until then, The EENC Board of Directors has appointed Nikki Jones as interim executive director, with the support of the EENC staff, Michelle Pearce and Grace Baucom. In this role, Nikki will complement Michelle and Grace’s work by supporting partnerships, advocacy, operations management, fund development, and other projects.

Nikki brings a wealth of experience in both formal and nonformal environmental education and more than a decade of experience supporting and developing outdoor and science educators in parks, camps, schools, and ecotourism settings. In addition, she brings deep knowledge of nonprofit management and experience with transition navigation and major grant writing. Since returning home to NC in 2018 with the City of Raleigh nature preserves, and most recently with Muddy Sneakers, she has been dedicated to growing meaningful connections in the EE community across the state. Nikki is inspired to put her passion for EENC’s work into further action as she helps guide our organization into its promising next chapter. Once Nikki begins in October, you will be able to contact her at

EENC is committed to continuing our efforts to support North Carolina’s network of environmental educators to the fullest extent possible during this transition. We are eager to use this shift to look ahead and strategize how EENC can best continue to grow, adapt, and serve our community as we move forward!

If you have any questions about this transition, you can contact EENC President, Amy Juliana, at

We’re here for you!

The EENC Team


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