Maria Kopecky

Outreach Education Coordinator

608-355-0279, ext. 38

As the foundation’s Outreach Education Coordinator, I support our network of Leopold ambassadors: hundreds of dedicated individuals throughout the country who are working to advance the land ethic in their own communities. This group includes our Leopold Education Project educators, facilitators, and state coordinators, as well as the graduates of our Land Ethic Leader program. I also develop educational resources that can be used by our ambassadors to share the land ethic in the classroom, in the field, and in communities. One of my favorite job duties is helping to plan our Building a Land Ethic Conference – a biennial opportunity for our ambassadors to share their experiences, learn from one another, and be re-inspired in the land of Leopold!

Outdoor appreciation and environmental ethics were instilled in me as a child growing up among the forests and lakes of Northern Wisconsin. My experiences in the outdoors led me to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a master’s degree in natural resources/environmental education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. I started at the Aldo Leopold Foundation as an education fellow in 2014 and have enjoyed being involved in a variety of projects ever since.

In my free time, I enjoy running, biking, hiking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, and other outdoor adventures. My favorite Leopold quote is: “The objective is to teach the student to see the land, to understand what he sees, and to enjoy what he understands.” These steps helped to form, and continue to inform, my own personal land ethic and serve as the foundation for my role as an environmental educator.