Also visit our Region’s map page to plot your site on the map and see where your fellow NAI members are throughout the southeast!
Director – S. Marisol Asselta Castro
My love for interpretation began twenty years ago as a college intern with the non-profit Scenic Hudson, connecting local communities with public land. A federal ranger position followed, then one as educator at the Mashantucket Pequot tribal museum. The opportunity to work in California on a BLM research team member and recreationist, environmentalist, and local tribe liaison led me out West, where I spent six years as a California State Parks Resources acting station head, municipal nature center coordinator, and outreach specialist for Community Alliance with Family Farmers. I have especially enjoyed bridging gaps between different community groups in all of these positions, from translating materials to working with alternative perspectives and solutions to concerns commonly found in diverse societies. Currently the Interpretation and Logistics Coordinator for Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots Latin American & Caribbean, I’m also in the Liberal Studies Master’s program at Duke University in North Carolina.
Since joining NAI’s Region 3 in 2012, I’ve had the most wonderful opportunities to discover the variety, enthusiasm, and dedication that Sunny Southeast members bring to interpretive field. We are consistently held up as a distinctively strong chapter within NAI, and it’s my primary goal as Director to continue developing resources and communication pathways that support all of our interpreters, from novice to veteran, who create this vibrant community. A member of NAI since 2009, I’ve presented at national, international, and regional conferences, both learning from others around the world and representing the Sunny Southeast’s own innovative work. I’ve also written a variety of Region 3 blog posts and Legacy articles, and had the opportunity to create, with our own regional webmaster Katie Hicks, an interactive map for connecting southeastern NAI members with each other. I’m excited to what I can to assist this incredible community in becoming even stronger in the upcoming years!
I can be reached at email@example.com.
Deputy Director – Brian Mast
Transplanted from the mountains of central Pennsylvania to the prairies of Alabama I have enjoyed living in the Sunny Southeast for the past 5 years. Before moving south I had the pleasure of being an interpretive ranger for the National Park Service at a variety of sites including Fort Necessity National Battlefield and Flight 93 National Memorial. The past four years have been spent establishing interpretive programs at a young museum in Livingston, Alabama focusing on a 18th century fort site within 15 minute drive. I have the distinction of being able to interpret individuals from 1730 to 1815 covering not only soldiers, but everyday citizens as well. My research interests include the 18th century and designing interpretive programs for audiences with intellectual disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders. When not living in the past as a living historian, my weekends are spent with a target on his back as a lacrosse and soccer referee. When not blowing a whistle or shooting a musket he enjoys spending time along the bank with a fly fishing rod in hand or exploring new places both inside and outside of the USA. PLEASE contact me if you have found these venues: 1.) A good German microbrewery, 2.) Great pizza place or 3.) Old bookstore or 18th century document collection. Feel free to contact me to chat even if you have not found these pinnacles of society!
Secretary – Christine Lawson
Christine Lawson is a member of the Environmental Education team at the McDowell Nature Center in Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. She has studied and worked with many different interpretive styles in facilities across the nation, such as the Charlotte Nature Museum, Franklin Park Zoo, and Discovery Place Science Museum. Christine has been an active member of NAI as well as a Certified Interpretive Guide since 2013. She received her Bachelor of Science from Unity College, where she majored in Captive Wildlife Care & Education. Christine loves any kinds of hands-on work with all different types of animals (including humans) and enjoys the prospect of bringing people closer to the environment and the world around them. She considers the best part of her job to be the opportunity to play outside all day and get lost in the woods whenever she wants.
Treasurer – Joli Reynolds
It’s hard for me to believe I’ve been working and learning in the field of interpretation for over 10 years! Born and raised in western New York (state) I ventured as far as I dared for my undergraduate degree in biology from Juniata College in central Pennsylvania. Graduating with my proud BS degree, I had to figure out what to with it! I began, as many of us do, as a seasonal environmental educator and was surprised to learn how much I loved teaching kids. I have since earned a master’s degree in environmental interpretation from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a thesis exploring the youth development outcomes of a student-led environmental action project. Over the years I’ve been a zoo educator, wildlife cruise guide, ropes course facilitator, and middle school STEM teacher, but nothing is home to me like a nature center. I’m working my current dream job as a nature center manager in Mecklenburg County Park & Recreation and have found a welcoming home here in the Sunny Southeast.
|ALABAMA – Helena Uber-Wamble256-538-3164
FLORIDA – Allyson Gantt
GEORGIA – Kate Mowbray
KENTUCKY – Wren Smith
MISSISSIPPI – Bob Brzuszek
|NORTH CAROLINA – Eli Strullestrull@ashevillenc.gov
PUERTO RICO – Eliezer Nieves
SOUTH CAROLINA – Ashley Zalabak
TENNESSEE – Laura Franklin
|AWARDS AND SCHOLARSHIPS – Jessica Goodrich Watts
WEBMASTER – Katie Hicks
NEWSLETTER EDITOR – Rhana Paris
MEMBERSHIP – John Washburn
NOMINATIONS AND ELECTIONS – Chris Smith
STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE – TBA