Lauren Allred is an Alabama native of Anniston, AL. She earned her B.S.E. in Elementary and Collaborative Education and her M.S.E. in Elementary Education from Jacksonville State University located in Jacksonville, AL. She previously taught at The Donoho School in Anniston, AL before becoming a part of the Living River team. Lauren grew up in the camping program of the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley and is thrilled to marry her love of camp, being outdoors, and education as the Director of the Cahaba Environmental Center. While teaching ancient world history, Lauren gained a deep appreciation for the importance of rivers throughout the world and their impact on human civilization and growth. She is excited to join others who are passionate about passing on a love of nature and educating others about the importance of the Cahaba River. Lauren has fond memories of the history of Living River which include digging ditches at the inaugural senior high work camp on the Living River land, wielding a gold shovel at the groundbreaking ceremony, and taking the first selfie in the John Jenkins Cabin. She looks forward to welcoming others to make their own memories at the CEC. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys kayaking, hiking, reading, and traveling.
Jecca is from Tampa, Florida and is a recent transplant to Birmingham, Alabama. From scuba diving to sky diving and everything in between, she loves trying new things and adventures. As a native Floridian she grew up fishing, kayaking, camping, and exploring her marine rich environment. Her love of the outdoors and passion for wildlife led her to study Environmental Science at the University of South Florida. While still earning her degree, she began working at a marketing firm, gaining valuable knowledge in the industry. After graduation she started her journey in the environmental field as a chemist in an environmental water testing facility. She worked for three years as a supervisor and successfully managed the organic pesticides and radio-chemistry departments in the lab. Upon displacement by Irma from Tampa to Alabama, Jecca decided to pursue a new path with a vision to educate and inspire youth to appreciate nature as much as she does. She loves exploring in her new stomping grounds of one of the most biodiverse locations in Alabama (and the nation), and she enjoys hiking and discovering the U.S.'s best kept secret: Alabama the beautiful!
Erin grew up in the bustling suburbs of Marietta, Georgia, and became an Alabama native when her family decided to call Lake Martin home. She spent many of her childhood days climbing on logs by the creek and creating “clay-cakes” with red Georgia clay. However, her love for animals has been with her for as long as she can remember. She followed her passion and studied Wildlife Ecology & Management at Auburn University and spent much of her time with the Auburn University Marching Band. Erin has spent the past 4 years working with the Alabama Wildlife Center and discovered her passion for not only wildlife rehabilitation but for our feathered friends in the wild. She continued to broaden her passion for birds and rehab and spent a summer interning at the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center (where she rescued her quaker parrot, who she will happily talk to you about for hours). Erin finally dipped her toe into the pool of education and spent two seasons at the McDowell Environmental Center as a seasonal educator. From there, Erin’s passion for education grew exponentially, and she is so excited to spread her enthusiasm for nature and learning to the CEC. In her free time, Erin loves to curl up on the couch and watch movies, spend time with her bird and guinea pigs, be with family, and hammock with a good book. At any time, Erin is also always ready to throw out some rad bird facts.
Hiram was born and raised in the countryside of Georgia and showed a love of wildlife and the outdoors since he could crawl. Before he could read, he devoured as many books and magazines with pictures of animals he could get his hands on. Once he learned how to read, however, he became known to peers and teachers alike both for his “thirst” for knowledge and his passion for sharing it. In high school he took his first steps as an educator by co-directing the Nature Area of Sidney Dew Boy Scout Camp, while completing his Eagle Scout with a Wetlands Area renewal project which doubled as another educational opportunity for younger scouts. In his senior year, he was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, Vice-Chief of Fellowship in the Order of the Arrow, and the George A. Dorsey Award for “Love of All Living Things”. He was also the Teen Chairman for McKeever’s First Ride, working with mobility challenged youth and helping them discover the benefits of equine therapy and companionship. After high school he attended the University of Georgia, pursuing multiple avenues of public outreach and education in Entomology. He pursued his Bachelors in Entomology and participated in several research programs, including Carpenter Bees and Aphid Symbiotes. Along with his love of nature, he also pursues his passion of writing through an ongoing epic fantasy saga. In his spare time, Hiram enjoys music, photography, Shinrin-yoku, swimming, and anime.
Matt is originally from Saint Joseph, Missouri, where he lived most of his life before graduating from Missouri Western State University with a degree in zoology. He is obsessively curious about nature and loves conducting research as well as sharing his findings with anyone who will listen. His research has taken him from forest canopies in Oregon to aquaculture ponds in Alabama and a world of places in between! Matt cares deeply about breaking down barriers in science and promoting an inclusive environment in everything he does. Matt spends most of his time traveling, conducting research, and teaching others about the wonders of the natural world around them. Matt believes in being a life-long learner and is currently applying to graduate programs in ecology. In his free time outside of working with nature, he enjoys reading, skateboarding, cooking, and trying new things.
Naomi Roswell is a facilitator, grassroots organizer, and educator, who has come to Alabama to get to know the people, ecology, and history of this Appalachian region. She grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and studied in environmental sciences, politics, and education at Oberlin College in northeast Ohio. While in college, Naomi ran an after-school dance program for middle school students to be empowered collaborators, movers, and creaters, and she directed a non-traditional theater production with incarcerated men. Naomi loves hiking, canoeing, and playing games outside and is always eager to learn new games or plant species!
Cahaba Environmental Center 2000 Living River Parkway Montevallo, AL 35115 Email: email@example.com Phone: 205.208.0035 ext. 1