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 Hurricane 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!
Christie graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor's degree in biology and spent most of her professional career as a public school science teacher, first in Ohio and then in Alabama. She has taught various life sciences, including general biology and zoology, as well as AP Environmental Science and AP Biology. Christie retired from teaching last May, taking a position as a seasonal park ranger with Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, working with the education and community outreach team. This spring she is helping us fill out our CEC staffing needs before returning to the Tetons in May.
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 most of her time with the Auburn University Marching Band. Since 2014, Erin has spent time 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 pig, be with family, and hammock with a good book. At any time, Erin is also always ready to throw out some rad bird facts.
Ashley's journey began in a small farm town in Massachusetts, with close access to beaches and mountains. As a kid, her grandma knew she would grow up to be a scientist because she was always asking questions, collecting bugs, and making a mess. She has always been searching for ways to share her love for nature with others, and even started a hiking club in high school. Her adventurous side brought her to Lakeland, Florida, where she studied Environmental Science at Florida Southern College. It was in college that she discovered her love for educating others about the importance of our natural lands. She became passionate about invasive species, and has been able to study all types of invasive critters like lizards, snails, and even some plants. Ashley is excited to begin a new journey in Alabama and get to meet more amazing people that love the outdoors. If you spot Ashley in the wild, she loves to talk about her two dogs Finn and Sophie, food, and plants.
Kaity is from the small town of Hamilton, Alabama. She recently obtained her bachelor's degree in Marine Biology from the University of North Alabama. During Kaity's summers, she studied marine biology at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab along the coast of Alabama. While she was there, she studied everything from shrimps and seaweed to 6 ft. long sharks! In her downtime she enjoys going hiking, swimming, and fishing. Kaity also has a soft spot for the rivers and marshes throughout Alabama, and can't wait to see what wonders they hold.
An Alabama native, Kathleen grew up in nearby Helena. Throughout her childhood, Kathleen's mother encouraged her to learn through exploration and first-hand experience. While coming of age, Kathleen could be found on soccer and softball fields, practicing karate or dancing, or cheering and twirling baton in her school's gymnasium. During her time at Pelham High School, Kathleen developed a deep appreciation for history and language arts. Upon graduation, Kathleen transitioned to the University of Alabama at Birmingham to pursue an undergraduate degree in business. In 2016, a fortuitous series of events led Kathleen to the Alabama Wildlife Center (AWC) where she quickly fell in love with Alabama's native birds, with a focus on birds of prey. In 2018, she completed an education internship with the AWC and also became a certified interpretive guide through the National Association of Interpreters. Currently, she is involved with the Birmingham Botanical Gardens through their native plant studies program. Kathleen is so excited to join our team here at CEC and utilize her deep passion for nature to inspire and educate people of all ages!
Noor Abuhajah was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She has a curiosity and passion for the outdoors, and a love for sharing it with others. She is a certified Master Naturalist, and has served as chair of the Habitat Restoration Committee for Baton Rouge. She also volunteers her time building and maintaining trails, cleaning up trash, and removing invasive species whenever she can. In her down time, Noor loves foraging for mushrooms, hunting for salamanders, identifying plants, and learning new information. Her skills include painting, knitting and crocheting, quoting Seinfeld, and making people laugh with her witty humor.
Cahaba Environmental Center 2000 Living River Parkway Montevallo, AL 35115 Email: email@example.com Phone: 205.208.0035 ext. 1