Charnell Parker McMullen Bushman (She,Her,Hers)
Born in Bronx, New York my love of nature developed after a family move from the metropolitan New York area to rural southern Georgia. In Georgia I joined the 4-H Club, where I participated in everything from poultry judging to backwoods camping. I spent many years at the Rock Eagle 4-H Summer Camp as a camper, a counselor, and Director of the Special Interest Program .
I have had many experiences participating and working in all aspects of outdoor recreation, conservation, camp life and youth programming. Each one of these unique experiences has help to shape my world view and made me the manager I am today. In the last 20+ years, I have been a counselor, instructor, challenge course director and environmental educator. I spent five summers working at Med-o-lark International Theater Summer Arts Camp in Maine where I was their Adventure Course Director and then their Director of Programming. I have also worked at several other camps, nature centers, non-profits, youth agencies, and outdoor education centers over the years including the Boys and Girls Club, Thousand Pines Outdoor School, YMCA Storer Camps, and the Gads Hill Center. I was the Assistant Direct for the Coastal Wonders Environmental Education Program. I spent 8 years on the coast of Virginia where I was the Education Director for the Chincoteague Bay Field Station.
I am currently the Vice President of Programs, Interpretation and Exhibits at the Butterfly Pavilion. Founded in July 1995, the Butterfly Pavilion is the first stand-alone non-profit invertebrate zoo in the nation. Butterflies are just the beginning! The 5,000 animals that inhabit this 30,000 square foot facility include an explosion of invertebrate diversity and marine invertebrates (which are close to my heart) even have a home. The twenty plus years of experience outlined in my resume has given me the complex skill set needed to be successful in the conservation, environmental education and non-profit fields.
In addition to my work experience, I have continued to hone my skills through education and professional development. I have a Master of Natural Resources from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, with a focus in Interpretation and Environmental Education. I am an active member of several professional organizations, including the Association of Nature Center Administrators and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. I currently serve on the National Board for the National Association for Interpretation , where I head the Diversity and inclusion Committee.
My interest in diversity, equity and inclusion issues developed from my personal experiences facing the drastic lack of diversity in environmental organizations and green spaces. I have a passion for tackling these complex issues through head on activism and education. My passion led me to create the online resource Ecoinclusive. Ecoinclusive provides consulting, training and resources for leadership at non-profits, cultural and environmental organizations to aid them in building a culturally diverse and and culturally competent staff that reflects the populations that they serve. The active Facebook provides daily resources for action, thought and reflection. https://www.facebook.com/ecoinclusive/
My resume and portfolio highlight my extensive training, facilitation, and presentation experience. I am a Certified Interpretive Guide and Certified Interpretive Trainer through the National Association for Interpretation. I am also a Project WET, Wild, Wild Aquatic, Growing Up Wild, and Project Learning Tree Facilitator. Additionally I am a certified First Aid, CPR, AED Instructor through the American Red Cross. These trainings not only serve to increase my knowledge but are also beneficial to my organization, allowing me to provide in house staff training and professional development as well as teacher workshops.
I truly believe in the importance of environmental education because I feel that teaching people about their integral connection to the world around them is the key to the earth’s continued survival.
My hobbies include shelling, camping, painting, music, photography, and travel.