The Environmental Learning Center with Sara Piotter and David Yakir

February 7, 2020

The Environmental Learning Center was founded in 1988 by a group of environmentally conscious pioneers from the Pelican Island Audubon Society, who lived in our community and cherished the nature that thrives in the Indian River Lagoon. Through the support of our community, donors, members, board, staff and volunteers we are able to build our educational nature learning and stewardship programs and evolve our mission to bring nature to all including those with limited means and access to nature. They had a mission to preserve a beautiful, unspoiled 64-acre Indian River Lagoon island and create a place to lead educational programs and EcoAdventures which teach our visitors about the rich biodiversity of our Indian River Lagoon and the importance of its heritage, preservation and continued legacy in our community and in our world.Sara’s relationship with the ELC goes back almost a decade. From 2006-2008 Sara helped teach our school programs as a part-time naturalist. In the spring of 2008 she left the ELC to work as a field biologist. She’s worked for The Nature Conservancy, The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and the United States Geological Survey on research projects related to restoration ecology, water quality, and foraging and reproduction studies of passerines and waterbirds. Sara grew up exploring green spaces around Indian River County, as she was raised right here in Vero Beach. Although Sara connected with the natural world from a very early age, her passion for conservation and natural resource management was ignited during her studies at the University of Florida. In 2004, she earned her B.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from UF. Additionally, Sara’s received training from the National Geographic Society in Watershed Education. Sara originally joined the education team as a full-time Naturalist. She’s thrilled to expand her relationship with the communities ELC serves and strives to promote a life-long, positive, mutually-rewarding relationship with nature. In her free time she enjoys all things nature, cooking, traveling, live music, crafting natural products, aromatherapy, and spending time with her family. 


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