Pictured left to right: Sophia Stephenson, AEEA Executive Director; Eric Fuselier Outstanding Non-formal Educator; Sim Barrow, AEEA Board Member; Schelly Corry, AEEA Board Member
AEEA is recognizing Eric Fuselier as the 2021 Outstanding Non-formal Environmental Educator. A non-formal educator is a trained individual who operates in a setting other than a school, such as a nature center, government agency, park, or nonprofit organization. Mr. Fuselier is an Environmental Project Manager at Crafton Tull and Associates, and he demonstrates his passion for the outdoors and conservation through his work as an environmental scientist as well as his many volunteer roles.
As an environmental project manager, his role is to ensure infrastructure projects have minimal impact on the environment. His volunteer time, however, is filled with webinars, hikes, and workshops. He serves on the board of directors for many conservation-related nonprofit organizations, including Board president for the Ozark Natural Science Center; Arkansas Native Plant Society, where he worked with the governor’s office to proclaim May Arkansas Native Plant Month; and Wild Ones, Ozark Chapter which he organized in 2020. He also serves on the board of the Society of Wetland Scientists, South Central Chapter. He is also the owner and instructor of Ozark Primitive Skills which he formed in 2014.
As a board member, he does much more than conduct and attend meetings. Using his expertise in native plants, wetland conservation, and primitive outdoor skills, he volunteers his time to benefit not only the organizations where he serves on the board but others as well. Apple Seeds Teaching Farm in Fayetteville, the Arkansas Living History Association, and the Bois D’Arc Primitive Skills Gathering in SW Missouri are a few examples.
Mr. Fuselier shares his knowledge and passion for the natural world in hopes of inspiring others to connect with nature. “Environmental education,” says Mr. Fuselier “is not just about teaching people facts or science. At its most fundamental level, it’s about helping others form a deep connection to the natural world.” He is helping forge this connection for others through his extensive knowledge of native plants, animals, geology, and more as well as his deep passion for nature.
An outstanding environmental educator is an individual who has made contributions to the field of environmental and outdoor education in Arkansas through their leadership, dedication, and passion as educators benefiting children and adults. The educator influences and motivates their students, school, or community in environmental education, awareness, knowledge, and action.