We are delighted to welcome Brooke Davis to the Sherman Education team. Brooke comes to Sherman Library & Gardens from El Dorado Nature Center where she has worked as a Naturalist, Volunteer Coordinator and Education Coordinator. At Sherman, she will be working closely with our Docents to deliver tours for our guests, as well as guiding our School Field Program, Pre-school Storytime, Junior Gardeners After-school club and Summer Camp programs.
We are excited to have Brooke join our team!
Brooke, why did you want to come and work with the Sherman Gardens community?
Timing can be everything. I moved to Newport Beach a few years ago from Seal Beach and made it a mission to explore my new area and find “my happy places.” My love of nature and history brought me to the gardens and sparked the idea that maybe one day I could join the team. I was ready for a change professionally and wanted to contribute my passion and experience to my local community. The opportunity to build upon the great foundation already established at Sherman and help develop new educational programs that are impactful, is something I relish.
How did you get involved in a career in Informal Education?
What was the spark?
My education and background are in the environmental sciences, more specifically wildlife and conservation biology. After graduate school in New England, I came home to finish up my thesis and look for a job. That led me to El Dorado Nature Center in Long Beach to train as a naturalist, where I was for 17 years. Learning how to take what you are passionate about and impart that to kids and adults was eye-opening. My spark was igniting a spark in someone else. I want to help people find an appreciation for both the simplicities and complexities of the natural world. If they can create their own connection with nature, then hopefully the next steps will lead them toward stewardship.
What do you hope to achieve in the role of Education Coordinator?
My goal is to develop and implement programs that educate and inspire the local community. I want to work collaboratively with the horticulture staff and our education team to design content that is place-based, hands-on, and relevant. We are planning to create strong relationships with local schools to strengthen and expand our field trip program. I want to increase both on-site and public outreach opportunities to reach a larger audience. We cannot do any of this without our amazing docents and volunteers. With that in mind, we are looking to grow the team of Garden Guides and docents/volunteers who may be interested in helping with new educational projects.
What are your passions? What do you enjoy teaching about?
My passion when it comes to nature is fairly broad. Cliché, but I appreciate all of it. I consider myself a generalist in a world of specialists. I love ecology and learning about relationships between plants and animals. A particular goal of mine is to help people be less afraid of the “unlovables”, like opossums, skunks, rodents, and bugs. I need to do a little more of that for myself when it comes to praying mantises and roaches. Yikes!
What do you do in your spare time?
I am a big fan of the outdoors! I like to hike and bike. I love playing and watching sports. I am passionate about food and love to cook. That has not translated over into baking yet. Along with nature, one of my other great loves is history. I enjoy getting off the beaten path and exploring historical places.