MEET OUR TEAM
Crystal is the founder and CEO of GDCE. As a former zookeeper of the San Diego Zoo, she has developed her passion for conservation into a focus on field research and conservation education.
She holds a BS in Zoology and Biology from Humboldt State University and an MA in Zoology from Miami University. Her field research focuses on conservation education, sustainable land use and rainforest fragment ecology. With over ten years of experience in the zoo field and field experience in Borneo, Costa Rica, Belize and Laos, Crystal formed GDCE to connect field researchers to conservation education and to blend mindfulness practices into conservation education curriculum development. She believes in the power of multi-disciplinary collaboration in creating research and education programs that will build mindful, curious, life-long global stewards.
Sandra serves GDCE as the Curriculum and Education Director. Born and raised in south east Kansas, Sandra grew to understand the benefits of small garden plots as she played and was nurtured by the change of seasons and a plentiful harvest. Family members gathered to share recipes and plan for the next season’s garden. Being nurtured by education and a kind, philanthropic township, led to a Bachelor of Science in Education and a life-long career in teaching and learning.
Sandra has enjoyed 40 years of teaching in public education, developing curriculum designed to inspire and motivate inquiry-based learning environments from Kansas to Colorado to California. She is credentialed as a multiple subject teacher and has engaged in the development of rich learning environments for diverse student populations with diverse learning abilities.
Sandra is delighted to have connected with Green Dragon as she opens a new chapter in environmental education.
Rhiannon serves GDCE as the Grants Coordinator and Curriculum Specialist. Rhiannon earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego where she focused on primate behavioral ecology. As an undergrad, she also completed the Rutgers University Field School in Primate Behavior, Wildlife Ecology, and Conservation in Kenya where she studied the feeding ecology of nursing Tana River red colobus monkeys. Rhiannon later went on to complete her Master’s Degree in Biology through Miami University, focusing her work on the mitigation of interspecies disease transmission as a conservation strategy, as well as on methods to alleviate conflict between humans and primates with overlapping ranges.
Rhiannon also serves as a Research Coordinator for the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research where she focuses on teaching graduate-level courses in various topics centered around wildlife conservation biology and environmental sustainability.