USEE Board

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Alex Porpora, Board Chair

Alex Porpora is passionate about getting people from all sectors involved in environmental education. She has developed award-winning school outreach programs, educational content, and events for nonprofits, zoos, aquariums, museums and for-profit institutions. With a Bachelor's degree in Biology and Anthropology from the University of Miami and a Master’s in Environmental Humanities from the University of Utah, Alex specializes in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), environmental and interdisciplinary education projects.

Alex's work has focused on creating lasting partnerships between nonprofit and for-profit institutions. She has worked with and developed educational content in collaboration with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Bat Conservation International, Duke Lemur Center, the Lemur Conservation Foundation, National Geographic Kids, WildWorks, and the North American Association for Environmental Education.




mark larese casanovaMark Larese-Casanova

Mark Larese-Casanova is the Utah Master Naturalist program director and an Extension Assistant Professor in the Department of Watershed Sciences at Utah State University.  Mark has been in the field of environmental education in Utah for the past 15 years, and is a Utah certified environmental educator. He is based in Logan, Utah.  

Patti PicPatti White, Granit School District

Patti White has spent over 30 years working for Granite School District.  Getting students to become actively involved in the environment in their community has been a focus of how she has been able to actively engage students in their learning. Projects have included cleaning up the Salt Lake City air and passing a non-binding resolution, raising fish, saving beavers, making a butterfly garden, growing gardens in a bin, and recycling projects.   Many of her problem based learning projects have taken national and international awards.  “Students need to be in the out of doors and be taught the importance of caring for their surroundings since they can have an impact on the sustainability of our planet for future generations.”  She is currently a System Support Coach leading teams of teachers through a School Improvement Process and teaches a class for SUU College so that teachers can get their gifted endorsement.  

Aaron Zillow Pic Mountains 2

Aaron Dekeyzer

Aaron Dekeyzer joined the board in 2018 and is excited to be back, having served an internship in 2012. Aaron is passionate about education and the environment, and believes in USEE’s mission to create an environmentally literate citizenry. He enjoys volunteering in the classroom, where he has taught ecological principles and mindfulness practices for a number of years. Aaron has a Masters Degree in Transpersonal Ecopsychology and chairs the Sandy City Sustainability Focus Group. He likes to get away from the buzz of the city and spend quality time with his family at their cabin in southern Utah (no tv here!), hiking, exploring, and stargazing. He also enjoys bird watching, playing games like chess and go, photography, and rocking out to concerts in gardens!







Strategic Plan

USEE focuses on work in four different areas: Capacity Building, Demonstrating Quality Environmental Education, Community Innovation, and Organizational Strength. The Annual Action Plan describes work in each focus area as well as USEE's specific programs and projects.

2011-2014 Strategic Plan





What is USEE?

The Utah Society for Environmental Education (USEE), a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit, has been a statewide leader in promoting high quality environmental education in Utah since 1981. USEE encourages environmental literacy by teaching Utahans how to think, not what to think, about the environment.

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