2020 Slate of Candidates

The following candidates have been approved by the Nominations Committee and the Board of Directors for consideration by the membership to serve in the 2020-2023 term.

Board of Directors

Wendy Gorton 

   My name is Wendy Gorton, a passionate, Portland-based WEA Member and global educator program manager who works with a variety of organizations around the world in implementing the best learning experiences possible. I have 14 years of teaching and facilitation experience in over 50 countries, and I’m the author of the best-selling and National Outdoor Book Award-winning 50 Hikes with Kids Series. I’m excited about the future of the WEA and would be honored and excited to support your efforts as a Member-at-Large Board Member.
   I have been a classroom educator, outdoor educator, and currently lead volunteer hikes with the Oregon Natural Desert Association, Friends of Columbia Gorge, and Forest Park Conservancy in Oregon and Washington - I’m passionate about leading hikes that help inspire families to get their kids outdoors and understand it even more. I have been a National Geographic Fellow, PolarTrec Teacher Researcher, NOAA Teacher at Sea, NEH Teacher Fellow, and Earthwatch Institute Fellow to bring real-world science research to the classroom through interactive and authentic curriculum. I also give talks and nature journaling and tech on the trails workshops at REI’s and bookstores across the west and help advocate for conservation and wilderness education at each stop, and I’m always searching for ways to help even more.
   I’m excited about your ambitious plans for 2020 and beyond and think I have a unique skillset to help - I have experience with building certification programs at Google (I currently manage the Google Certified Innovator program of 2,200 global members) and would be excited to help provide feedback on your COL beta. I’m particularly interested and suited to help your expansion. I manage partnerships with companies and organizations in Japan, Singapore, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Spain, and understand the complexities of bringing education products to new markets, including managing translation, marketing, and creating champion communities. I am also an Advisory Board Member for the IATED, supporting innovation in education and technology through academic research conferences in Spain.
   You can review my CV here.


Michael Odberg

   I would be honored to be considered for an “at large” seat on the Board of Directors for the WEA. I was forever grateful for my National Standards Program training and certification way back in 1999 with Mike McGowan as the course instructor. I have often considered reengaging with the WEA throughout my tenure in Outdoor Education. When I landed at HoneyRock, and with the advent of the new Certified Outdoor Leader (COL) model, I eagerly took the plunge. I believe our training took a major step forward with the COL training and I am in for the long haul. It is also an honor to host this year’s conference.

   I believe I can see things from both a practitioner’s and an academic’s perspective, and I will likely be presenting COL in both of those platforms at HoneyRock. This perspective could be beneficial to the WEA at this time. Although I am still wrapping up my Certified Outdoor Educator portfolio (COE), I have future plans for accreditation as well. I love the 6+1 model and I believe I can be an ambassador for it. As COL becomes more engrained in our training models, I envision launching many grads as future COE’s. I love the people and the mission and it would be an honor to have some influence in the direction of the organization if I were chosen to serve.
   You can review my CV here.