Grier will collaborate with faculty and staff within Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife agencies. She will facilitate educational programming for academic classes and programs such as the Junior Master Gardener and the Master Gardener programs, as well as tours for school field trips, youth programs and community groups. She also will manage training and oversight for volunteers who work with educational programming or outreach events in The Gardens.
Experience in nature-based programs and outreach
Grier has an extensive career in instructional leadership and outdoor education.
“My passion for outdoor and nature-based education stemmed from my involvement with the outdoor recreation program when I was in college,” Grier said. “It opened my eyes to how to help others engage and interact with the outdoors.”
Grier previously worked as a training coordinator for the San Antonio Zoo, as an assistant director of training and assessment for student leadership and community engagement at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and as an outdoor recreation coordinator at Sam Houston State University.
As an education assistant with the Spring Creek Prairie Audubon in Denton, Nebraska, she coordinated volunteers and developed nature-based activities for elementary school-aged students. With the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney, she assisted with Project Learning Tree for K-8 students, creating activities and curriculum for day camp participants.
Grier earned a master’s degree in instructional leadership from Sam Houston State University and a bachelor’s degree in wildlife and conservation science from Texas A&M University-Commerce.
Developing The Gardens’ teaching and discovery mission
“Ms. Grier’s unique background experiences and subject matter training will help us bring garden education to an even broader clientele,” said Michael Arnold, Ph.D., professor of landscape horticulture in the Texas A&M Department of Horticultural Sciences and director of The Gardens at Texas A&M University. “We are looking forward to re-energizing our volunteer efforts and in-person events that were limited during COVID restrictions.”
Grier said her goal with her many responsibilities is to help carry out the mission of The Gardens “to engage the community in a living teaching environment, encourage curiosity and discovery and develop wonder for the natural world.” She said she is thrilled to have The Gardens as her workplace.
“They’re always changing, and there’s not a more beautiful space to go to work each day and experience something different every time you go into The Gardens,” Grier said.