Nurture Nature Center is a center for community learning about environmental risks in Easton, Pennsylvania that was established in response to repetitive flooding in the Delaware River Basin in 2004, 2005 and 2006. Nurture Nature Center is a joint project of Nurture Nature Foundation, Inc. and Nurture Nature Center, Inc. Since its formation in 2007, Nurture Nature Center has conducted a series of research and education projects about flooding, and developed this website in partnership with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. For more about Nurture Nature Center, visit nurturenaturecenter.org
This website was designed to educate the public in the Delaware River Basin about flooding risk there. Since then, the website has become a resource for flood education materials, and now includes information about social science issues related to flooding, and about coastal flooding.
Since its formation in 2007, NNC has become recognized as a leader in flood risk education, through various education and outreach programs as well as social science studies. NNC has assisted the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Federal Emergency Management Agency with outreach to New Jersey coastal communities, and worked with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency to assist with stakeholder engagement and data presentation for its new State Hazard Mitigation Plan for 2018. NNC has also worked with other NWS offices, including the Weather Prediction Center and Water Resources Services Branch on projects to identify stakeholder needs for products and services.
NNC is housed in an historic building in downtown Easton, PA, where it hosts regular community programming about local environmental topics. NNC’s visitors’ center features the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Science on a Sphere exhibit, along with other art and science exhibits. For more information about Nurture Nature Center and its programs, visit www.nurturenaturecenter.org.
Focus On Floods is a flood education campaign developed through a cooperative partnership with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Weather Service. Focus on Floods was designed to help residents and individuals in the Delaware River Basin and beyond improve their flood readiness. The project shares information with individuals, via radio, television, Internet and other venues, about how to use National Weather Service flood forecasting and warning tools, and other critical flood preparedness information. It has recently expanded to include information about coastal flooding and social science related to flooding.
In 2009, NNC began a Flood Forum Project, funded by the National Science Foundation, that took place after repetitive flooding in the Lehigh Valley. NNC hosted community discussions about flooding in three of the hardest hit communities. A report summarizing that project can be found here. Through work on the Flood Forum Project, NNC recognized that people were eager to learn the science behind risks like flooding that threatened their homes or communities. Since 2009, NNC has been working to develop a community dialogue model around these topics.
In 2010, Nurture Nature Center received an award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to install the administration’s famed exhibit, Science on a Sphere®, and to create a new program for the SOS about the connection between climate and flooding. SOS is a 6-foot suspended globe that displays breath-taking visualizations of earth and space, and is the centerpiece exhibit at NNC. NNC’s new SOS program, Rising Waters, has been shared with the international Science on a Sphere network of more than 160 museums and organizations around the world who have the SOS exhibit.
Rachel Hogan Carr, Director of Environmental Outreach for Nurture Nature Foundation and Director of the Nurture Nature Center, is in charge of programming and facilities for the Nurture Nature Center. She has a diverse background in community development, that includes community organizing as well as assisting with adaptive re-use of historic buildings. Ms. Carr has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Policy Design from Lehigh University. She is a member of the Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center’s Customer Advisory Board and a past member of the Board of Directors for the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, Inc., and the Easton Environmental Advisory Council. She has been active in Easton civic initiatives, including as a co-founder of the Downtown Neighborhood Association, and as Vice President of the City’s Home Rule Charter Study Commission.
Kate Semmens, is the Science Director of the Nurture Nature Center. She holds a Ph.D. in environmental and earth sciences from Lehigh University, along with a master’s degree in marine policy from the University of Delaware and a bachelor of science in environmental studies from Ursinus College. Kathryn was employed previously as a postdoctoral associate at the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture and has also worked for the Pew Environment Group in Washington, D.C. Her awards include a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship for doctoral research, a Udall Environmental Scholarship and a EPA Greater Research Opportunity Fellowship for her undergraduate studies. Kathryn’s interests focus on the nexus of science, policy, and community. Her responsibilities at NNC are to help advance the organization’s outreach efforts on scientific and environmental issues generally, with a special emphasis on floods, climate change, and social science research.
Keri Maxfield, Nurture Nature Center’s Art Director and Graphic Design specialist, has been working in the visual arts for over 25 years. She received her BFA with a double concentration in Studio Art from Kutztown University. Keri’s work ranges from the creative to the highly technical. She is skilled in design and visual communication of scientific data and social messaging. She has worked on a number of social science research projects focusing on environmental risk messaging, including NOAA/NWS product design. Her interests lie in the overlap between art, science and society and she has managed five grants through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts that engage local artists and community members in creating visual art in response to local environmental issues.
NOTE: This web site and related content was initially prepared by NNF under award number NA09NWS4670005 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Dept. of Commerce. The statements, findings, conclusions and recommendations are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of NOAA or the US Dept. of Commerce.