Education through Ecological Restoration – Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture


Cheryl Bauer-Armstrong

Position title: Earth Partnership Director


Phone: 608-262-5264

Cheryl Bauer-Armstrong’s journey involving schools and communities in restoration education began at the UW-Madison Arboretum in 1994. Before joining the Earth Partnership team at the Arboretum, she designed native plantings and restorations in schoolyards, parklands, neighborhoods, and home landscapes. Since becoming director of Earth Partnership in 2006, she has led the effort in initiatives to address environmental justice, water stewardship, nature connectedness, equitable education, culturally-relevant pedagogy, and community-based conservation in 22 states and in Puerto Rico. Cheryl obtained her MS in Landscape Planning and Ecology from Harvard University and holds a BS focused on ecological restoration from UW-Madison.

Claire Bjork

Position title: Earth Partnership Outreach Specialist


Claire has worked for Earth Partnership since 2013, with a variety of roles including teaching an undergraduate service learning course focused on culturally responsive environmental education, curriculum development, and facilitating professional development for school and community educators. Claire completed her PhD at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, where her research centered on creating an interfaith restoration education community of practice in collaboration with Holy Wisdom Monastery. She has contributed to multiple Earth Partnership curriculum guides and has most recently been a lead editor of the Earth Partnership Pollinator Habitat Curriculum Guide (2017), with which she has led outreach efforts and training for educators in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Claire collaboratively facilitates Indigenous Arts and Sciences educator, youth, and community learning initiatives with all IAS-partnering Native Nations. She lives in the St. Croix River Valley with her family.

Rachel Byington

Position title: Tribal Youth and Community Liaison


Phone: 608-262-9591

Rachel Byington became involved with Earth Partnership in the summer of 2010, first participating in several institutes and then joining the team as an intern in 2014. Rachel is an enrolled citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and is from Madison, Wisconsin. She holds a BS in Family, Consumer, and Community Education, and an American Indian Studies certificate, and a MS in Civil Society and Community Studies, all from the UW-Madison. She earned her PhD in 2020 in Civil Society and Community Studies in UW-Madison’s School of Human Ecology. Her minor is Environmental Restoration Education. Rachel is a wife, mother of three, and grandmother of three.

Jessie Conaway

Position title: Indigenous Arts and Sciences Research Coordinator


Jessie is an outdoor educator, and she incorporates her role as an American Canoe Association kayak instructor trainer into engagement and research. She holds a master’s degree in experiential education from Minnesota State University and a doctorate in Environment and Resources from the Nelson Institute of UW-Madison (PhD minor is in Cartography and Geographic Information Systems). In addition to her work with Earth Partnership, Jessie is also Faculty Associate for Native Nations Partnerships in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at UW – Madison. 

Maria Moreno

Position title: Multicultural Outreach Specialist


Phone: 608-262-9925

Dr. Maria Moreno is an outreach specialist, who teaches in diverse settings across the educational spectrum at UW-Madison.  Based in the Department Planning and Landscape Architecture, she has led multi-cultural outreach for EP since 2012.  She also serves as the Associate for Experiential Education for the Global Health Institute. Maria designs and facilitates curricular materials and led outreach programs. She provides professional development for schoolteachers, college students and community educators locally and internationally through workshops on environmental education.  She develops and facilitates internships and service-learning programs in local settings and globally.  She leads Earth Partnership Global Initiatives in Mexico, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Puerto Rico. She holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the UW-Madison and teaches in the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture and College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.