EIC Staff

The Environmental Interpretive Center is lucky to have a team of staff members who are dedicated to environmental stewardship and education and love the outdoors. From full-time, to part-time, to student staff members, there is a variety of interests and knowledge bases that provide the EIC with the support it needs to benefit our community. 

Would you like to get more involved at the EIC? See how you can become a Volunteer.

Jacob Napieralski, Ph.D. 

313-583-6448, jnapiera@umich.edu

  • Provides leadership and a vision for the EIC
  • Manages daily affairs for the EIC and communicates with other units on campus
  • Responsible for budgeting and fundraising
  • Engages with community organizations
Dorothy Mcleer

Dorothy McLeer

Program Coordinator, Interpretive Naturalist
313-583-6372, natrlist@umich.edu 

  • Featured in "How a campus educator is helping create a sustainable future"
  • Creates and leads environmental interpretive programs for pre-K-12 students, as well as the public.
  • Coordinates the biennial Michigan Master Naturalist program
  • Shares EIC events and news with the broader community through a monthly eNewsletter and social media
  • Assists UM-Dearborn faculty and students in the "outdoor classroom"
  • Teaches UM-Dearborn courses Environmental Interpretation and Environmental Education
Rick Simek

Rick Simek

Program Supervisor, Manager of the Environmental Study Area, Room Availability Coordinator 

313-583-6371, rsimek@umich.edu

  • Manages the Environmental Study Area
  • Oversees the development, content, and implementation of environmental education programs for K-12 students 
  • Supervises UM-Dearborn student naturalist staff at the EIC.
  • Coordinates and oversees the management of the UM-Dearborn Community Organic Garden 
  • Coordinates EIC volunteer activities
  • Manages EIC room reservations

Part-time Intermittent Staff

The EIC relies on the assistance from recent UM-Dearborn graduates who lend their expertise and support to specific projects. 

Dale Browne

Dale Browne

Dale graduated from the University of Michigan - Dearborn in 2020 with a Bachelors of Environmental Studies.

View her Online portfolio or Email: Dsbrowne@umich.edu

  • Responsible for coordinating educational programming as well as delivering programs and creating original content, both in-person and digital.
  • Dale has been a team lead for the Young Naturalists as well as the Sprouts Children’s Gardening programs since 2019.
  • Coordinator for the “Dearborn SHINES for Healthy Kids!” initiative; responsible for logistics, on-site work, volunteer and student engagement, building infrastructure, and managing EIC staff.
Michael Solomon

Michael Solomon

Mike Solomon is a 2023 Graduate of University of Michigan- Dearborn, with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies (Naturalist Concentration).

Email: mrsolomo@umich.edu

  • He was the 2022 Parkhurst Natural Areas Fellow, and in this role assisted with the management and removal of invasive species in the Environmental Study Area;
  • As a Naturalist, he also leads educational programs both for school groups, and the general public; and assists in the training and onboarding of new student naturalists;
  • Mike manages the Environmental Interpretive Center’s social media presence, coordinates with school teachers to schedule and plan programming, assists with on-campus collaborations, and student projects;
  • He also assists with various small-scale construction and maintenance tasks in the Environmental Study Area.

Allie Jones

Allie recently graduated in December 2022 from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with her Bachelors degree in Environmental Studies and an Urban Services focus.

  • As a Naturalist, she helps lead educational programs for students PreK-12, such as Pond Explorations, Maple Syrup Science, Seasonal Nature Walks, and more. 



Student Staff

The EIC relies heavily on university students to assist with interpretive programs and maintaining the Center, Natural Area, and Community Organic Garden. Our naturalist interpreters help lead programs for the thousands of K-12 students that visit the Center annually. 

Are you a current student? View more information on how you could be involved in Student Opportunities.

Naturalist Interpretive Guides


Alexis Kott 

Alexis is a Senior majoring in Urban and Regional Studies (environment design and space concentration) and minoring in Applied Art.

View her featured article titled "Art is a Bridge to Learning"

Email: ankott@umich.edu

  • She was the 2022-23 EIC's Holland Family Intern, and has been updating the EIC website, developing graphic materials (flyers, posters, developing signage);
  • As a student Naturalist Alexis helps lead environmental programs for school classes such as Pond Explorations and Maple Syrup Science;
  • She is the Program Coordinator for the 2023 Children's Garden Program, and was the Assistant Coordinator in 2022;
  •  She began "Nature Walks for Mental Health" in collaboration with Planet Blue Ambassadors and Counseling and Psychological Services Peer Educators on campus, where she leads groups on nature walks with guided meditations throughout the year.
Valerie Osowski

Valerie Osowski 

Valerie is a senior studying Environmental Sciences (concentration in Biology) with a minor in Sociology. Email: vosowski@umich.edu

  • As the 2022 Summer Sustainability Intern and the 2022-23 Parkhurst Fellow, she led the restoration of the EIC Rain Gardens.
  • For her work, she was awarded a scholarship from the Dearborn Garden Club. 
  • Valerie now works as a Student Naturalist, leading educational programs and participating in other projects, such as the EIC building compost.
  • She has also served as the president of the Student Sustainability Coalition since fall 2022.