Community Relations Director
Lori has a BS in Animal Science and a minor in Journalism from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, as well as an MA in Communications (emphasis in Public Relations) from California State University, Fullerton. She’s been working at the Environmental Nature Center since 2003, first as the Education Coordinator, then as the Director of Education, and now as the Director of Community Relations. Lori was responsible for all of our education programs reaching 25,000+ students a year (managing a staff of 16 Naturalists). She is currently responsible for all of our volunteer programs (nearly 1000 volunteers a year, at least 100 of them long term, giving almost 10,000 hours a year), all of our communications (PR, marketing, etc.), and membership.
Lori has also worked at the Nature Conservancy, as a Naturalist & Media Relations Coordinator, and as an Interpretive Ranger at Huntington Beach Central Park. She was a Field Naturalist & Media Relations Coordinator at Inside the Outdoors Science School, part of the Orange County Dept. of Education. Her “non-nature jobs,” just out of college, were as a Media Relations Coordinator & Editorial Assistant at the First American Corporation and Public Relations Associate & Research Analyst with eBuilt, Inc.
She currently serves on the board of the CSUF Non-profit Alumni Association. Lori was the lucky recipient of the Nathaniel Lamm Award in 2002 and a decade later she was awarded the Women Making a Difference Award by the California Senate. Weird stuff: Lori has a pilot’s certificate, and she once rode horses in collegiate level horse shows!
In the News
Lori on Volunteerism, OC Family
Volunteering gives kids a chance to try new things. In the process, they can uncover talents and interests they hadn’t been aware of. Some may even go on to pursue college studies and careers inspired by their volunteer experiences. Lori Whalen, Director of Education at the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach has seen this in a student who developed an interest in… Read more HERE.
Lori on Nurturing your Soul with Nature, Family Time Magazine
Lori Whalen, a nature center educator, appreciates the break from routine the outdoors provides. She advocates getting outside to expand your awareness and see things differently… Be careful not to turn it into another item on your checklist. Whalen warns, “It’s important that people come to nature without having a scheduled activity where someone is leading them and teaching them something.” Read more HERE.