Liz Baird, Adjunct Faculty
Liz Baird is Chief of School and Lifelong Education at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. In her more twenty years with the Museum, she has helped create a team that provides educational experiences onsite, offsite, online and outdoors. In 1997 Ms. Baird started the interactive video conferencing program that allows the museum to provide classes for students across the state. Inspired by Richard Louv’s book, Last Child in the Woods, Ms. Baird launched national “Take A Child Outside” week as a way to help reconnect children and nature. Ms. Baird received the Environmental Educator of the Year Award from the North Carolina Environmental Educators Association as a result of this work.
Ms. Baird leads the Educators of Excellence Institute in Belize, Central America. This program takes outstanding North Carolina educators on field-based experiences to help them gain new knowledge about the natural world, give them new skills to use in their classrooms and inspire them to stay committed to the teaching profession. Additionally, Ms. Baird is involved in deep-sea coral research in the Atlantic, having served as the coordinator of education and outreach for many missions in the past fifteen years. A recent project, Deepwater Canyons: Pathways to the Abyss, was awarded the Partners in Conservation Award by the Department of the Interior.
As part of her responsibilities at the Museum, Ms. Baird has assisted in the creation of exhibits for and opening of three museum buildings, Including the main building in 2000, the new wing (the Nature Research Center) in 2012 and the Whiteville satellite in 2015. In addition to classroom spaces, she steered the creation of interactive lab spaces open to students, teachers, and the general public. She was actively engaged in exhibit design, including the creation of a replica of the submersible experience from the deep-sea research.
Ms. Baird earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and her Masters of Science degree in Science Education from North Carolina State University. She is an active volunteer, serving as the Chair of the Board of Visitors for Salem College, and is on the Board of Directors for the Neuse River Golden Retriever Rescue.