After a thorough search, the Board of the Nature Discovery Center is thrilled to announce that local conservationist and environmental educator DeAndra Ramsey has joined the Center as their new Executive Director. Ramsey comes to the Center from the Houston Zoo where she worked for ten years in the Conservation Education department connecting communities to wildlife and natural spaces.
“We heartily welcome DeAndra to the NDC team and know she will connect very well with our NDC community” says Board President Kristen Buck. “DeAndra has a robust passion for nature and a breadth of experience in environmental and conservation education programs, project management, volunteer and outreach programs, and cultivating community partnerships.”
DeAndra Ramsey grew up along the Gulf Coast of Texas with a love of animals and nature. Since graduating from Texas A&M University with a B.S in Biomedical Science, Ramsey has worked in the conservation community for over 15 years. Beginning in 2003, she became an active community speaker, engaging the public with programs on the natural history and conservation of bats. She began her career at the Houston Zoo in 2010, where she was involved in conservation initiatives including pollinator conservation and prairie habitat restoration. Ramsey was awarded the title of Conservation Champion for her work with the Texas Bat Monitoring project she has led at the Houston Zoo along with facilitating the partnership between the Houston Zoo and Bat Conservation International. Ramsey also works with Buffalo Bayou Partnership to further conservation education efforts in relation to our amazing urban wildlife we have right here in Houston. Now, alongside her husband, she is raising her son to have the same empathy for wildlife she has.
“I am excited to be a part of the Nature Discovery Center, a place where urban communities can connect with nature and see the value in our native plants and animals that surround our wonderful city. People often overlook the wonders of nature that are here in our backyard. The Center allows our communities to explore our natural spaces and I can’t wait to grow the relationship our community has with the world around them and with the Center itself.”
When DeAndra Ramsey accepted the job of Executive Director at the Nature Discovery Center earlier this month, she knew that she would be challenged with leading the Center through its continuing recovery from the pandemic. She was eager to support Center staff in their ongoing efforts to find creative and safe ways to connect the community with nature during these difficult times. What she did not expect was to be faced with with the toughest first weeks on the job ever tackled by any Director in the Center’s history. The unprecedented deep freeze we just experienced was a trial by fire, and Ramsey met the challenge, managing staff and animal care concerns and overseeing critical park preparations in communication with the City of Bellaire, all while still “learning the ropes”.
Ramsey is excited to bring her expertise in community engagement, conservation education, and environmental advocacy to the Nature Discovery Center. She recognizes that the Center’s mission to ignite lifelong curiosity, understanding, and respect for nature through education is a critical component of inspiring and empowering visitors to take action and make a difference in the natural world.