This is Valerie’s ninth year with BIMI. Over the past eight years, she has developed a strong appreciation for both the natural environment and community of block Island. She is looking forward to welcoming visitors to BIMI this summer and hopes that through her role as Director that she can encourage others to appreciate and care for both the unique ecosystem of Block Island as well as the world at large. Valerie has a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management from the University of Rhode Island (URI) along with graduate certificates in Hydrology and Remote Sensing and GIS. She previously earned a Bachelor’s degree in sociology from URI and worked for over twenty years in social services before pursuing environmental studies. She believes strongly in the benefits of science education and the positive impacts of being outdoors.