Tom Ackerman

Vice President for Environmental Education

Henry L. and Grace Doherty Chair

Tenure at CBF: 2004-present

Education: George Washington University, BA Biology and BS Environmental Science; George Washington University, MEd

Tom creates opportunities for young people to understand their connection to environment by directly experiencing it. As CBF’s Vice President for Education, Tom is afforded excellent opportunities to achieve that goal, working with an incredibly talented and passionate team, conducting the most compelling programs for students, teachers, and leaders in the field. 

Collaboration is essential in Environmental Education, and Tom has been instrumental in the founding and direction of several key organizations including the National No Child Left Inside Coalition (and the Maryland and Virginia chapters of NCLI), as well as the Maryland Environmental Literacy Partnership and the National Advisory Panel on Environmental Literacy. Tom and his team have partnered with some of the largest school districts in the United States, establishing over a dozen systemic environmental curriculum programs. Tom is privileged to serve as the co-chair of the Chesapeake Bay Program Education Workgroup, as a steering committee member of the Governor’s Project Green Classrooms initiative (Maryland), as a 2018 National Geographic Explorer, and the Doherty Chair for Environmental Education.

Prior to joining CBF, Tom was a middle and high school teacher in Harford County, Maryland and earned Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Environmental Science and a Master’s degree in Education from the George Washington University. Tom lives in Severna Park, Maryland with his wife and three sons. He enjoys kayaking, camping, fishing, hiking, travelling, and any other good excuses to spend time outside with his family and friends.

Favorite Quote: "If children do not dip their toes in the waters of unsupervised social activity, they likely will never be able to swim in the sea of civic responsibility." ~Lowell Monke


Tom's Posts

  • Maryland’s Future Depends on Outdoor Learning

    May 28, 2024

    Research shows that outdoor learning helps students improve resilience, problem solving, critical thinking, leadership and teamwork and leads to higher test scores and stronger engagement in school.

  • Learning for Life

    January 19, 2023

    As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of CBF's award-winning Education programs, we reflect that the first way to get young people to care about the Bay is to let them experience it.

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