Amaris Alanis Ribeiro is currently the Center Director of the North Park Village Nature Center at the Chicago Park District. There she directs the operation of a public facility with 46 acres of a nature preserve open 7-days a week, providing year-round programs and major special events throughout the year. Amaris considers herself a city girl who always had a passion for nature, both in Chicago and Michoacán, her parents’ home-townin Mexico.
Amaris has over twelve years of experience in environmental science education, beginning at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum where she led animal talks, butterfly releases, science outreach, and coordinated community engagement strategies. She has also led the development of environmental and STEM programs that address gender and cultural equity, including launching innovative science programming for boys of color. She continued to encourage youth’s interest in science and the environment in her work with Project Exploration. There she led a group of girls on an expedition to Yellowstone National Park and spearheaded local forensic science programming. After moving to the Chicago Botanic Garden, she managed the Science Career Continuum and under her leadership garnered two national innovative program awards.
In 2016 Amaris was awarded the Association of Science and Technology Centers Diversity and Leadership Fellowship and in 2017 the Chicago Wilderness Force of Nature Award. She also currently serves on the National Science Teachers Association Informal Science Education Committee and the Advisory Board for Environmentalists of Color. Amaris has a bachelor in science degree in Ecology, Ethology, Evolution from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and a master’s degree in Science Education from the Illinois Institute of Technology. Amaris, along with her husband, is proud to be raising four children who enjoy nature and science, and are trilingual (English, Portuguese, and Spanish).