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Environmental Education and Citizen Science Program Manager
(919) 966-0895
Center for Public Engagement with Science


Sarah Yelton is the environmental education and citizen science program manager for UNC-IE’s Center for Public Engagement with Science, where she focuses on connecting stakeholders and communities in North Carolina, the United States, and the world with environmental science research emanating from UNC-CH. In her current work, Yelton coordinates public engagement and communications strategies for three citizen science projects developed at UNC-Chapel Hill: Caterpillars Count!, Lake Observations by Citizen Scientists and Satellites, and Well Empowered. She also works with K-12 teachers to build their capacity to incorporate current environmental science into instruction, particularly using field experiences, through teacher professional development trainings that integrate environmental education and outdoor learning across all content areas. Yelton has also served as the Research Translation Coordinator for the UNC Superfund Research Program (SRP), engaging key state and federal agency stakeholders, training researchers and students in science communication skills, and developing innovative communications and educational materials, as well as programming, for a range of environmental science and health topics related to hazardous chemical exposure.

Prior to joining UNC-IE, Yelton supported the efforts of North Carolina preK-12 teachers to integrate environmental literacy into their curriculum at the NC Office of Environmental Education. Her background also includes nature center management and residential environmental education programming. She is a Certified Environmental Educator and in 2009, was awarded the NC Outstanding Earth Science Educator Award by the NC Geological Survey. In 2012, she received the Outstanding Service Award from the Environmental Educators of North Carolina organization.


M.S., Natural Resources – Environmental Education, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, WI, 2000
B.A., Recreation Administration and Anthropology, UNC-Chapel Hill, 1996