Erica DoerrEAST ALTON – Environmental Educator Erica Doerr has joined the education team at the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) and will be responsible for developing earth science curricula for teachers throughout Illinois, as well as leading community outreach events. She started her new role in early September.

“I love working with the public and school groups and want to get them excited about science and the river,” Doerr said. “I got into this field to show others that anyone is a scientist and create opportunities for communities to be immersed in their unique local ecosystems.”

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Prior to joining NGRREC, Doerr led the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville’s Upward Bound program. During this time, she worked with high school students from East St. Louis and engaged them in science to highlight the different career paths available. She also led outreach programs as a geologist for the state of Arkansas, focusing on the New Madrid seismic zone, and communities living in the lower Mississippi River valley.

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“I started my career path as a community college graduate and have enjoyed teaching at the community college level,” she said. “I think it’s a great place to begin secondary schooling without getting lost and not feeling like just a number or a face in the crowd. Community colleges are really the perfect stepping stone to move into the workforce or go on to further your education.”

Visit to learn more about NGRREC’s education programs or contact Doerr at

National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC)

Founded in 2002 as a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lewis and Clark Community College, NGRREC is dedicated to the study of great river systems and the communities that use them. The center aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education, and outreach related to the interconnectedness of large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds, and their associated communities. To learn more about NGRREC, visit

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