Dana Pounds
Bradenton, Florida

Dana Pounds is the Executive Director and Founder of Nature’s Academy, an outdoor educational organization that enhances science literacy and fosters environmental stewardship. She has developed a suite of experiential learning programs that integrate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), Common Core, and Florida Sunshine State Standards. By offering “Edventures” at no cost, Pounds has successfully extended these programs to local low-income, minority students from underserved schools in Manatee County. Now, nearly every fifth grader in the county has access to Nature Academy’s outdoor science education. Through her decade of work with Nature’s Academy, she has engaged over 55,000 students, teachers, and chaperones from 41 states and five countries. With plans to expand the program to neighboring counties, and eventually the entire Tampa Bay region, she continues to work toward inspiring new generations to become guardians of the wetlands.