Mary Kiely, Ph.D.
Vice Chair for Education
“Immersive experiences studying the natural environment in our national parks ignites a profound sense of place, while engaging students in the practices of science and the personal rewards of preserving wild places.”
Mary Kiely serves on the executive committee and as board Vice Chair for Education. She formed the Education Advisory Council in 2008 as an expert group of PhD level scientists and researchers in the fields of environmental science, program evaluation, and environmental education. Foundation support for program evaluation, in partnership with Stanford University’s Woods Institute on the Environment, has transformed NatureBridge into a laboratory for the study of best practices and the development of assessment tools for the field of environmental education.
Mary is an avid outdoors person. While an undergraduate at Stanford University she embraced rock climbing, ski mountaineering, and snow camping, which brought her to Yosemite Valley and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She attended graduate school at the University of Washington where she climbed frequently in the Olympic Mountains and Cascade Range. As a research biologist, she studied at Friday Harbor Labs and at Stanford University's marine biology field station in Pacific Grove.
After completing her PhD, Mary spent two years as a science policy fellow at Harvard University, followed by six years as a program officer at Carnegie Corporation of New York.  Returning to California and Stanford University as a senior academic and research program officer, Mary led several multi-year science and technology projects, innovative programs, and a university initiative, including the NSF-funded middle grades life science project with the Program in Human Biology, the Wallenberg Global Learning Network, a joint partnership between Stanford and universities in Sweden, and the Initiative to Improve K-12 Education, part of The Stanford Challenge.
Mary lives in Portola Valley with her husband. They have three children, all NatureBridge alumni.

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