Extension 4-H Specialist
(updated April 2014)
Melanie Biersmith serves as the Extension 4-H Specialist for Environmental Education and has since 2008. In this role, she coordinates the Georgia 4-H Environmental Education programs with each of the five 4-H Centers across the state: Wahsega 4-H Center in Dahlonega, Fortson 4-H Center in Hampton, Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island, and Jekyll Island 4-H Center on Jekyll Island. Georgia 4-H’s Environmental Education program is one of the largest providers of residential field studies in the nation, and collectively serves over 44,000 students each year and has served over 1,000,000 students since its inception in 1979. Melanie supports the program in all aspects including curriculum development, hiring new staff, and marketing. She also works to develop and maintain relationships and partnerships with school systems, teachers, administrators, and other educational organizations.
In addition to EE, Melanie is also responsible for coordinating the 4-H Science initiative in Georgia. The 4-H Science movement seeks to develop the next generation of science leaders. As the Georgia liaison, Melanie disseminates information and resources, works with fellow staff members to offer trainings, and communicates Georgia’s successes back to National 4-H. Specific focus areas within the sciences include the expansion of water education programs and robotics.
Previously, from 2003-2008, Melanie served as the 4-H Center Director at the Jekyll Island 4-H Center where she managed all aspects of the daily operations of the center. This included the three program areas of the 4-H Center: 4-H summer camp, the environmental education program, and Tidelands Nature Center. Her responsibilities included hiring and training new staff, database and personnel management, curriculum development, developing and maintaining relationships with visiting groups, and providing high quality programs.
Melanie’s degrees, a B.S. in biology from Georgia College and a M.A. in science education from the University of Georgia, have both contributed to work with Georgia 4-H. Additionally, she worked with UGA’s Marine Extension on Skidaway Island for three years and taught high school science in Georgia for two years. She stays in touch with the formal education community as her husband, Andy, is a high school science teacher in Morgan County. Together, they are raising two children.