Isa Del Bello, the director of education at Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, may have grown up in the desert, but she loves working on the water.
The Sante Fe, NM native taught elementary school in Albuquerque for three years, but she moved to New York in 2010 to pursue a graduate degree in developmental psych with the intent to do academic research, instead of teaching. While in grad school at the Teachers College of Columbia, she worked as a per diem teacher at Brooklyn Bridge Park and as an educator with Solar One’s Green Design Lab. That’s when she realized teaching city kids about nature was what she really wanted to do.
Whether lecturing about the history of East River oysters during a Wednesday night tour, wading out into the river with groups of volunteers to catch fish with a 20-foot seine net, or showing a class of elementary school kids what critters lie beneath the surface of the East River, Del Bello is passionate about educating kids and adults alike about the Brooklyn waterfront.
“A lot of city people look at the water and they don’t think there’s anything living in it, when in fact it’s a thriving ecosystem that is becoming stronger and stronger as time passes,” she says. The 33-year-old, who lives in Clinton Hill, joined Brooklyn Bridge Park full-time in 2013.
Isa Del Bello is today’s focus of Brooklyn Wild, our series where we talk to Brooklynites who have found a way to make their living by working in nature.
We spoke with Del Bello about jonesing for the ocean while living in the desert, her love of fishing and boating, and which upcoming Brooklyn Bridge Park events we should put on our calendars. (more…)