Dr. Steve Rich is the author of the popular NSTA Press book, Outdoor Science: A Practical Guide, and the follow-up, Bringing Outdoor Science In: Thrifty Classroom Lessons. He is a National Board Certified Teacher and a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching. After 15 years as a classroom teacher Steve has served as Georgia's K-8 Science Specialist at the Department of Education, and most recently as coordinator of the West Georgia Youth Science & Technology Center at the University of West Georgia.
In early 2013 Steve was invited to meet with former First Lady Rosalynn Carter to assist in the design of a butterfly garden at her home in Plains, GA. After a meeting with President and Mrs. Carter, Steve has worked with the Department of Education to help the Park Service and City of Plains establish several gardens as part of the Rosalynn Carter Butterfly Trail. Mrs. Carter officially launched this project in April, 2013 with an announcement in downtown Plains. Steve recounts his experiences with this project in the 2014 NSTA Kids book, Mrs. Carter's Butterfly Garden.
Born and raised in Savannah, GA, Steve's Mom tells the story of finding frogs, snakes, lizards, and turtles among the clothes in his chest of drawers when he was just a young boy. Steve's parents nurtured his thirst for learning about nature by taking the family camping and boating. Trips to Georgia's barrier islands helped Steve understand fragile ecosystems, and what it would take to help others learn to take care of the environment. The best selling book, Outdoor Science: A Practical Guide is rooted in these early experiences.
His first book The Migration of Monty Stevens is based on his study of the Monarch butterfly in Mexico. It was published as part of the University of Alabama Integrated Science book, Cycles. Published indepently, this book is the center of Steve's school presentations, "The Butterfly Man."
During his years as a classroom teacher, Steve became heavily involved as a presenter at conferences held by the Georgia Science Teachers Association, honing his skills as a speaker. Later he served as President of the Association, chaired the state conference, and edited the professional journal, The Georgia Science Teacher. Steve is currently the professional development director on Board of the National Science Teachers Association and was previously District V Director (2004-2007). He won two NSTA Teaching Awards for his outdoor classrooms and an article on his first outdoor classroom was in the NSTA middle school journal, Science Scope in 2000. He has also served as president of SEPA, the Society of Elementary Presidential Awardees.
Steve has been a published author for more than 12 years, most recently writing for NSTA Press. As a result, he has been in demand to give keynote speeches at school systems, conferences, banquets,universities, and local schools all over Georgia, as well as in Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri and Texas. Steve loves to meet teachers, and will be conducting presentations on his books at NSTA's sciencel conferences in 2015. NSTA's National Conference on Science Education in Chicago, March 12-15, 2015, launched the national sales of Steve's new NSTA Kids books, Mrs. Carter's Butterfly Garden and My Schoolyard Garden.