Faculty Team

With decades of accumulated experience, including designing programs from the ground up, the Urban Ecology Center Institute team will help you envision and realize the transformation your community needs. We start with a clear mission to connect people in cities to nature and each other, and extend the mission to your city and nature in your neighborhood.

Ken Leinbach

Executive Director

Ken is an inspirational speaker and consultant, and a nationally recognized science educator and leader. He has received the St. Mark A.M.E. Church’s Martin Luther King Jr. Award; Green Non-Profit Leader of the Year from the Milwaukee Business Journal; National Nature Educator of the Year Award from the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Jamestown, New York; Thomas Jefferson Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Natural Science Education for Virginia. He has had fun facilitating the grassroots effort to create and grow the Urban Ecology Center. He is the author of Urban Ecology. Ken holds a biology degree from Antioch College and a master’s degree in environmental education from Prescott College. He is a member of the Governor-appointed Wisconsin’s Coastal Management Council and is a founding member of the Academy for Systems Change, an international leadership program focused on global change.

Email me: institute@urbanecologycenter.org



Matt Flower

Environmental Educator

Matt has over 15 years of experience as an environmental educator. He earned a Nature-based Early Childhood Education Graduate Certificate from Antioch University of New England in 2017. During his graduate studies, Matt contributed innovative case studies for the pathbreaking book, The Sky Above and the Mud Below, (2020).

On behalf of the Urban Ecology Center, Matt developed the Preschool Environmental Education Program (PEEP) for childcare centers, learning centers, preschools, special needs classrooms, and inter-generational facilities.

Matt presents his award-winning work at state, national, and international conferences. Matt is an enthusiastic naturalist and documents the seasons through photo phenology.

Email me: institute@urbanecologycenter.org

Chris Young, Ph.D.

Project Manager of the Urban Ecology Center Institute
Professor of Biology at Alverno College

Chris has been teaching biology, natural history, evolution, climate change, and science education at Alverno College since 2000, partnering with UEC staff on numerous projects. He joined the UEC Institute team in 2018. Chris has written two books on the history of ecology and environmental science, and is co-editor of two volumes in the history of biology. He holds a doctorate in the history of science and technology from the University of Minnesota.

Email me: institute@urbanecologycenter.org



Come join us as we co-create a better world!


The Urban Ecology Center Institute is an effort to share the model developed in Milwaukee. With three distinct branches in Milwaukee, the UEC connects people in cities to nature and each other.