Lauren Maples is a second grade teacher at Cunningham Elementary School in Austin, Texas. She has been a classroom teacher for 11 years and has also worked as an educator for other organizations. In 2014 she won the John F. Ahrns Award for Environmental Education from the Children in Nature Network Collaborative of Austin. Lauren is the founder and co-manager of PEAS (Partners for Education, Agriculture, and Sustainability) where she has been growing the community farm on the Cunningham Elementary campus since 2011. Her passion for plants and nature inspired her to apply for the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program. She has been awarded the Fulbright grant and is spending February-May of 2015 studying the best practices that are being used in New Zealand for place-based outdoor education.