Prescott College Affiliation : Alumni
Program : Limited-Residency Master of Arts Program
Area of Study : Environmental Education
Graduation Year : 1997
B.S. Biological Sciences, Colorado State University, 1989
Ph.D. Environmental Studies, Antioch University New England, 2009
My master’s degree project at Prescott College titled “Educating for a Sense of Place: The Power of Place-Based Environmental Education” with an appendix titled “Walking Mountains Learning Center” was a launching point for the nonprofit organization I founded in 1998: Walking Mountains Science Center (formerly Gore Range Natural Science School) in Colorado. Our mission at Walking Mountains is “to awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education.”
Over the years I have worked to establish a continuing relationship with Prescott College. Walking Mountains Science Center has a graduate fellowship in environmental education where students earn 15 credits toward their MAP degree. I was also fortunate to be involved in the early development of Prescott’s Ph.D. Program in Sustainability Education as the interim program coordinator.
My passion to further understand the human-nature relationship led me to study the human dimensions of climate change for my Ph.D. in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England. This interdisciplinary research involved environmental phenomenology and investigating the lived-experiences of 20 climate change ecologists who conduct place-based ecological research in mountains of the American West.
In Colorado, I helped develop the curriculum for the Bachelor of Arts Program in Sustainability Studies at Colorado Mountain College where I teach: Systems Thinking for Sustainability; Leadership, Ethics & Social Responsibility; Fostering Sustainable Behaviors (Conservation Psychology); and Social Entrepreneurship. I served as the first Colorado Program Director for the National Forest Foundation where I was involved in coordinating the collaborative ecological restoration of the Upper South Platte Watershed which provides water for Denver and other cities along the Front Range of Colorado. And in 2012 I was awarded a fellowship with the Center for Collaborative Conservation at Colorado State University to pursue research in conservation leadership.
My experience at Prescott College gave me the scholarly and theoretical background I needed as an environmental educator, but it also gave me the confidence and vision to create positive change and face my fears of the unknown. Maybe even more importantly, I continue to draw upon the Prescott College student-centered learning philosophy to empower many other young people—undergraduates, interns, and graduate students--to pursue their own passions and visions for creating positive change through environmental education, stewardship and sustainability.
"Make the most of every opportunity at Prescott College—learn deeply, connect with people who inspire you, test the waters of your ideas, and explore nature. Hone your values and sense of purpose, create a clear vision, and go there."
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