Environmental Education Leadership Stories

Becky Cushing, Mass Audubon’s Berkshire Sanctuaries director, is soaring. She is supervising six properties, hosting bird walks and organizing concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She says of her new home, "I feel like the Berkshires has all these hidden places to explore that make you feel like the first person to have found them."Read more >
A recent feature in Harper's Magazine tells the story of 2010 Fellow Stephen Blackmer, priest at Church of the Woods -- a place of spiritual practice and transformation for people who encounter the divine in nature.Read more >
In the latest installment of their Working Shift series, WBEZ in Chicago talked with the sustainability manager of Chicago’s Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Fellow Kristen Pratt, about the work she does both inside the museum and in Chicago neighborhoods to promote the principles of sustainability.Read more >
Last July, 1988 Fellow Alicia Daniel became Burlington’s first-ever field naturalist — a position that may be unique in the nation. By Daniel’s definition, a field naturalist is “someone who is in love with the study of the natural world.” This much is evident to anyone who has ever accompanied her on a field walk.Read more >
If outdoor learning were a religion, Erika Zavaleta would be among its foremost acolytes. An online ecology course, she realized, could attract students who would never consider taking a class requiring live field trips. By bringing field biology to a broader range of people, Zavaleta hopes the course will help broaden racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity in ecology and environmental studies. “I’m interested in making more ways for people to have an entry point to get interested in conservation, an internship at a reserve, or taking a class with a field component.”Read more >
Climate change adaptation “isn’t something government is going to be able to solve alone,” says Amber Pairis. “We need to engage people in this conversation in a meaningful way. The rubber really meets the road on the ground in your community,” she adds. “And that is where change will happen”.Read more >
When 2014 Fellow Karen Andradea arrived at UC Berkeley in 2009, she was surprised to discover how challenging it was for outside organizations to partner with students and faculty on research projects. So she set out to create the UC Berkeley Science Shop, a publicly accessible entity that connects small nonprofits, local government agencies, small businesses, and other civic organizations with undergraduate and graduate student researchers.Read more >
The realization that individual action has little to no impact on major environmental problems — to say nothing of the existential threat of climate change — can prompt despair, 1995 Fellow Paul Steinberg, a professor of political science and environmental policy at Harvey Mudd College, says. But it doesn’t have to. We could try, instead, consulting social scientists, who have spent a lot of time thinking about just this problem: How can a single individual can act in a way that effects large-scale change?Read more >
When you look at your yard, you probably see some grass, a few flowers, maybe a bird or two. Susannah Lerman, 2010 Fellow and 2011 Leadership Grant recipient, sees a huge opportunity for wildlife habitat with little or no investment. Lerman began her career wanting to work with species in remote...Read more >
To help bridge the gap between research and practice, NatureBridge partners with Dr. Nicole Ardoin at Stanford University and her team of researchers to create semiannual Environmental Education Research Bulletins. Their goal is to synthesize and summarize research recently reported in the peer-...Read more >

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