I am learning scientist with interests in urban environmental education and learning ecosystems. My approach to research weaves together learning sciences, naturalist practices, community-based stewardship and ecological design. My teaching practice also draws on these disciplines and is structured to strengthen student motivation through a focus on learner interest. My research and teaching are both guided by my commitment to supporting just and equitable learning experiences within thriving multispecies urban communities.
I have an interdisciplinary academic and professional background. I received my Master of Science in Botany from the Field Naturalist Program at the University of Vermont and my PhD in Learning Sciences from School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh.
Prior to my work in academia, I worked as a public-school math & science teacher in my hometown of NYC and as an environmental non-profit leader in Pittsburgh, PA. As the Director of Education for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, I led the organization in successfully expanding and diversifying participation in parks-based science education in partnership with local K-12 educators. While in Pittsburgh, I also spearheaded two major urban environmental projects – advocating for the Nine Mile Run aquatic ecosystem restoration, one of the largest urban stream restorations in the U.S. and managing the design and construction of the Frick Environmental Center, a public education and welcome center that is net-zero water and energy and is LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge certified
I use design-based research to explore questions of how experiences across home, school, and informal spaces (e.g., parks, museums) support environmental interest and identity development throughout the lifespan. I am particularly interested in the role of human-more-than-human relations in these processes. Projects are typically developed collaboratively with youth, educators, and community partners through research-practice partnerships.
My interest areas include:
- Urban environmental education
- Informal and out-of-school learning
- Science & environmental identity development
- Relational processes between human and more-than-human beings
- Greenspace stewardship
- Learning ecosystem theory and design
Prospective graduate students: I am looking for motivated students who are interested in questions related to urban environmental education and are excited about working collaboratively with educators and youth. If this sounds like you, feel free to email me with the following:
1. Brief statement of purpose (~1 page) outlining what kinds of research experience(s) you have had and questions you’d like to pursue. Specifically, I’d like to hear more about what research means to you and what is one specific potential environmental education question that you might like to research. I’m not looking for you to tell me details of your idea for a thesis or dissertation. Rather, I want to get a better sense of what specifically you are curious about.
2. Transcript (unofficial is fine)
3. Your resume or CV
See my Google Scholar page
Links to associated lab or research web sites:
Learning Ecologies Lab: https://u.osu.edu/learningecologies/
Environmental and Social Sustainability Lab: https://ess.osu.edu/
ENR 3612 – Introduction to Environmental Education & Communications
ENR 4611 – Environmental Interpretation & Visitor Services
ENR 5194 – Environmental Education in Action