For many of us, wilderness provides a “sanctuary of reorientation,” and I am grateful to share these wild and liminal spaces with my students through travel by foot, ski, and canoe.
It was Adventure Education’s holistic curriculum that first attracted me to wilderness-based education. In few majors can one simultaneously address physical health, intra/interpersonal authenticity, environmental awareness, existential purpose, and ethical formation.
Much of my own formation has come through extended time in the wilderness, literally years of my life spent sleeping beneath the stars. However, with degrees in the humanities and sciences, not all of my time has been spent outdoors. My research interests, adventures of a different sort, lie in the relationship of moral philosophy and theology to wilderness experience. These interests culminated in a PhD in Outdoor Education from the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland, where I examined character formation on wilderness expeditions from a virtue ethical perspective.
In order to share my research, I’ve published in journals and book chapters, and regularly present at national conferences. I serve on the research committee of the Wilderness Education Association, and am a peer-reviewer for several academic journals within our field.
These experiences and research interests have shaped my teaching philosophy. For I believe that a liberal arts education can help us come to think, feel, and live more virtuously. That is, I understand education to be a moral act. Due to my reverence for education, I commit myself whole-heartedly to facilitate my students’ development.
Our Adventure Education program facilitates this development through the use of wild landscape and outdoor pursuits. Extended field time offers students a chance to deepen their relationship to the land, and learn practices to preserve it.
My passion to integrate the intellectual life with the outdoor life has allowed me to develop a variety of skills. I have certifications, coursework, and experience in many specialties, including canoeing, nordic skiing, mountaineering, rock climbing, long-distance hiking, Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics, and wilderness medicine.
I feel fortunate to use these skills with students as we traverse the Green Mountains and lakes region of Vermont, and explore the deeper wilderness areas of the Adirondacks.
PhD University of Edinburgh
MDiv Asbury Theological Seminary