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Sarah Mittlefehldt Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Ames 112
One Brennan Circle
Poultney, VT 05764-1199
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Sometimes our passions require us to break away from the mainstream. For me, that meant paddling over 1,650 miles across the Great Lakes and hiking 2,175 miles along the Appalachian Trail to learn how communities have worked together—through both conflict and cooperation—to protect their local environments. I teach courses in environmental policy, environmental justice, and natural resource management—fields that offer rich opportunities for hands-on projects and service learning experiences. I am delighted to teach at an institution like Green Mountain College that values strong student-teacher relationships and meaningful engagement in the world. In my spare time, I enjoy most all forms of physical activity in outdoors and playing in a bluegrass band.

Research Interests
Environmental History, Policy, & Politics; Environmental Justice; Human Dimensions of Forest Management

Teaching Experience
Undergraduate courses: Images of Nature; Public Policy & the Environment; Environmental Justice; Introduction to Natural Resource Management; Introduction to Environmental Studies; Forest Policy & Management; Natural Resource Management Field Experience; Senior Thesis Supervision; Independent Studies

Masters courses: Environmental Law & Policy; Environmental Leadership and Community Involvement; Masters Thesis and Practicum Supervision

Sarah Mittlefehldt, Tangled Roots: The Appalachian Trail and the History of Environmental Politics in the U.S., University of Washington Press, manuscript under review, expected 2012.

Tina A. Grotzer & Sarah Mittlefehldt, (2011), “Students’ Metacognitive Behavior and Ability to Transfer Causal Concepts,” in Anat Zohar & Judy Dori, eds., Metacognition and Science Education (Cambridge, MA: Springer).

Sarah Mittlefehldt, (2010), “The People’s Path: Conflict and Cooperation in the Acquisition of the Appalachian Trail,” Environmental History 15(4): 643-669.

Sarah Mittlefehldt, (2008), “Toxic Waste and Environmental Justice in Warren County, North Carolina,” in Charles V. Willie, Steven P. Rindini, and David A. Willard, eds., Grassroots Social Action: Lessons in People Power Movements (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.).

Sarah Mittlefehldt, (2008), “Discovering Nature in the Neighborhood: Raymond Zillmer and the Origins of the Ice Age Trail,” in Eric Sherman and Andrew Hanson III, eds., Along Wisconsin's Ice Age Trail, (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press).

Sarah Mittlefehldt, (2007), “The Origins of Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail: Ray Zillmer’s Path to Protect the Past,” Wisconsin Magazine of History 90(3, Spring): 2-14

The Understandings of Consequence Project. (2003). Causal Patterns in Air Pressure Phenomenon: Lessons to infuse into Pressure Units to Enable Deeper Understanding, President and Fellows of Harvard College, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA, (Contributor).

The Understandings of Consequence Project. (2002). Causal patterns in Ecosystems: Lessons to infuse into Ecosystems Units to Enable Deeper Understanding, President and Fellows of Harvard College, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA, (Contributor).

William Mittlefehldt and Sarah Mittlefehldt, (2001), “Paddle to the Sea: Minnesota Team Gathers Stories of Stewardship,” FACETS of Freshwater, Freshwater Society 27(1): 1, 4.

Selected Presentations/Facilitated Workshops
“Developing Social Mechanisms to Promote Community-Scale Biomass Energy Projects,” Annual Meeting of the Society of American Foresters, 2011

“The Appalachian Trail & the Tangled Roots of U.S. Environmental Policy,” Middlebury College Woodin Environmental Colloquium, 2011, Invited Speaker

“The Appalachian Trail: Blazing the ‘People's Path,’" Green Mountain Club, James P. Taylor Speaker Series, 2010, Invited Speaker

“The Appalachian Trail and American Environmental Thought: Blazing Connections between Rural Needs and Urban Desires,” Annual Meeting of the Agricultural History Society, 2010

“Creating the People’s Path: Conflict & Cooperation in the Acquisition of the Appalachian Trail,” Annual Meeting of the American Society for Environmental History, 2009

“Negotiating Nature, Power, & Authority in the Making of the Appalachian Trail,” Designing the Parks: The History of Park Planning and Design, Charlottesville, VA, 2008

“Wild and Working Lands: The Origins of Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail,” Annual Meeting of the American Society for Environmental History, 2007

“Understanding Woods & Water: An Environmental History of the Watershed Concept in the Lake Superior Basin,” Annual Meeting of the American Society for Environmental History/Forest History Society, 2006

“What the Learning Research Suggests about Achieving Deep Understanding of Causal Patterns in Ecology,” Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, 2005

“Using Causality to Deepen Students’ Understanding in Science,” Massachusetts Association for Science Teachers Convention, 2003

“Using Metacognition to Facilitate the Transfer of Causal Models in Learning Density and Pressure,” National Association for Research in Science Teaching, 2003

Community Outreach & Service-Learning Experiences
Poultney Woodshed Project, Green Mountain College, Collaborator, 2010-current

  • Worked with colleagues from the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest to write $74,000 grant to study and participate in the development of a community-scaled biomass project in Poultney, Vermont

  • Helped coordinate roundtables of interdisciplinary scholars and stakeholders to facilitate a local energy movement around sustainably harvested biomass

  • Used the project to teach students about forest policy & community-based conservation

Poultney Community Garden, Poultney, VT, Co-founder, Coordinator, 2009-current

  • Through a service-learning project with my Environmental Justice class, students and I worked with members of the Poultney community to establish a community garden

  • Used the garden to provide fresh produce to the Poultney food shelf and to teach a variety of topics, including agricultural policy, sustainable food systems, and food justice

Poultney Bluegrass Society, Poultney, VT, Co-President, 2009-current

  • Coordinated musical events in the central Vermont area

  • Played bluegrass music (upright bass, guitar, banjo, vocals) for community events

Potomac Appalachian Trail Conference, Charlottesville, VA, Naturalist Monitor, 2008

  • Collected data on remaining American chestnut trees along the Appalachian Trail for a study designed by the PATC and the American Chestnut Foundation

Ice Age Park and Trail Foundation, Madison, WI, Volunteer, 2005-2006

  • Performed routine trail maintenance, worked on ecological restoration projects, ran informational booths at community events, and participated in the Mobile Skills Crew Leader Training

Working Interdisciplinary Students for the Environment (WISE), Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, Graduate School of Education Representative, 2001-2002

  • Served as the representative from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education with this university-wide group to coordinate environmental events on campus

Cross Currents: A Pedagogical Paddle of the Great Lakes, Canoeist/Ethnographer, 2000

  • Canoed from Duluth, MN to New York, NY to gather stories and develop an on-line ethnography of community-based environmental initiatives throughout the Great Lakes basin

  • Used the experience to promote watershed stewardship by meeting with local and national media, including an interview on “The Regis Philbin Show”

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