Strengthening Connection
with Self, Others, and the Natural World

Common Good Learning is all about working towards a "higher" education rooted in wisdom, honoring and celebrating life's diversity and interconnections, prioritizing what's at stake - economic, ecologic, and spiritual integrity. Contact us to inquire more about co-designing a program.

Educator and Advocate

I emerged from my formal education technically equipped to keep the wheels of corporate-industrial America humming. But despite the Bachelor's degree, Master's degree, and post-graduate "Professional" certificate, I remained pretty clueless about what it means to be an informed and involved member of society.

In all the frenzy of career making, Economics sadly remained some theoretical black hole around which I mostly played at the edges. Politics and Government was something delivered to me, like pizza - if I didn't like it, I couldn't really send it back, especially when someone else had called it in. History and Current Events seemed more like mere entertainment, some of it not even that interesting, most of it having nothing to do with me at all.

Totally missing in all my twenty-six years of schooling were courses in philosophy and ethics, conflict resolution, and environmental sustainability. Maybe this was all unique to my own experience, but I somehow doubt it when I see an ever-widening gap between the haves and have-nots (and an opioid epidemic to go along with it), global climate change, and spiritually wounded leaders with access to nuclear arms - all despite the plethora of various degrees among us!

Now I find it increasingly difficult to accept business as usual in education when I know so much is at stake. My response is to continue dropping seed while more specifically compiling Lessons Our Teachers Might Not Have Taught and orienting those interested in some Spirit Strengthening and Conditioning.

- Missy

Publications

Naturalist and Cultural Historian

I am both an environmental scientist and cultural anthropologist with experience in a variety of American and overseas settings.

I received my PhD in anthropology from the University of Georgia in 2008, with an emphasis on ecological and environmental anthropology. I have particular expertise in the interdisciplinary study of human-environmental relationships and the linkages of nature, culture and politics. I hold a master's degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from the University of Arizona, and a bachelor's degree in Natural Resources-Wildlife Science from Cornell University. I have years of experience in various conservation-oriented capacities, including eighteen years working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in training conservation professionals, land managers, and youth exploring environmental careers. I have another six years experience as a college instructor teaching undergraduate courses focused on environmental science, biology, and cultural anthropology.

At the end of the day, what I still most enjoy doing is spending time observing wildlife, be it by turning over rocks, peering in the water, or looking through binoculars. I welcome opportunities to engage others - of all ages - in doing the same, to learn more about the relationship of natural and cultural history, to join me in the development of more holistic perspectives on environmental restoration and conservation.

- Jim

Publications and Presentations

"Now more than ever, we need people who think broadly and who understand systems, connections, patterns, and root causes."
- David Orr, Education for Sustainability: An Agenda for Action