Blue flag with picture of planet earth in the center.

Nine Stories About Environmental Studies for Earth Month

This month marks 54 years since the first Earth Day, but the message that we must value and protect our planet has never been more important. Here at Antioch University, one of the ways we are contributing to the broader Earth Month is by collecting nine of the most powerful and inspiring stories we shared this last year about the Antiochians working to address important environmental problems around the globe. We hope that in these stories, you will find much to educate and inspire you as together we work towards a healthier and more sustainable planet.

Climate Change Is Changing Everything. Meet the Alums Working on Adaptations

Shameika Hanson

This summer, we caught up with four Antioch graduates who have shaped their careers around creating the new systems we need. Their jobs are each different, and they are geographically dispersed, too, working on the East Coast, the West Coast, and in the Caribbean. Their work embodies the multivalent approach necessary to build a resilient future. From relocating people living in flood plains to funding climate projects in the Caribbean and from electrifying fleets of buses to rethinking the ways we define and measure the carbon emissions of an entire state, they each are facing the changes we’ll need to make as a society. And they’re providing a model for getting started in actually doing the work of adapting to a changing climate… 

Nature Is Not One Thing, Nor Binary

Drawing of a whale on a beach

Owen George sees their identity as central to their intellectual life and work in the world. It has led them to shift from studying marine conservation toward environmental justice, and it’s played a big role in their decision to pursue graduate education. And it’s a big part of why they chose to enroll in Antioch’s MS in Environmental Studies, where they are finding a supportive environment for their work bringing queer theory into the field of environmental studies…

Co-Designing With Marginalized Communities Requires Curiosity, Being Quiet, and Sharing Power

Children feeding a giraffe while leaning over a railing at the zoo.

It’s only too common that organizations and governments bring funds and programs to communities that have been marginalized, only to end up finding that what they create is not even used by the people it’s designed for. The concept of co-design strives to change this pattern, opening new and more socially just ways of interacting with each other and sharing power. In this episode we talk with conservation psychology expert Kayla Cranston about the question: can working together make us both more effective and also make our actions more just and inclusive?

Quilting a Community of Hope and Justice

Claudia J. Ford ’86, ’15 (Antioch College, MBA in Health Administration and Antioch New England, PhD in Environmental Studies)

As a self-described lifelong learner, Claudia Ford first obtained her undergraduate degree in Biology from Columbia University. After a few years and bringing two kids into the world, she attended Antioch University for an MBA in Health Administration. It was then that her overseas travels began. For the nearly thirty years that followed, she traveled the world: Latin America, the Caribbean, South Asia, and Africa. Specific countries included Belize, Bangladesh, Thailand, Cambodia, South Africa, Zambia, Angola, and Mozambique. Her work brought her to remote villages as well as major cities. She trained clinical care workers—she is, among other things, a midwife—and she also taught local people how to set up health systems….

Alum and Faculty Publish Paper on the Nesting Ecology of Spotted Turtles

Two research faculty in the Environmental Studies Department published the paper “Nesting Ecology of Spotted Turtles (Clemmys Guttata) at an Anthropogenic Site in Massachusetts, USA” in Herpetological Conservation and Biology. Their results provide Spotted Turtle nesting data for Massachusetts that can inform Population Viability Analysis and provide a timeline for when to avoid actively managing nest sites in the state…

A Filmmaker Who Uses Story to Shape the World

A header image showing Chris Hardee.

Through his work in many mediums, from early slide-projector storytelling to radio journalism and from museum exhibits to documentary feature films, Chris Hardee’s decades of creative work all center on the ways that story shapes the world. And his work continues to circle around the topic that he studied at Antioch and that has fuelled his interest ever since: the natural world, its relationship with humans, and the perils it faces…

Opening a World of Opportunities Through Sustainability

Common Thread- Francis Tuokuu

Climate change is at emergency status, with global temperatures and extreme weather surging. Facing this, sustainability efforts are more important than ever, both in government and also in large organizations with vast power and impact. For Francis Xavier Tuokuu, a graduate of Antioch’s PhD in Environmental Studies, this urgent problem requires taking responsibility. He does that through his role as Senior Advisor for Environmental Sustainability and Safeguarding at Mercy Corps, the global humanitarian crisis aid agency that operates in over 40 countries…

Working to Save the Rainforest with Amazon River Communities

Megan McDaniel working with 3 Amazon River Community Members

Megan McDaniel first traveled to the Peruvian Amazon in 2014. At the time, she was a high school science teacher, and she went for a ten-day professional development program. Placed in service to local schools and communities, she and the others on the trip painted kindergarten and school kitchen buildings and refinished the school’s desks and chairs. Now, several years, several trips to Peru, and an MS in Environmental Studies later, she’s the Executive Director of the nonprofit conservation organization Conservación de la Naturaleza Amazónica del Perú… 

Innovative School-Wide Wildlife Camera Challenge

The devoted wildlife enthusiast and Environmental Studies Department Faculty Emeritus Jimmy Karlan has spent the past seven years documenting the “secret lives” of wildlife around his Guilford, VT home using eight strategically placed trail cameras. Eager to share this enthusiasm with Guilford Central School students, Karlan launched the GCS Wildlife Camera Challenge, generously donating two high-tech cameras to be shared among all the grades. The two classes that submitted the most compelling applications were awarded the first opportunity to set up and operate the cameras…