Curriculum for the Bioregion Steering Committee


Tom BroxsonTom Broxson

Professor of Geography/Environmental Science
Division Chair, Business and Social Science
Pierce College Puyallup

My connection to the bioregion is rooted in a youth spent climbing the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. It was a deep love and connection to the outdoors that drew me to a career as an educator in Geography and Environmental Science; I am currently serving as the Chair of Business and Social Science at Pierce College Puyallup. It is my hope that my actions as an administrator, teacher and citizen will help lead our bioregion to a more sustainable future.


Erica Cline ImageErica Cline

Assistant Professor Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences
Environmental Sciences Program
University of Washington- Tacoma

I teach a wide range of courses within ecology and biology. My research projects look at effects of biosolids on forests and sustainable coffee production. My work with the Bioregion Initiative and Sustainability Across the Curriculum has inspired me to find ways to connect my research and my teaching to issues with environmental relevance to the local community; for example, the Introductory Biology class project I developed as part of a Biology Faculty Learning Community enables students to detect market substitution of Atlantic salmon for wild Pacific salmon in their local stores and restaurants.

Kate Davies ImageKate Davies

Core Faculty, Center for Creative Change
Antioch University Seattle

My work is informed by a deep commitment to help build a more just, healthy and sustainable society. This commitment guides the graduate courses I teach in Sustainability, Methods for Social Change, Environmental Policy, Critical Inquiry, Systems Thinking and Experience of Place. It also shapes my research interests which include sustainability education, reflective and contemplative practices, place-based learning, social movements, collaborative learning and decision-making processes. 

Diane Douglas ImageDiane Douglas

Executive Director
Seattle’s CityClub

As Executive Director of Seattle's CityClub www.seattlecityclub.org , I work with a fabulous nonprofit Board and staff to provide informative programming, access to leaders, civic debate and inspiration to service for tens of thousands of Washingtonians. One of our major initiatives is revitalizing civics education across Washington, so I am especially interested in connecting Curriculum for the Bioregion's work with community organizations and opportunities for student civic engagement

Christie Flynn 

Dean of Libraries
Pierce College 

I moved from Texas to become a teaching librarian at Pierce College and have been here since 1998.  My educational background is in library and theatre, but I have a strong interest in Sustainability and Service Learning.  I coordinate the college’s service learning efforts by supervising an AmeriCorps program and working with community partners like the Pierce County Gleaning Project. 

Mike Gillespie ImageMichael Gillespie

Faculty (Retired), Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program
University of Washington- Bothell

Born and raised in Everett, I returned in 1998 to the Pacific Northwest after many years of teaching at the University of Nebraska, Omaha. I recently retired from the University of Washington Bothell where I taught philosophy-related courses in the Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program. My academic training is in philosophy, though my commitments and teaching have ranged over the humanities and arts generally. My current thinking focuses on assumptions that might be shaping how we consider our ecological situation in our bioregion.

Holly Hughes ImageHolly Hughes

Instructor, English
Co-Chair, Sustainability Council
Edmonds Community College

I teach English at Edmonds Community College and have served as co-chair of the Sustainability Council for the past five years. For the past two decades, I’ve been exploring environmental/sustainability issues in the classroom through learning communities, teaming up with colleagues in biology, environmental science, sociology, philosophy and mythology. More recently, I’ve been involved in local environmental restoration projects with my students and am interested in the role that ongoing reflection activities play, both in the classroom and in the field.

Peter Lortz ImagePeter Lortz

Vice President of Instruction
South Seattle College

In addition to my work at South Seattle College, I have taught as an adjunct instructor at several community colleges in Washington and Ohio. I obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Biology from DePauw University, and a Master's Degree in Zoology from Miami University of Ohio. I have been involved with the Curriculum for the Bioregion since its inception and am a strong advocate for bioregional education. I am a husband and a father of two girls, and enjoy spending "away time" fly-fishing.

Jean MacGregorJean MacGregor

Director, Curriculum for the Bioregion
Washington Center for Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Education
The Evergreen State College

Since 2005, I have directed the Curriculum for the Bioregion initiative. Also, I teach in Evergreen's Master of Environmental Studies Program.  With Barbara Leigh Smith, I co-created the Washington Center in 1985, supporting campuses in and beyond Washington State in launching curricular learning community initiatives. My research and teaching interests revolve around sustainability education, place-based teaching and learning, building faculty and student learning communities, and natural history.

Kim McNamara ImageKim H. McNamara

Dean, Student Development
Chair, Sustainability Advisory Council
Olympic College

Prior to becoming a college administrator, I was a faculty member in the business program at Olympic College. In 2008, I completed my Ph.D. in Leadership and Change at Antioch University where my dissertation focused on strategies for fostering sustainability in higher education. In my personal life, I live in the middle of 25 acres of woodlands with my husband and a herd of horses and study earth ministry in my spare time.

Lin Nelson ImageLin Nelson

Faculty, Sustainability and Justice
The Evergreen State College

After teaching at Ithaca College and Cornell University, I left higher education and through much of the ‘80s worked in community-based organizations in Upstate NY addressing environmental/occupational health. I came to Evergreen in 1991 and I am currently teaching on the Tacoma campus of Evergreen.

Kevin O'brien ImageKevin O'Brien

Assistant Professor, Christian Ethics
Pacific Lutheran University
Treasurer,Earth Ministry

My teaching and research focus on environmental ethics, the intersection of religion and the environment, and other global issues. I published the books An Ethics of Biodiversity (Georgetown) and Grounding Religion (Routledge) in 2010, and am now researching the ethics of free market environmentalism. I also serve on the board of Earth Ministry, a Seattle-based nonprofit linking religion and environment. 

Abby Rusky ImageAbby Ruskey

Former Executive Director, E3 Washington

I helped create and coordinated E3 Washington, a statewide initiative that integrates three systems – education, environment, and economy – and asks, “How can education help achieve a healthy, prosperous, and sustainable future for all?” Curriculum for the Bioregion is one E3's major higher education partners in this endeavor. I am also a past president of the North American Association for Environmental Education.

Dan Sherman ImageDan Sherman

Luce-funded Professor, Environmental Policy and Decision Making
Director, Sound Policy Institute
University of Puget Sound

My work on sustainability in higher education is reflected in two recent articles: "Sustainability: What's the Big Idea?" and "Uncovering Sustainability in the Curriculum." I have led several summer institutes on sustainability-across-the-curriculum for my colleagues at University of Puget Sound. I also conduct research on the politics of nuclear and hazardous waste disposal. My latest book is: Not Here, Not There, Not Anywhere: Politics, Social Movements and the Disposal of Low-level Radioactive Waste.

Jen Sorensen ImageJen Sorensen

Faculty, Chemistry
Director, General Science Program
Seattle University

Since my first year of teaching, I have incorporated sustainability projects into my chemistry courses. My students have investigated the science and economics of campus consumables such as fluorescent light bulbs and compostable food ware. My students have used their knowledge to write reports to the university administration recommending sustainable product choices. I was also a founding member of Seattle University's Environmental Advisory Council and served as its co-chair for three years.

Claus SvendsenClaus R. Svendsen

Department Chair, Environmental Conservation
Skagit Valley College

I am passionate about educating students about the need for creating a sustainable society and developing a bioregional view of the Salish Sea watershed. I have worked at Skagit Valley College for 20 years where I created the Environmental Conservation Program and now serve as its chair. I received my Cand. scient. (M.S.) from Copenhagen University, Denmark and my Ph.D. from University of Washington, Seattle in wildlife ecology and conservation biology.

Matt Teorey ImageMatt Teorey

Professor, English
Peninsula College
Instructor, Huxley College of the Environment
Western Washington University

I have a place-based and sustainability focus for several of my writing and literature courses. My research has included scholarly essays on nature writers, ecological discourse, and ecofeminism.

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