B.A. Saint Michael’s College
M.S. University of Montana
Areas of Expertise:
Environmental Writing, Ecological Restoration, Wilderness Ethics, Environmental Justice
Courses I Teach:
- Environment and Society
- Nature and Culture
- Environmental Research Methods
- American Wilderness
- Environmental Justice
My Saint Michael’s:
Environmental Studies can be hard work at times –– there’s no shortage of bad news in the fields of wildlife conservation, agriculture, climate change, environmental injustice, water quality, etc., and it can seem like humans cause intractable problems wherever we go. But, as an ecological restorationist and environmental educator for many years, I’ve also seen first-hand that people can discover productive, positive roles in their towns, cities, and watersheds. I believe that with the right mix of scholarship, creativity, and passion, this generation of students I’m working with now can be one of the first to not only halt environmental and social problems, but also generate new and exciting ways to tackle these issues with grit, humor, community, and an authentic commitment to service.
Laura Stroup and Trevien Stanger of the Saint Michael’s Environmental Studies/Science programs learned in late January that they will be awarded money for the College’s Natural Area for supplies and conducting student projects. Pat Phillips, the Green Mountain Audubon Board member they have been working with (on biology Professor Declan McCabe’s recommendation) gave the good news. Reports Laura, “The money will be routed through the Environmental Studies/Science (ESS) Department, and will flow through both the ES 357 Environmental Restoration course (student proposed projects on the site) as well as volunteer and summer work with students to implement these projects as well as other initiatives on the site.” Recently the College reached a milestone easement agreement with the federal Department of Agriculture to preserve wetlands in the Natural Area in perpetuity, as ever more classes and community members make use of the beautiful tract.
(posted February 2021)
Trevien Stanger of the Environmental Studies and Sciences faculty recently authored a piece titled “What Happens When You Plant a Tree?,” appearing on a website of The Center for Action and Contemplation, founded on the ideas of Fr. Richard Rohr, an internationally prominent Franciscan friar, with the mission to “Open the door for a critical mass of spiritual seekers to experience the transformative wisdom of the Christian contemplative tradition and nurture its emergence in service to the healing of our world.” The introduction to Trevien’s piece on the website states: “While we may continue to practice physical distancing from other humans, most of us can still safely spend time in nature. The Journal of Health Psychology confirms what Franciscans and mystics have long known: interacting with nature is a great stress reliever. Just thirty minutes of gardening lowers the cortisol released during stress-induced fight-or-flight responses. Today’s practice, written by poet, writer, and educator Trevien Stanger for the book Order of the Sacred Earth, invites us to make a very specific contemplative contribution by planting trees.” Trevien also had a piece about tree-planting published in this year’s Onion River Review, the student literary and arts journal at Saint Michael’s.
(posted June 2020)
Trevien Stanger of the Saint Michael’s Environmental Studies and Sciences faculty just completed his one year “Vermont Master Naturalist” training in Richmond, Vermont. According to a website for this training, “Vermont Master Naturalist” trains close-knit teams of naturalists in local natural history across the earth, life and social sciences who: Learn to interpret the landscapes of local natural areas from geology to plants and animals to land-use history and beyond; Partner with local organizations and town officials to design and implement volunteer projects in conservation education and stewardship’ Receive Vermont Master Naturalist certification and continue to serve as a citizen advisory group to local natural resource issues.” Trevien said he is “sure that this knowledge and set of teaching skills will be appreciated by my Environmental Studies students as they explore the Saint Michael’s Natural Area and continue doing ecological restoration work down there.”
(posted June 2019)