Philosophy aims to better understand ourselves and our world at its most fundamental.
As a philosopher, I deal in arguments—deconstructing arguments, reasons, and justifications for human action, then aiming to rebuild better tools of understanding out of the rubble. I work primarily in environmental ethics, investigating moral obligations and nature conservation.
My journey to academic philosophy started somewhat by accident. I was an undergraduate earth sciences student at Dartmouth College and decided to take a philosophy of science class. I was immediately hooked and began choosing philosophy courses as all of my electives. Senior year, I realized I had accidentally pick-up a second major in philosophy. I love asking hard questions that do not have clear answers.
Seeking to combine my interest in natural science with philosophical investigation, I headed to the environmental studies program at the University of Colorado, Boulder. At some point along the way, I also fell in love with Alaska, working summers as a naturalist in Denali National Park and exploring the mountains. Skiing, climbing, and wondering in the wilderness gave me a laboratory for thinking. I used experiences with nature to inform philosophical work on projects in the ethics of ecological restoration, conservation ethics and policy, climate change, and the philosophy of science.
As a master’s student, then Ph.D. student, then Lecturer in Boulder, I also found the joy of teaching. I see my place in the Liberal Studies program at APU as a way to foster inquiry and passion that offers a foundation for a diverse set of interests and problem solving pursuits.
I am thrilled to be apart of the community at APU – finding a way to pursue a passion for teaching and a love for Alaska.
Today I teach courses at APU in ethics, critical thinking, the philosophy of science and technology, and environmental policy.
I am also currently the secretary of the International Society of Environmental Ethics (ISEE – www.enviroethics.org) and collaborate with an environmental theory research group called the Committee on Environmental Thought (ComET – www.EnvironmentalThought.com).
- A.B. Philosophy and Environmental Earth Science, Dartmouth College
- M.S. Environmental Studies, University of Colorado, Boulder
- Ph.D. Environmental Theory and Values (emphasis in Environmental Philosophy), University of Colorado, Boulder