I am an Associate Professor at California State University Monterey Bay, where I focus on environmental education and healthy and sustainable communities, primarily through The Engagement Lab. For more than 20 years, I have engaged children, youth and communities in participatory research in both rural and urban settings with diverse populations, including tribal communities of the Southwest, Spanish land grant communities, and recent immigrants. From 2012-2016, I was the faculty coordinator for Growing Up Boulder at the University of Colorado, where I facilitated children and youth participation in design and planning of child-friendly cities, including parks, open space, transportation, resiliency, and neighborhood projects. Prior to that I ran Crane Collaborations, which focused on youth engagement, environmental education, and community forestry in New Mexican communities. My recent research has focused on children, nature, and resilience in the U.S. and Mexico, and I am currently co-editing a book on transnational Latin American experiences with the environment.
I have also been a professional textile artist, and will travel anywhere there are beautiful textiles, nature and culture intertwined. You can contact me at vderr at csumb.edu
Our Placemaking book was featured in three recent blogs for the American Society of Landscape Architects, Professional Practice network:
Part I: More than Climate Strikes, Giving Young People Roles in Community Greening
Part II: The Benefits of Including Children in Participatory Placemaking
Part III: Getting Started with Participatory Placemaking