NXTerra: Promoting transformative education for climate justice and action. Learn about NXTerra, a UC-CSU project by scholar activists to support the promotion of transformative education by visiting the Teaching page.
Just published: "And it made me feel good inside": Initial evidence and future methods for evaluating nature school effectiveness. Children, Youth and Environments Journal.
Just published: A review of photovoice applications in environment, sustainability, and conservation contexts: is the method maintaining its emancipatory intents? Environmental Education Research.
See some highlights from our monthly environmental education field trips with 4th graders to Carneros Creek.
Read our policy recommendations for farmworkers and climate justice in the Pájaro Valley and view the first fact sheet about research in the valley on the Engagement Lab pages, on our partner Regeneracion: Pajaro Valley Climate Action's website, or in this Voices of Monterey Bay article.
Recipient of the 2019 Environmental Design Research Association's Achievement Award: "A richly illustrated, essential guide to engaging children and youth in the planning and design of inclusive, sustainable cities" from New Village Press. Placemaking with Children and Youth
I am an Assistant 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
Teresa, one of the participants in my dissertation research in New Mexico, standing in front of "her" park, a place of family murals and memories that helped sustain her through hard times. She signifies for me the importance of sense of place as a starting point for understanding people's relationship to the environment.