Ryan began his position as the Education for Sustainability Partnerships Coordinator and Educator at the 2014 Education for Sustainability Summer Institute. Ryan is lucky to have been a student and teacher in innovative learning environments from high school through graduate school. Starting out in a performing arts charter school, he later participated in an experiential and place-based semester program exploring New York City. His connection to service-learning runs deep, as after high school he spent three years serving with and working for AmeriCorps NCCC. He developed a passion for environmental and social justices issues while working on service projects as a corps member and team leader around the country.
An oft-proclaimed jack-of-many-trades, Ryan received his B.S. in Biology and Environmental studies from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, where he apprenticed in carpentry and in small-scale sustainable forestry as a logger and sawmill operator. Afterwards, he received his teaching license in 7-12 general science through a fellowship at Eagle Rock School& Professional Development Center in Estes Park, CO. That experience eventually led him his most recent position at the Big Picture program at South Burlington High School, an innovative school-within-a-school where students design their own learning plans and learn through internships in the community.
Throughout his educational journey, Ryan interspersed myriad agricultural and outdoor adventures, including raising pigs and cows in Tuscany, mountaineering in Chile, working as a backcountry caretaker with the Green Mountain Club, and leading a Vermont Youth Conservation Corps high school crew. Just before starting with the Big Picture program, Ryan received his M.S. through the Field Naturalist & Ecological Planning Program at UVM, where he created a place-based education initiative in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico modeled after the UVM-Shelburne Farms PLACEProgram. If he isn’t out hiking, gardening, or looking up plants and animals in field guides, look for him on his mountain bike, road bike, or planning his next workshop with the professional development team!