Northern California, United States
Heidi is interested in just about everything – so teaching in the Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University (www.sonoma.edu/hutchins) is perfect for her!
Though her academic training is largely in the earth sciences – she studied peat bogs and caves in the Southeastern United States, complete with pollen counting, charcoal analysis and sediment diagramming – she has always also been interested in, and taken coursework in, creative arts and writing.
Heidi is particularly interested in the intersections of art, science, creative writing, and mapping.
For example, her course "Inner Geographies" encourages students to examine their relationships to place, to their personal history formation factors, and to each other through creation of maps and use of science methods as metaphors for personal history development (see www.innergeographies.com).
A fan of comics for years, Heidi tries to incorporate graphic novels and sequential art into all of her courses. Additionally, all of her LIBS 320B courses, which are largely science-based, also include an artistic project as part of the course content. Heidi is also interested in how to encourage and nourish creativity in Hutchins and in the community and believes that everyone is, in their own unique ways, inherently creative.
Heidi also teaches courses that encourage future teachers to be enthusiastic about teaching science in their classrooms, building on her long history of scientific inquiry. Heidi has played an active role in promoting environmental education and science awareness in California. Her statewide involvement includes working closely with the State Directors of Project WILD (Wildlife in Learning Design), Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), and Project Learning Tree, to improve environmental literacy in California. She has been on the State Board of Directors for Project Learning Tree for over ten years, and has worked on strategic planning for them. She has also given several formal presentations about her successes in teaching Projects WET, WILD and Learning Tree to university educators in California and Nevada. Heidi is also a founding Board Member of the Sonoma County Environmental Discovery Center (EDC), and provides a regular flow of interns from Sonoma State University to the EDC.
Heidi also teaches World Regional Geography (GEOG 3) at the Petaluma Campus of Santa Rosa Junior College.