2015 Teaching the Environment Faculty
Chris Bowser is the Science Education Specialist for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) Hudson River Estuary Program and National Estuarine Research Reserve, in partnership with the Water Resource Institute of Cornell University. Chris’s current work with the NYSDEC focuses on environmental education and citizen science in the Hudson River Valley. He helps coordinate an annual estuary-wide monitoring day involving 2500 students at 60 shoreline sites, and leads teacher training workshops on incorporating Hudson River topics into existing curriculum. He also designs education programs for the Norrie Point Environmental Center, and implements a citizen-science project to monitor juvenile American eel migrations in several Hudson River tributaries. He earned a Masters degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Clark University, and a Bachelors degree in Biology from Rutgers University.
Sarah Curtis teaches 2nd Grade at St. Ann’s School in Brooklyn, NY. She attended the Sarah Lawrence Early Childhood Center as a preschool student and returned to Sarah Lawrence as a graduate student in Child Development. Her MA thesis concerned children’s questions within a Kindergarten classroom. Children’s questions, art, and literature (particularly poetry) lie at the heart of her interests and teaching practice. She has explored Emily Dickinson’s poetry at the New York Botanical Gardens with a class of 1st graders and strives to develop ways to support young children’s sense of wonder, which is most clearly expressed in their connection with the natural world.
Kim Ferguson BA, Knox College. MA, PhD, Cornell University. Psychology (2007-present) & the Art of Teaching (2010-present) faculty is a developmental and cultural psychologist with special interests in sustainable, community based participatory action research, cultural-ecological approaches to infant and child development, children at risk (children in poverty, HIV/AIDS orphans, children in institutionalized care), health and cognitive development, development in African contexts, and the impact of the physical environment on child development. Author of articles and book chapters on African and American infants' language learning, categorization and face processing, the built environment and physical and mental health, and relationships between the quality of southern African orphan care contexts and child development and health.
Victoria Garufi, BS, Psychobiology, Long Island University's Southampton College. Victoria, a native of Yonkers, joined Beczak Environmental Education Center in 2005 as an educator responsible for designing and implementing interactive educational programs as well as maintaining exhibits and aquaria. Currently, as Director of Education for CURB, she is responsible for the oversight and direction of the education department. She continues to conduct programs to children of all ages and is passionate about teaching and connecting children to the natural environment. Over the years she has developed partnership and relationships with schools, community groups and other non-profit organizations. Now a graduate student of SLC’s Art of Teaching program, she will continue to strengthen her education.
Peter Kilgallen is Assistant Principal at the William E. Cottle Elementary School. Before coming to Tuckahoe, he was an 8th grade Middle School Teacher and Dean of Students in the Bronx. As Assistant Principal he has helped create an outdoor classroom, recycling program, and an organic vegetable garden. He is committed to helping children learn how to take care of and protect their valuable environments.
Lucy Moreno-Casanova, recipient of this year’s Bernie Glassman PathMaking Award, is the Coordinator of the Greyston Community Garden Project. For the past 14 years, Moreno-Casanova has expanded the Community Gardens Program to include seven growing sites, a robust educational enrichment offering at the Yonkers Public Schools, an environmental club for local youth, and numerous events and activities which have reached over 2,000 people.
Saundra Norton came to Sarah Lawrence College as a poet and is currently the Administrative Assistant for the Art of Teaching Program and the Child Development Institute. She has been a poet-in-residence at Vermont Studio Center, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Prague Summer Seminars, and Paris Writers Workshop and the first poet-in-residence at White Fish Dunes State Park in Door County Wisconsin. She is the author of Language Arts Activities for Children and contributing writer for Integrating Language Arts and Social Studies and Through the Eyes of a Child: An Introduction to Children’s Literature. She has led poetry workshops for children and teachers in public and private schools and has recently finished a poetry collection commissioned by the National Museum of Wildlife and is currently working on a travelogue-in-verse about her experiences hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
Ryan Palmer, Director, Sarah Lawrence College (SLC) Center for the Urban River at Beczak (CURB). Ryan joined the Yonkers community in August 2013 when he was appointed the first Director of CURB. A Hudson Valley native, Ryan previously was Director of Clearwater’s Green Cities Initiative. His specialties include Hudson River and urban watershed issues, including green infrastructure, mitigation projects, and water quality monitoring, community organizing, and environmental justice issues. Ryan has training in land use law, stream monitoring, biodiversity assessment, watershed management, and planning, and over 10 years’ experience the environmental non-profit field. BS Environmental Science, University of Rhode Island, 2002.
Louise Parms is a photographer, painter, poet and novice naturalist who teaches fifth grade science at The Horace Mann Lower School in the Bronx. Parms feels science is the perfect collaboration of poetry, art, and inquiry, as all rely on keen observation and the distillation of “ordinary meaning” into “amazing sense."
Marilyn Power has been a professor of economics at Sarah Lawrence since 1990. She teaches courses on environmental economics and sustainable development, among other subjects. Her research field is primarily feminist economics, with a focus on issues of economic justice and well-being.
Susan Schwimmer has been teaching at Sarah Lawrence College's Early Childhood Center (ECC) since 1989 and is also the ECC art archivist. She has spent many summers leading hiking and paddling trips with children throughout the Hudson Valley. She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MS from Bank Street College.
Jennifer Sloan is the Director of Education at The Science Barge. She has worked in the environmental field since her AmeriCorps experience in 2004 as a member of the Catskill Outdoor Education Corps. After completing her degree, she was the Intern Coordinator/Environmental Educator at the Greenburgh Nature Center in Scarsdale, NY until 2010. She has also worked for Sheldrake Environmental Center as an educator and the White Plains Youth Bureau as their summer Greening Project supervisor and after-school programmer. Her passion for farming began in 2009 while she interned at an organic CSA style farm on Long Island, known as Restoration Farm. The Science Barge became her new, happy home in March 2012 and it allows her to combine her passions of science education, sustainable agriculture, and environmentalism.