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Join us for the next episode of the
"Meet the Faculty Webinar Series"
Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 4:00-5:00 PM

followed by Q&A and time for virtual community
conversation between 5:-5:30 PM

A Snapshot of Field Education at Institutions Across the Nation
Featuring Mathieu Brown

The River Field Studies Network (RFSN) is a Community of Practice (CoP) that aims to advance Undergraduate Biology Education (UBE) and support healthy river ecosystems and communities through inclusive, immersive, interdisciplinary field-based pedagogy.  The CoP is a recipient of a 5-year National Science Foundation grant, whose origins date to a 2018 conference and the lobby of a Vancouver, Washington hotel.  From this casual meeting grew a grant that aims to overcome institutional and cultural barriers to river field studies by investing in people, educational content, and infrastructure to support ongoing collaboration, outreach, and dissemination. Yet, more significant are the collegial relationships started and maintained by the CoP, and the lessons learned in the grant process--particularly those related to inclusion, safety and field-based pedagogy.  As a group we first applied for an Incubator Grant and discovered national widespread interest in field education, broadly defined to include an afternoon lab at the campus to a multi-day expedition course. As a community we learn from one another and better understand the nation-wide challenges facing our students and general career field. Our group now includes >80 members from 32 states, and nine key organizational partners. This diverse community is united by our passion for field-based education and the promise of field studies for propelling inclusion and collective excellence. Our steering committee is comprised of the chairs of five working group committees:  James Vonesh (PI; VCU; Infrastructure); Andy Rost (Co-PI; SNU; Training); Denielle Perry, (Co-PI; NAU; Participation); Mathieu Brown (Co-PI; Prescott; Safety); Sarah Yarnell (Co-PI; UC Davis; Curriculum) and John McLaughlin (WWU; Curriculum). Our network objectives are to: support the professional development of UBE educators, create open source educational content for river-based field activities, broaden participation of underrepresented groups, provide resources for risk management and field safety, enhance the infrastructure for UBE river field courses, and measure the effectiveness of our activities. 

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Meet the Presenter
Mathieu Brown

Mathieu Brown is faculty of Adventure Education and Environmental Studies at Prescott College, and a doctoral candidate in Sustainability Education.  I am an interdisciplinary landscape-based educator and primarily teach in the on-campus undergraduate program.  I use exploration and a variety of travel techniques to help students discover and understand the nature and culture based stories of place. 

My dissertation examines the culture and history of recreation in the American West under the frameworks of mythology and ideology, and interprets how recreation has shaped both the landscape and human experience.  I am an an avalanche educator, climbing instructor, grand canyon river guide and have served in a myriad of positions with Prescott College's and Northern Arizona University's Grand Canyon Semester.  

Meet the Moderator
Cirien Saadeh, Ph.D.

Dr. Cirien Saadeh is an Arab-American journalist and educator who works at the intersections of journalism, social movements, experiential education, and sustainability. She was trained as a community organizer by the former Organizing Apprenticeship Project (now Voices for Racial Justice). She has written for local, national, and international publications and is committed to using journalism as a tool in the pursuit of justice for all historically

disenfranchised communities. She produces and hosts the Radical News Radio Hour for WFNU and is the Executive Director for The UpTake - a community news organization. Saadeh is also Associate Faculty at Prescott College in Social Justice and Community Organizing. Additionally, he received her PhD in Sustainability Education in 2019 at Prescott College. As part of her doctoral program, she developed a theory “Journalism of Color,” which asks, in short: how do we develop sustainable journalism platforms and spaces in historically-marginalized communities and how do we create journalism methodologies which build community power and resilience? You can learn more about her work at

Previous Episodes

Transgenerational Trauma: Spinning an Appalachian Yarn
Featuring Jen Randall Reyes, Ph.D., ALPS, LPC

Dr. Randall Reyes' work is centered in disrupting the cycle of intergenerational and systemic trauma. As an EMDR certified counselor, her clinical work reflects holding space for individuals, families, and communities that are grieving the loss of possibility. Her hope is to hold a similarly sacred space for counselors-in-training at Prescott as they explore how they will embody their future roles as helping professionals.

Indigenous Solidarity, Climate Justice & Decolonial Ethnic Studies:
Trenza Testimonio
Featuring Anita Fernández, Ph.D.

Building solidarity across movements is a core tenant of decolonial Ethnic Studies and has been central to the work of the Xicanx Institute for Teaching & Organizing (XITO), an urban education consulting collective. Using a trenza testimonio to weave together the collective work she has been engaged in with XITO, Anita Fernández, Ph.D. contextualizes the current attacks on Critical Race Theory, decolonial Ethnic Studies and Arab American Studies.

Community Leadership and Participation in Bio-Cultural Conservation
Featuring Lorayne Meltzer, M.S.

Lorayne Meltzer gives us an amazing view of the Kino Bay Center in the central Gulf of California, Mexico. Kino Bay is very rich and productive in bio-cultural diversity, yet the region is also facing complex challenges stemming from overfishing, ineffective regulation, and socio-economic pressures related to expanding international markets.

Adventure and Embodiment of Place
Featuring Mary Jackson, Ph.D.

Mary Jackson, Ph.D. reveals how adventure is a relic of imperialism and the European romanticization of place. It has evolved from quests for domination of place and people, to spiritual or consumeristic escape from the modern world, to an attempt to return or reconnect to nature.

Organizing Opportunities for the Xicanada in the 21st Century
Featuring Ernesto Mireles, MSW, Ph.D.

Ernesto Mireles, MSW, Ph.D. shares how pockets of the Xicano people and the Xicano political movement are responding to the current crises of the 21st century.

This series is designed to feature the work, research, and praxis of the Prescott College faculty for the benefit of the campus community and to engage external audiences of prospective students, colleagues and collaborators.