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Elizabeth McCann, PhD

Antioch University New England

Libby received her PhD in adult education, with an emphasis in environmental education, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her dissertation, “Passion and Persistence: A Study of Communities of Practice in Schools,” earned her the Russell J. Hosler Award for Outstanding Dissertation. She received her MS in natural resource policy and administration from University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Her master’s thesis, “Unearthing the Land Ethic: A Study of Farmers’ Values, Beliefs and Practices,” speaks to her interest in sustainable agriculture. Libby launched and became Wisconsin coordinator for both Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) and Adopt-A-Lake, an inter-generational community-based environmental education program. These programs provide teacher professional development and youth-adult leadership opportunities through local water education projects.

At the UW-Madison Arboretum, Libby directed Earth Partnership for Schools, a national program working with interdisciplinary teams of K-12 teachers and resource personnel implementing native plant gardens as outdoor classrooms. She secured multi-year grants through Howard Hughes Medical Institute, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Institute of Museum and Library Services and private donors to support this award-winning program.

Libby served as board member and chair of the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education. She has consulting experience related to curriculum design, strategic planning, team building, and program evaluation. She has a strong interest in communities of practice, particularly in the context of environmental education and issues of social justice.

She has lived and worked in California, Washington, New Zealand, New Jersey and Wisconsin as an environmental and consumer organizer and environmental educator/interpreter. Libby’s childhood on a farm in Kentucky was foundational to her interest in land restoration, farming, environmental protection, and education.

Educational History

  • PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • MS, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  • BA, Rhodes College

Aguilar, O., McCann, E. & Liddicoat, K. (2017). Inclusive Education. In: Russ, A. and Krasny, M. (Eds.), Urban environmental education review. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.

McCann, E. & Schusler, T. (2017). Ecological restoration. In: Russ, A. and Krasny, M. (Eds.), Urban environmental education review. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.

McCann, E. & Heimlich, J. (2016). Aged to Perfection: Environmental education for adults. In Monroe and M. Krasney (Eds.). Across the spectrum: Resources for environmental educators, third edition. Washington, DC: NAAEE. Retrieved from:

McCann, E. (2011). Teach the children well. In D. Egan, E. Hjerpe & J. Abrams (Eds.), Integrating nature and culture: Exploring the human dimensions of ecological restoration (pp. 315-334), Washington, DC: Island Press.

McCann, E. (2006). Earth partnership for schools facilitating center handbook. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin.

Bauer-Armstrong, C. & McCann, E. (2006). Earth partnership for schools K-12 curriculum guide. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin.

Bauer-Armstrong, C. & McCann, E. (Principal Editor/Contributor). (2006). Earth partnership for schools rain garden curricular sampler. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin.

McCann, L. & Miller, T. (2006). Ecological restoration-based education transforms school grounds and education. Proceedings of the North American Prairie Conference, 2004. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin.

Elizabeth McCann

Core Faculty,

Environmental Studies & Sustainability

Director of Environmental Education Concentration,

Environmental Studies & Sustainability


Courses Taught

  • Civic Ecology Practices & Community Resilience
  • Food System of Cuba; Implications for Environment, Livelihood and Food Security
  • Program Planning & Design
  • Environmental Communications in the Digital Age
  • Urban Environmental Education
  • Curriculum Design
  • Foundations of Environmental Education
  • Program Evaluation
  • Group Dynamics & Leadership I

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