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Faculty in Outdoor Education

lifelong-learning-photoAnne Morse

Email: amorse@sterlingcollege.edu

Phone: 802-586-7711 x144

Anne Morse’s journey started with a love of wild places, particularly northern places, fostered by her family and upbringing. She began working for Outward Bound in Maine and the Adirondacks, while also exploring social justice issues around nuclear disarmament and US involvement in Central America. She notes, “I discovered in myself something of a social activist. I cut my teeth in the peace movement in Boston and Nicaragua, and then for several years channelled my energy for making the world a more just and peaceful place into the avenues for personal transformation offered within the context of Outward Bound courses.”

She continues, “My thinking is that if we can build just, constructive, collaborative communities of ten or twelve people, we will learn at least some of the skills and awareness needed to build a more just and collaborative—and ultimately more sustainable—society.”

Over time, Morse migrated west to the Boundary Waters and eventually south to Big Bend, Texas, where she fell in love with desert places. As part of the migratory pattern of a full time Outward Bound Instructor and Course Director, she paddled desert rivers in the winter, the Boundary Waters in the summer, assorted northern rivers in Ontario, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories (now Nunavut) in summer and fall, and at times played on springtime rivers in Idaho.

From Outward Bound, Morse moved on to finish her BA at the Prescott College Adult Degree Program in Prescott, Arizona, and later completed her MA in Conflict Management at Antioch. She began teaching at Prescott and her classes included everything from Interpersonal Communication and Small Group Dynamics, to Group Process for Outdoor Leaders, taught along the Rio Grande in Big Bend Texas. She developed a course on Gender in Outdoor Leadership, which students explored while backpacking in eastern Arizona or Colorado. For many years, she taught Therapeutic Use of Wilderness along the canyons of the San Juan River each May. She says, “While the landscapes varied as much as the syllabi, to me the overarching goal was always the same: to help people grow into who they want to be, in response to and in full awareness of the challenges that our society and environment are facing. I am just a helper in the teaching process; I structure the experience, but the students teach each other, and the rivers, mountains, weather, trees, books, journals, essays, discussions, and rocks teach, too.”

Having come home to New England with her family in 2000, the landscapes she teaches in are different now. They are the Sugarbush and the Cedar Swamp, the icy rivers running between snowy banks, the slopes of the White Mountains, the forested lakes of the Adirondacks, the Lowell Mountain ridgeline, the  classrooms of Sterling College, and the whitewashed fences of the Common. But the lessons are the same, whether studying gender, or outdoor education theory, or risk management on the challenge course, or facilitation skills, or conflict management, or group dynamics, or firebuilding in the rain. “Our survival,” Morse says, “will depend on our ability to attend to detail, comprehend the big picture, take responsibility for our choices and understand their impact, relate well with others, care deeply for ourselves, others, and the planet, solve problems, and laugh together.”

Education

Master of Arts in Conflict Resolution. The McGregor School of Antioch University, July 1999.

B.A., Education and Social Studies, Prescott College Adult Degree Program, Prescott, AZ, May 1995.

Tufts University, Medford, MA. Studies in the Peace and Justice Program, 1986-1987.

Yale University, New Haven, CT. Liberal Arts studies with a focus on the US labor movement and Russian language and history.

Certifications and trainings:
Wilderness First Responder

Certified Mediator for the Arizona Attorney General’s Office

Secondary Education Social Studies Teaching Certificate, State of Arizona

Swiftwater Rescue Technician

Trained in high angle search and rescue

Publications

Gender Conflict in Adventure Education: Three Feminist Perspectives. Journal of Experiential Education, Dec. 1997.

Awards

“Outstanding Experiential Educator of the Year,” International Association for Experiential Education, 2009.

Presentations

Exploring Being Woman, Being Leader, Being Parent at the International Conference of the Association for Experiential Education, 2009 and at the Northeast Regional Conference for the Association for Experiential Education, 2011.

Conflict Management and Mediation, at the Northeast Regional Association for Experiential Education Conference, 2008 and 2009

Outdoor orientation integrated into the curriculum- at the Outdoor Orientation Program Symposium at the Northeast Regional Association for Experiential Education Conference, 2006.

Gender and the Development of Voice, at the Northeast Regional Association for Experiential Education Conference, 2006.

The Role of the Outdoor Educator in Promoting Social Change, at the Northeast Regional Association for Experiential Education Conference, 2005.

Transforming the human/nature relationship, at the Northeast Regional Association for Experiential Education Conference, 2004 and 2005.

The Experiential Learning Cycle Sterling College Speaker series, 2004.

Restorative Justice Sterling College Speaker Series 2004

Mediation: a Tool for Constructive Conflict Resolution, at the International Conference of the Association for Experiential Education, November 2002, and Northeast Regional Conferences, 2003, 2004.

Gender in Adventure Education, at the International Conference of the Association for Experiential Education, November, 1997.