The Authors

Ben Wheeler, Teacher, Explorer West Middle School; Course Author, Sustainability Education Concepts and Teaching Methods

Ben teaches Ancient Civilizations and Geography, American History, and Global Studies at Explorer West Middle School in Seattle, Washington. He is a chief architect of the school's award winning Sustainability Initiative. Ben is a frequent presenter on sustainability at regional and national workshops. He presented the keynote and endnote at the 2008 Global Citizenship Summit in Bali, Indonesia, and was the World Affairs Council’s 2009 World Educator. Ben has been a longtime teacher for students of color in the Rainier Scholars program. He teaches a summer seminar in sustainable design at the Living Building Challenge Bertschi School. Publications: the high school textbook It's All Connected - a Comprehensive Guide to Global Issues and Sustainable Solutions; Sustainable Design for a Positive Future for Green Teacher magazine. Ben was the primary course author for GEF Institute's Introduction to Sustainability Concepts course. 

Dr. Jim Foster, Course Author

Jim Foster holds a PhD in political economy from MIT and has accumulated extensive experience in research, education, and sustainability. Jim is retired from the MIT staff where he spent 14 years as a member of the Alliance for Global Sustainability and Center for International Studies. His long-term research and business consulting interests have focused on environmental regulation, the economics of environmental externality mitigation, and the opportunities, as well as responsibilities, for corporate entities to realize gains from improved environmental performance. His continues to be involved in Executive Education programs at MIT and the Stockholm School of Economics on the subjects of Strategic Leadership, Innovation, and Environmental Performance Opportunities. At GEF, Jim serves as an expert contributor for sustainability program content for CTE schools and educators. Jim made significant contributions to all of GEF Institute's courses. 

Jason Davis, Course Author

Jason Davis holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Ecology from the University of Florida and a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Studies from the University of Massachusetts. He has carried out and published original research on the relationship between local communities and protected areas around Monteverde, Costa Rica. Jason has worked extensively as an environmental educator and park ranger for National Park Service, Massachusetts State Parks, and Appalachian Mountain Club, and has worked as a regional planner in the Sustainability Grant program for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. He also spent several years teaching English as a Second Language, and performs and teaches music around Boston. At GEF, he is writing and updating the Intro to Sustainability Concepts, Sustainable Water Systems, and Sustainable Energy Systems courses.

Amy George, Senior Curriculum Developer at GEF

Amy is a K-12 educator and curriculum developer with more than ten years of experience in the fields of United States and world history, geography, government, and economics, with a special focus on literacy and study skills integration. She is president of the board of directors of the New England Teachers Association and a member of several local and national education advisory committees. Prior to joining Green Education Foundation, Amy served as senior curriculum developer at Teachers’ Curriculum Institute in Palo Alto, Calif., and taught history at Weston Middle School in Massachusetts. She earned a B.A. in History and Government from Bowdoin College and a M.A.T. in Social Studies from Tufts University. Amy is the primary developer of GEF Institute's course activities and lessons. 

Jacob Robinson, Director of Curriculum Production at GEF Institute

Jacob Robinson is a resource production specialist and project manager with several years of experience in environmental, sustainability, and education development. He is a graduate of Indiana University where he received degrees in Environmental Management and Policy Studies. Jacob worked for the U.S. Green Building Council as a publication coordinator of the LEED ® Reference Guides and as a project manager of the LEED AP Study Guides. He currently holds the professional designation of LEED Green Associate and is passionate about greening schools and improving the built environment through education and youth empowerment. His background in program strategy, digital & print publication production, and sales development are valuable assets for GEF. 

Rebecca Olien

Rebecca Olien is an experienced curriculum developer and public school teacher. Specializing in science and environmental education, Rebecca is the author of over fifty books for children and educators. She currently lives in Oregon where she designs and teaches online university courses, as well as writes content, activities, and curriculum for a variety of education publishers, organizations, and websites covering science, writing, and sustainability topics. Rebecca made contributions to all GEF Institute online courses.

Carol Hand

Carol has developed science curricula, written standardized assessments, and worked as a college biology teacher. She is currently a freelance science writer, writing curricula, online courses, and assessments for various publishers. She has also written a number of science books for the school and library trade. Her main interest and expertise is in ecology and environmental studies. She earned a B. A. and M.A. in zoology from the University of Kansas, a Ph.D. in Zoology (specialty, Marine Ecology) from the University of Georgia, and biology teaching certification from the state of Missouri. Carol made contributions to all GEF Institute's online and classroom courses.

Tabitha Hobbs, Curriculum Developer

Tabitha Hobbs is a curriculum writer for Green Education Foundation’s Green Building Course. Tabitha has more than seven years of experience in the field of environmental education. She has conducted lab research, developed science curricula, and taught environmental science to a variety of age groups. She has regularly attended and presented papers at the Annual Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference. Tabitha earned her B.S. in natural resource studies from University of Massachusetts Amherst. Tabitha made contributions to GEF Institute Companion Curriculum Packs.

Jen Loui, Curriculum Developer

Jen was the lead curriculum developer for Green Education Foundation’s Green Building Course and a major contributor to the development and writing of the I Ride Green lesson set. Before coming to work at GEF, she spent over 20 years as an educator at both the High School and University levels. She is considered a Master Teacher by the standards of Brown Universities Coalition of Essential School Program and has developed and taught specialized programs for diverse audiences including struggling inner city public schools and affluent private county schools.

For the past four years, Jen has worked as a Project Manager and Educator in a green-building consulting company in the Midwest, creating education sessions for Builders and trades people on the content and execution of a LEED certified building project. Jen is a LEED AP BD+C as well as an accomplished writer, and is very jazzed to be merging her skills to help further GEF’s important goal of educating students across the nation. Jen made contributions to GEF Institute's Companion Curriculum Packs.