Environmental Studies at UVM

William Eddy

Adjunct Associate Professor Emeritus

Environmental Program

Areas of Interest: 

Cultural and linguistic influences on environmental perception

Bio: 

Bill Eddy taught in the Environmental Program at the University of Vermont from 1977 through 1998. Prior to that he held positions with the New York Zoological Society, the Conservation Foundation, and the African Wildlife Foundation.  Over the past 30 years he has made some 25 trips to East Africa where he began work in the early '60's as director of education for the Tanzania National Parks. There he developed one of the first public awareness programs in Africa devoted to the conservation of wildlife. Subsequently he was asked to develop similar programs for the national parks of Kenya and Uganda. Between 1982 and 1986 he worked with the Rendille tribe, a remote group of camel-raising nomads living in the northern desert of Kenya, to develop culturally appropriate ways to help them understand their own role in the spread of desert.

It was in the course of such work that he became interested in the role which language and culture play in shaping peoples' perception of their environment.  As a film maker he has produced several Swahili language documentaries on wildlife conservation which have been seen by literally millions of viewers throughout East Africa. His work with the International Division of the U.S. National Park Service has involved him in many projects covering a wide range of environmental concerns in India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.  Peace Corps invited him to help them develop programs to increase environmental awareness and understanding in a number of African, Central American and Caribbean countries, and to design training programs for Peace Corps volunteers to help them to "see" their own environmental biases before they began working with other cultures. He advises students, who, after graduation, wish to consider Peace Corps. Most recently he has been involved in developing an educational program for rural Nepalis who visit the Kathmandu Zoo each year.

Education: 

  • Ph.D, University of Vermont (Honorary) 1993
  • B.A. English and Philosophy, Williams College, 1949

Other Professional Affiliations: 

  • New York Zoological Society
  • The Conservation Foundation
  • The African Wildlife Foundation
  • Director of Education for the Tanzania National Parks
  • International Division of the U.S. National Park Service
  • Peace Corps
  • Kathmandu Zoo
  • Ford Foundation
  • President, Environ Concerns Intl., Inc.
  • Fairbanks Museum, St. Johnsbury, VT