Karen’s professional background lies in the interrelated fields of environmental and sustainability education, and emerged from an early career in garden-based education.  Her current work with undergraduate students at the University of Vermont is situated within the field of sustainability education with a focus on food systems.  Within this context, she seeks to investigate the deep relationship that exists between notions of sustainability and contemplative practice.

Through pedagogical praxes grounded in these two fields, her classes examine social, economic, and environmental justice in the interrelated fields of food systems and sustainability.  This work involves an examination of individual and collective values, worldviews, and identities, and the ways in which they intersect with sustainability concepts in the field of food systems.


  • Nordstrom, K. (2014) Pedagogical Praxis Models in Sustainability Education: A Focus on Food Systems and Environment. Unpublished dissertation thesis, University of Vermont.
  • Nordstrom, K.L. and Hughes, R. (2005) Application of Lesson Study to the Context of a Professional Development Summer Science Academy. Journal of Science Teacher Education (accepted).
  • Nordstrom, K. (2003) Lesson Study: The school garden as an integrating context for science and language learning. Unpublished master’s thesis, California State University, Monterey Bay.

Associations and Affiliations


  • Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education
  • Association for the Study of Food & Society
  • Sustainable Agriculture Education Association
  • Association for Contemplative Mind in Society
  • Yoga Alliance


  • UVM Sustainability Faculty Fellows Program AY17
  • Stewardship Team Membership Aug 2011-June 2013, Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes, Burlington City School District


  • Yoga Alliance Teaching Certification, 2012
  • Cross-cultural, Linguistic and Academic Development (CLAD) Certificate, 1999
  • Certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, University of California, Santa Cruz
Karen Nordstrom

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Areas of Interest: sustainability and food systems education, contemplative practice in higher education, participatory research and evaluation


  • PhD, School of Natural Resources, University of Vermont, 2014
  • MA, Education, California State University Monteray Bay, 2004
  • BSC,Natural Resources Administration, Ohio State University, 1993


  • 802-656-2673
Office Location:

236B MLS

Office Hours:

by appointment

Courses Taught

  • NFS 073: Farm to Table