Gund Graduate Fellow, Rubenstein School of Science and Natural Resources

Mandy Nix (she/her) is a Gund Graduate Fellow and Ph.D. student in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources with social-ecological research interests at the nexus of environmental education, literacy, and justice. In close collaboration with advisors from both the Rubenstein School and the College of Education and Social Services, she looks forward to channeling her eight years’ teaching experience in non-formal environmental science, technology, engineering, and math (E-STEM) education into action-driven research. Her doctoral scholarship will examine environmental literacy as the first line of defense against social-environmental injustices like clean water access, food insecurity, human-caused climate change, pollution, pandemic, and systems of oppression. She thus cares deeply about reimagining intersectional and inclusive pedagogies that expand equitable access not only to high-quality outdoor experiences, but also to high-quality learning experiences within those green spaces to advance resilience, agency, and stewardship for all.

As a Certified North Carolina Environmental Educator, Certified Interpretive Guide, and Facilitator of standards-aligned curricula like Project WET and Project WILD, Mandy has engaged “PreK – gray” audiences across North Carolina, Alaska, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and now Vermont. Most recently as the Watershed Education Specialist at Stroud Water Research Center, she designed and delivered inquiry-driven, place-based programming on freshwater ecology, aquatic macroinvertebrates, community science water quality monitoring, watershed restoration, sustainable land use, and community-based stewardship action. When she is not teaching or researching, Mandy enjoys exploring new trails with her kitty Magpie, feeding her small but mighty vermicomposting empire, dusting her novelty teapots, and collecting secondhand treasures like a five-foot caddisfly.

Associations and Affiliations

Advisor(s): Leon Walls, Walter Poleman

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

environmental education and justice; social-ecological systems; science communications; STEM learning ecosystems; intersectional pedagogies; queer ecology; community science water-quality monitoring


  • B.S., Environmental Studies (Ecology & Environmental Biology), University of North Carolina at Asheville