My Story

I discovered the field of Environmental Education as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Central African Republic, where I saw the critical importance of integrating local communities in conservation. Growing up in Fairhope, Alabama, I’d watched my parents connect their spiritual beliefs to environmental stewardship by actions such as giving up driving and even trash for Lent. I’m the author of four books examining the intersection of spirituality and the climate crisis: Natural Saints (OUP, 2010), Sacred Acts (New Society Press, 2012), Our Last Best Act: Planning for the End of Our Lives to Protect the People and Places We Love (Broadleaf Books, 2021), and Love Your Mother: 50 States, 50 Stories, and 50 Women United for Climate Justice (Broadleaf Books, 2023).  I’ve also co-authored a book for practitioners Conservation Education and Outreach Techniques (OUP, 2015).

I’ve written more than 50 essays for the New York Times, Washington Post, WIRED, Newsweek, and more. Much of my writing draws on my life at Warren Wilson College, where I live with my two daughters in a 900-square foot rental. I love inviting students in my courses to my home with its expansive view of pastures and mountains. In my classes, students collaborate with diverse community partners—from youth to senior citizens—to teach and learn together using the forests, farms, and fields of the campus.

Mallory McDuff teaching outside


  • B.S. in Human Biology/English, Vanderbilt University
  • M.S. in Instructional Design and Development, University of South Alabama
  • Ph.D. in Environmental Education, University of Florida. Gainesville, FL.

Research Interests

  • Involving faith communities in climate action
  • Integrating local communities into environmental education

Courses Taught

  • ENS 3020; Community-based Environmental Education
  • ODL/ENS 4200; Program Planning and Development
  • ENS 1260: Introduction to Environmental Education

Crews and Other Activities

  • Community engagement: My students organize an educational program focused on growing and cooking local foods by co-teaching with at-risk high school students to 80 first graders. In another project, they organize wellness workshops for low-income senior citizens.
  • Certifications: I work with students to participate in the North Carolina Environmental Education Certification program, a nationally-recognized program in the field.
  • Fellowships: I participated in a one-year fellowship through the organization GreenFaith to train religious-environmental leaders in the US.

Contact Dr. McDuff

(828) 771-3787
Mitchell B
WWC CPO 6092

PO Box 9000

Asheville, NC 28815-9000
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