My Story

I discovered the field of environmental education as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Central African Republic, where I first realized the importance of integrating local communities into conservation. Growing up in Fairhope, Alabama, I watched my parents connect their spiritual beliefs to conservation through actions such as giving up driving and even trash for Lent. This foundation now drives my own work: With my two daughters, I took a road trip across the country for research that resulted in two books, “Natural Saints” and “Sacred Acts.” I’ve also co-authored an environmental education book for practitioners. My other writing involves essays and op-eds in places like BuzzFeed, The Rumpus, Huffington Post, and Sojourners. I love inviting students from my classes to my small house on campus with its expansive view of the mountains. In my courses, students collaborate with local communities, teaching and learning in gardens, farms, forests, and more! I love working with students in community organizing, outreach, and education in places like the campus farm, forest, and garden; urban community centers; and local schools.

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 3200; 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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