Biography

Mele Wheaton is a Social Science Research Scholar in the Graduate School of Education. Her research interests include environmental learning and teaching, environmental behavior change, and equity and inclusion. She currently manages several projects including exploring the various pathways to environmental literacy through environmental education programming, and connecting research and practice both in education and in conservation land management. From 2011-2015, Mele was a postdoc at Stanford University studying environmental behavior change in nature-based tourism, with research sites in Galapagos and California state parks. She obtained her M.A. and Ph.D. in Education and a double B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has been a fellow of the NSF-funded Center for Informal Learning and Schools (CILS); a fellow of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation for environmental leadership; and a board member of the California Environmental Education Foundation (CEEF). Prior to her research career, Mele worked for more than a decade as an educator and a field biologist in parks, wildlife refuges, and museums in Alaska, Arizona, and California.