Coleen O'Connell


Coleen O'Connell

Coleen's teaching and scholarship are focused on expanding the definition and underlying notions of environmental education to be that of ecological teaching and learning integrated across the curriculum. She is focused on changing the code for education such that it becomes the practice of educating for ecological global citizenship, replacing the present system of educating for global consumerism and competition.

She weaves sustainability, systems thinking, deep ecology, intentional communities, and traditional indigenous knowledge are key concepts woven into her teaching practice. 

In 2013, Coleen was awarded the Main Environmental Education Association's Eberhard Thiele Environmental Educator Award.


BS, South Dakota State University 
MS, Lesley University

Selected Publications

  • O’Connell, C. (2012). “Living the Questions” Communities Magazine, Fall Issue, #154, pp 52-54. 
  • Spicer, C. (2009). Editor. Lifted by the Heart. O’Connell, C. and Carl, L. “Education an Extraordinary Journey.” Amherst, MA: Circumstantial Productions. 
  • Brown, M., Treadway, C. (2009). Editors of Anthology. Held In Love. O’Connell, C. “Lilacs” p. 16. Mt Shasta, CA: Psychosynthesis Press. 

Selected Presentations

  • O'Connell, Coleen. April 4, 2017. Keynote presenter at the Maine Environmental Education Conference: Multisolving for Climate Change. Colby College, Waterville, ME.
  • O’Connell, Coleen & Tinianow, Sharon. April 26, 2013 Systems Thinking Introduction through Systems Games. Colorado Environmental Education Conference, Denver, CO. 
  • O’Connell, Coleen March 17, 2013 Presentation: The Pedagogy of Ecological Teaching and Learning, Maine Environmental Education Association, Chewonki Foundation, Wiscasset, ME. 
  • O’Connell, Coleen. March 6, 2013. Presentation: Elders an Untapped Resource in Education. Mass Environmental Education Annual conference, Worcester, MA. 
  • O’Connell, Coleen. November 15, 2012. Keynote Address – Urban parks: Ensuring a resilient future. Emerald Necklace Conservancy Annual Meeting, Boston, MA. 
  • O’Connell, Coleen, Oct, 2012, Keynote Address, Regional School District 20, Belfast, Maine Teacher Professional Development Day: Place-based education models in schools. 
  • O’Connell, Coleen, August, 2012. Consultant Presenter. Lexington Montessori School, Lexington, MA. Day long professional development workshop on Systems Thinking. 
  • O’Connell, Coleen. March, 2012. Keynote: Collaborations across Community, Maine Environmental Education Conference, Wiscasset, ME.