Neal brings a diverse array of talents and passions to Expedition Education Institute (EEI). He loves to teach to empower, inspire, and strengthen his students. He enjoys bringing creativity into the learning as well as engaging in his own creative pursuits (e.g., writing and performing educational spoken word pieces). Being fully engaged in a transformative learning community brings joy to Neal’s heart and mind.
With a doctorate in ecology from University of California, Davis, Neal served as a faculty member for the Audubon Expedition Institute, starting in 2005. In 2010 he joined the team of former AEI faculty/alumni/staff to found the Expedition Education Institute (EEI), a rebirth of the traveling bus programs now in partnership with Marlboro College. He currently serves on the board of trustees for EEI. Prior to joining AEI, Neal thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and taught wildlife ecology and statistics courses at the University of Maine, where he also did statistical consulting. He was co-principal investigator on a two-year study of the ecology and behavior of the gray hay, and assisted with ornithology and vertebrate zoology courses at Colby College.
Neal is well-read, thoughtful, and articulate in his expressions. He has a gift of conveying complex ideas in clear and easy to understand manner because he is able and willing and has the patience to think through the complexity to reach the clarity. Neal inspires students to be open, to practice critical thinking, and to bring their best selves to the learning community and to appreciate their own gifts that they carry with them. Neal’s knowledge is both deep and wide: from theories of education to politics and environmental issues, evolution to economics, and contemplative practices to critical inquiry and reflection. He is an avid birder and expert ultimate frisbee player.
B.S., University of Buffalo, 1979; Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 1993