Dan hails from Alaska, where he grew up and spent much of his young adulthood in the forest and on the ocean researching fish and wildlife, ocean kayaking, commercial fishing, SCUBA and free-diving, wilderness camping, and generally gaining an awe and satisfaction for all things biological and wild. Now Dan teaches science at an international school in Switzerland, where his educational interests have revolved around developing curricula for citizen science (via forest ecology) and robotics (via the robot gardener). Dan feels strongly that students learn best when they are fully engaged and working on practical and authentic activities. He believes that students get plenty of traditional classroom instruction over the course of their days and that they could benefit greatly from more hands-on, self-motivated, projects with real-world applications. The collaborative LETS citizen science study and the Robot Gardener are Dan’s answer to the call for progressive 21st century education.
Here is an interview with Dan that appears in the Panorama magazine about his work in science education.