Ph.D. • Associate Professor
Department of Geography & Environmental Sciences

Mailing Address:
Dept. of Geography & Environmental Sciences
Campus Box 172
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Physical Location:
Auraria Campus
North Classroom Building
Room 3016-B

Expertise Areas:
Childhood and Nature, Environmental Education, Visual Methodologies

Post-doctoral Fellowship | Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden | 2014/15
PhD Science Education | Purdue University, West Lafayette, USA | 2007
MS Conservation Biology | Purdue University, West Lafayette, USA | 2001
BA Economics | University of Washington, Seattle, USA | 1996

My scholarship is multidisciplinary and emancipatory in nature, with ties to environmental education, geography and environmental science. My research focuses on sense of place and the use of visual narratives to understand/validate diverse environmental views in educational contexts. The questions I ask deal with cultural factors that shape who we are and how we inhabit spaces. For example, how do language and discourse, as social norms, frame human-environment relationships? What does this mean for teaching and learning in the context of environmental literacy? 

I use visual methodology and methods such as interviews, drawings, photography to understand sense of place. My research has taken me to various parts of the USA, as well as Singapore, China and Sweden. Currently, I have a contract with Routledge to publish a book about children's sense of place and patterns of childhood/s across cultures. Another of my research projects involves the use of visual methodology, specifically story maps, to understand youth perspectives about urban development in marginalized communities. I am also using discourse analysis on students' autobiographies to elicit their stories and to support equity in science. I also serve as co-principal investigator on a US National Science Foundation (NSF) grant engaged with formal and informal science education. In addition to implementing professional development seminars for teachers and students, conducting education research, and funding outreach in local middle/high schools, I also co-teach a course in the foundations of STEM communication. 

I consider the following to be core elements of a humanistic pedagogy: to teach is to understand self in relation to others, to teach is to cultivate humanity, to teach is to learn. I embrace these focal points of my identity in ways that emphasize teaching as a process of critical questioning and collaborative inquiry that supports learning, for both student and instructor. Our everyday struggles and/or triumphs are inextricably linked to our capacities for learning and teaching, thus I strive to be wholly present in mind, body and spirit, to develop empathy for students and their diversity of backgrounds/experiences. Teaching is both a science and an art. It is informed by learning theories but its practice involves a deftness and perspective that is unique to the individual. I hope to keep an open mind to learning as well as a willing heart for teaching. As Walt Whitman so aptly described in Leaves of Grass, "wisdom is not finally tested in schools, wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it to another not having it, wisdom is of the soul."

Wee, B. Discourses about childhood, environmental sustainability and equity in education: Socio-linguistic perspectives. Routledge, UK (Under Contract)

Wee, B. (in press). The nature of childhood in childhoodnature. In A. Cutter-Mackenzie, K. Malone & E. Barratt Hacking (Eds)., Research Handbook on ChildhoodNature. Springer, Germany.

Martz, C., Powell, R. & Wee, B. (in press). Engaging children with voice through photo-story maps. Children's Geographies.

Ferrra, M., Talbot, R., Mason, H., Wee, B., Jacobson, M., Rorrer, R. & Gallagher, D. (2018). Enriching undergraduate experiences with outreach in STEM clubsJournal of College Science Teaching, 47 (6), 74-82.

Marzetta, K., Mason, H. & Wee, B. (2018). 'Sometimes they are fun, and sometimes they are not': Concept mapping with English language acquisition (ELA) and gifted/talented (GT) students learning about science and sustainability. Education Sciences, 8, 1-13.

Wee, B. & Mason, H. (2016). Children's language about the environment. In Kopnina, H. & Shoreman-Ouimet, E. (Eds). Handbook of Environmental Anthropology, pp.401-411. Routledge.

Wee, B., Mason, H., Abdilla, J. & Lupardus, R. (2016). Nationwide perceptions of US green school practices: Implications for reform and research. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, DOI:10.1080/10382046.2016.1207995

Talbot, R., Hartley, L., Marzetta, K. & Wee, B. (2015). Transforming undergraduate science education with Learning Assistants: Student satisfaction in large enrollment courses. Journal of College Science Teaching, 44 (5), 24-30.

Wee, B. & Anthamatten, P. (2014). Using photography to visualize children’s culture of play: A socio-spatial perspective. Geographical Review, 104 (1), 87-100.

Wee, B. (2013). On agendas and perspectives in environmental education: revisiting Kopnina, disciplinary imperatives and the paradoxes of (multi) cultures [Letter to the Editor].  Environmental Education Research, 19(2), 266-268.

Simon, G., Wee, B., Chin, A., DePierre, A., Guth, D., & Mason, H. (2013). Synthesis for the interdisciplinary environmental sciences: Integrating systems approaches and service learning. Journal of College Science Teaching, 42(5), 42-49.

Wee, B., DePierre, A., Anthamatten, P. & Barbour, J. (2013). Visual methodology as a pedagogical research tool in geography education. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 37(2), 309-318.

Anthamatten, P., Wee, B. & Korris, E. (2012). Exploring children's perceptions of play using visual methodologies. Health Education Journal, 72 (3), 309-318.

Wee, B. (2012). A cross-cultural exploration of children's everyday ideas: Implications for science teaching and learning. International Journal of Science Education, 34(4), 609-627.

Den Ouden, K. & Wee, B. (2011). Cultivation of social responsibility through school community gardens. In R.L. Oxford & and J. Lin (Eds.), Transformative eco-education for human and planetary survival, pgs. 75-86. Information Age Publishing, Inc.

  • GEOG 1111 | The Ethics of Modern Zoos
  • ENVS 1342 | Environment, Society & Sustainability
  • GEOG 3160 | Geography of China
  • GEOG 4/5301 | Population, Culture & Resources
  • GEOG 4/5335 | Contemporary Environmental Issues
  • GEOG 4/5300 | Children’s Geographies
  • GEOG 4995, ENVS 5995 | Sustainability Along the Yangtze: Globalization and the Environment in China (Travel Study)
  • ENVS 5650 | Environmental Education
  • ENVS 6002 | Environmental Sciences Seminar
  • IDST 4/5001 | Foundations of STEM Communication
  • SCED 5340 | Equity & Culture in Science Education
  • SCED 5500 | Nature of Science