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 in children’s geographies is multidisciplinary and socio-spatial in nature. Specifically, my research focuses on children’s place attachments, using visual narratives to understand and validate their lived experience. I do this to promote greater inclusivity in urban planning and education. I question embedded cultural norms and expectations that shape who we are and how we inhabit spaces. For example, how does the language and discourse of childhood frame child-place interactions? What does this mean for the felt geography of places and the unique ways by which people, particularly children, develop place attachments? Why does this matter in the context of social and environmental equity/sustainability? Visual narratives, for example drawings, digital stories and emotion maps, help me address these questions in ways that deepen our appreciation for diverse worldviews and nurtures empathy in the research process. 

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 humility and compassion, to teach is to learn. I embrace these focal points of my identity to support critical thought and collaborative dialogue in my classes, always striving to be wholly present in mind, body and spirit. Teaching is both a science and an art. It is informed by learning theories, but its practice involves a passion and perspective that is deeply personal. 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."

Martz, C., Powell, R. & Wee, B. (2020) Engaging children to voice their sense of place through location-based story making with photo-story maps. Children’s Geographies, 18 (2), 148-161.

Wee, B. (2020) The nature of childhood in childhoodnature. In A. Cutter-Mackenzie, K. Malone, E. Barratt Hacking (Eds.), Research Handbook on ChildhoodNature, pp. 1025-1042. Springer International Handbooks of Education.

Marzetta, K., Mason, H. & Wee, B. (2018) ‘Sometimes they are fun and sometimes they are not’: Concept mapping with English language acquisition and gifted/talented students learning science and sustainability. Education Sciences, 8 (13), 1-12.

Wee, B., Mason, H., Abdilla, J. & Lupardus, R. (2018) Nationwide perceptions of U.S. green school practices: Implications for reform and research. International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, 27 (4), 283-294.

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

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), 164-173. Selected for reprint in Pedagogic Research in Geography Higher Education, Haigh, M., Cotton, D. & Hall, T. (Eds.) Routledge.

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

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

ENVS 1342 Environment, Society and Sustainability

GEOG 1302 Introduction to Human Geography

GEOG 4/5301 Population, Culture and Resources

GEOG 5150 Place, Landscape and Meaning

ENVS 5650 Environmental Education

ENVS 6002 Environmental Sciences Seminar