This week's episode feature's a conversation with Dr. Heidi Steltzer. Dr. Steltzer is a Professor of Environment and Sustainability at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO where she’s been teaching for the last 15 years. She's been living in and studying Colorado since 1994.
She founded the Heidi Mountains Cooperative, a non-profit field station & retreat center in Cortez, Colorado that honors science and faith as ways of knowing. Heidi is a Master’s student in Theological Studies at Iliff School of Theology in Denver.
Dr. Steltzer is a lead author for the chapter on High Mountain Areas in the 2019 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. She is a member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and an advocate in AGU’s Voices for Science program launched in 2018 to promote communication about the value and impact of Earth and space science to decision makers, journalists, and public audiences.
Dr. Steltzer is a mountain and Arctic scientist, explorer, and science communicator. She studies how environmental changes affect mountain watersheds and Arctic ecosystems and their link to our well-being. She has spent 25 years conducting field studies on mountain and Arctic hillslopes in Colorado, Alaska, Greenland and recently China. She’s pioneered studies on the impacts of earlier snowmelt through experimentally accelerating snowmelt and monitoring plant and ecosystem responses. Her field studies lead to an experiential approach to higher education, in which she creates opportunities for student-led inquiry into environmental issues. Her experiences engaging with students have influenced her choice to invest in science communication and climate diplomacy. Dr. Steltzer earned her BS in Biology at Duke University. Her doctorate is in Ecosystem Ecology from University of Colorado at Boulder. Find her on social media @heidimountains.