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Master of Science, Behavior, Education, and Communication, School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan

Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Studies, Biology, Earth Sciences, University of California Santa Cruz

Nikki Muench

Design Manager

Why I choose to work at Academic Innovation:

I connect deeply to the Center’s mission of increasing accessibility to educational opportunities and redefining who can be a student. I saw many parallels between my previous work in environmental education and Academic Innovation’s focus on higher education that drew me in: both are learner-centered in how they approach high quality courses and programs, and both seek new ways to level the accessibility playing field, so to speak, to engage more students across broad and diverse backgrounds locally, nationally, and internationally. I am continuously learning new content and skills as I collaborate with passionate and engaged teams in Academic Innovation and the faculty at U-M through my role.

Current Roles/Previous Experience:

Nikki manages learning initiatives by bringing faculty and Academic Innovation experts to the table to collaborate and build a shared vision for online courses, specializations, and online and hybrid degree programs that engage learners across the globe.

Prior to joining Academic Innovation, Nikki worked for a non-profit in the San Francisco Bay Area, teaching and evaluating K-12 environmental education (EE) programs with nearly 1500 students per year. She volunteered with Point Reyes National Seashore both as a Snowy Plover Docent during the summer breeding season, and as a Winter Wildlife Docent. Nikki spent a season teaching outdoor education to 4th-6th grade students, where she was lucky enough to use Rocky Mountain National Park as her classroom. Her graduate work at the School for Environment and Sustainability at U-M focused on EE pedagogy and best practices, as well as partnering with a Colorado EE non-profit for her master’s practicum to pilot program evaluations for early childhood education programs.

Nikki is a member of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE).

Ask me to learn about:

Northern elephant seals, Western snowy plovers, and gray whales
Teaching environmental and outdoor education with K-12 students

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