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 Senior

Why I Choose to Work at Academic Innovation

I connect to the Center’s mission of increasing access and reducing barriers to educational opportunities. I saw many parallels between my previous work in environmental education and Academic Innovation: both are learner-centered in how they approach designing high quality courses and programs, and both seek new ways to engage more students across diverse backgrounds from around the world. 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 worked across CAI’s open learning and online & hybrid degree portfolios for her first two years at the center. As of 2022, she continues to work in the open learning space while expanding her role to include developing the curricula and frameworks for Michigan Online Global Classroom in collaboration with many other teams at CAI.

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. She partnered with a Colorado non-profit for her master’s practicum to pilot program evaluations for early childhood education programs.

Ask Me to Learn About

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