Mele Wheaton

Roles at NAAEE:

ee360 Partner

Stanford University

Dr. Mele Wheaton is a senior research scholar with Prof. Nicole Ardoin’s team in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. Her research interests include learning in out-of-school contexts, pro-environmental action, and nature-based tourism. As lead on a variety of projects, Mele has studied behavior change in ecotourists in Galapagos and California, environmental identity and action in high-school students participating in an intensive conservation education program, and professional development in environmental educators. She currently manages several projects including exploring the various pathways to environmental literacy through environmental education programming and connecting research and practice both in education and in conservation land management. Mele has an M.A. and Ph.D. in Science and Environmental Education from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She has been a fellow of the NSF-funded Center for Informal Learning and Schools; a fellow of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation for Environmental Leadership; and a board member of the California Environmental Education Foundation (CEEF). Prior to her research career, Mele worked for more than a decade in a variety of informal education settings including parks and museums in Alaska, Arizona, and California.  Mele has also worked as a field biologist, conducting botanical surveys and studying nesting bald eagles.