Samantha Lindgren

Roles at NAAEE:

eePRO Group Leader

Sustainable Cities & Communities Group Moderator

Assistant Professor
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Samantha Lindgren is an assistant professor in the department of Education Policy, Organization, and Leadership in the College of Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and is affiliated faculty in the department of Agriculture and Biological Engineering and the Technology Entrepreneurship Center in the Grainger College of Engineering. Her research focuses on youth-oriented Environmental Education and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and its impact on decision-making in the home, both in the United States and abroad. Her work is specifically focused around topics of household energy and sustainable agriculture.

As a 2018-2020 Link Foundation Energy Fellow, Sam spent six months in Namibia where she examined a weeklong ESD program for middle-grade students and its impact on the students’ families and communities. Her findings reaffirm the idea that energy is a family affair in that parents learn from their children, and argues that youth are stakeholders in household energy decisions. More recently, she has been collaborating with University of Illinois Extension educators and the Forest Preserve of Cook County to expand environmental education offerings for middle schoolers and their families during the pandemic.

Previously Sam was a high school Physics and Earth Science teacher in California and in Florida, and spent 8 years developing science and environmental education curriculum at the University of Illinois, much of which was funded by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. She has held leadership roles in clean energy start-ups, and continues to serve as an advisor on topics related to behavior change and education in these organizations. Sam regularly reviews journal articles for publications such as Energy Research and Social Science and Energy Policy, and conference proposals for NAAEE and American Society for Engineering Education.

Sam believes in youth as agents of change, and looks for opportunities to address gaps in access to quality environmental education programming domestically, and encourages the inclusion of youth in international development work to strengthen communities.