Dr. Benjamin Blonder co-founded the University of Arizona’s Sky School, a residential science school that provides inquiry-based environmental education on a campus located in the heart of the Coronado National Forest. Because of his efforts, each year hundreds of K-12 students, primarily from Title I schools, are now able to conduct independent research while exploring the unique ecology, geology, and astronomy resources of the region. These experiences are key for inspiring and preparing a more diverse next generation of scientists and conservation leaders.
Benjamin’s vision for the Sky School was inspired by his AmeriCorps service in central Idaho at the McCall Outdoor Science School, a NSF-supported teaching fellowship in a Tucson public school, and his long-term volunteer leadership with The Sierra Club’s Inner City Outings program, which provides opportunities for urban youth to experience nature. He recently received his PhD in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona.