Nicky Phear

Photo of Phear, Nicky

Nicky Phear

Climate Change Studies Program Director

Personal Summary

I direct and teach in the Climate Change Studies Program, a minor degree program that offers students a multidisciplinary understanding of climate change and involves them in developing solutions. I teach the introductory Climate Change: Science and Society course and develop experiential learning opportunities for students through internships, practicums, and field courses. I’ve had the privilege of leading field-based climate change education programs in Bhutan, Vietnam, and Montana.

I have a BA in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, an MS in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, and a PhD from Prescott College in Sustainability Education. I am a founding member of Climate Smart Missoula, have led numerous campus and community climate discussions, and was a member of UM’s inaugural Women’s Leadership Initiative. In addition to my interest in climate change education, I am an avid backcountry skier and mountain biker.

Here are some of the courses I’ve led, as shared by the voices of my students:

Mansfield Fellowship

I have worked closely with the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Center over the last eight years to support youth education and empowerment on global environmental issues. I helped to develop the Mansfield Center’s study abroad course in Vietnam, focused on climate change effects and adaptation, and have led four groups of University of Montana students to study in the Mekong Delta. I also serve as an Academic co-Director for the Young Southeast Asian Leadership Initiative (YSEALI), where I mentor emering leaders to develop collaborative initiatives that address shared environmental challenges across Southeast Asia.

As a Mansfield Fellow, I work to create additional opportunities for youth leaders from Montana and Southeast Asia to exchange perspectives, ideas, and solutions to global environmental challenges. I also help connect Missoula-area high school students to opportunities at the University of Montana to study and engage in global learning and help coordinate the Women’s Leadership Initiative, empowering young women to engage in leadership and public service.