Christina Wild, Ph.D. is a 2023 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Christina Wild at her Dissertation Defense.

From L-R: Dr. Beth Mabry, Committee Chair, Dr. Michael Raffanti, Committee Member, Dr. Lemuel Watson, Committee Member.

Dissertation Committee

  • Beth Mabry, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Lemuel Watson, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Michael Raffanti, Ed.D., Committee Member


nature-based education, Duluth, teaching, leadership

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This dissertation explores the lived experience of nature-based educators in Duluth, Minnesota. Portraiture served as the methodological framework for learning about how teachers in Duluth got into teaching and why they remain on the job. Teacher turnover and attrition is a national problem exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, teachers who perceive better working conditions are less likely to leave the profession. In addition, nature-based education has positive influences on students. Past research in nature-based education has looked at students rather than teachers. This study’s findings offer key lessons in the stories of educators who stay in teaching and experience joy. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA,, and OhioLINK ETD Center,


christina wild

Christina Wild

ORCID Scholar ID #: #0000-0009-4938-9733

Christina Wild is a dedicated educator with a passion for the outdoors and teaching. With a teaching career spanning 16 years across Minnesota, Vermont, and New Hampshire, Christina's love for both nature and education has been at the forefront of her life. Her journey began in Boston, where she attended Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, laying the foundation for her future endeavors. Christina's educational journey led her to Sterling College, where she earned degrees in Resource Management and Sustainable Agriculture, reflecting her deep commitment to environmental sustainability. Later she pursued a Masters in Education with a focus on Curriculum & Instruction, further refining her teaching skills. Outside the classroom, Christina finds her happiness in the great outdoors. Hiking through scenic trails, gardening and indulging in her passion for baking are all cherished pastimes. Her connection to the land is deeply rooted, as she started an education program at Cedar Circle Farm after college. Prior to her teaching career, Christina gained valuable experiences as a gardener and even had the unique opportunity to milk water buffalo. Christina's dedication to place-based education is evident in her collaboration with other like-minded educators in Vermont. Her journey from a Boston native to a seasoned teacher with a profound love for nature and teaching has shaped students to be stewards of the environment and passionate learners.