Living Routes has assembled an accomplished team to carry out its mission. Our Board and staff consist of experienced professionals who bring years of experience in not-for-profit, social justice, environmental and alternative and university education arenas as well as a dedication to service toward planetary healing. Our Advisory Board is listed at the bottom of this page. We also attract outstanding faculty who are profiled on the Faculty page.
Allison Butler is a media educator and media education researcher in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. She teaches and develops courses in media literacy for traditional and alternative high school programs, college and graduate students as well as primary and secondary school teachers. She is on the faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she teaches courses on young people and media and media education. She holds an MA and a PhD from New York University. She is the author of Media Education Goes to School and Majoring in Change. Butler believes education and critical inquiry can help change the world.
Born in Italy in 1951 and raised in Venezuela, Gio received a BA in Foreign Languages and Education at the University of Connecticut and did graduate course work in Linguistics and Education in the late ’80s. Gio has been involved in group facilitation since 1978 and co-founded Huehuecoyotl Ecovillage in Tepoztlan, Morelos, Mexico in 1982. In 1991 he studied formal consensus and conflict resolution with C. T. Buttler and later translated Butler’s book into Spanish. In the mid and late 90s Gio studied Consensus and Facilitation with Bea Briggs and later with Caroline Estes. He has applied his knowledge and expertise in facilitation and conflict resolution in educational and community settings including the Ecovillage Network of the Americas of which he is a Board member and at Huehuecoyotl where he spends extended time every year. Gio is also the program director for Living Routes’ J-term course in Mexico: Leadership for Social Change.
John M. Gerber is Professor of Plant Sciences and Sustainability Studies at the University of Massachusetts. He teaches courses in Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Living, Agricultural Systems Thinking, and other related plant science courses. John is chair of the Amherst Conservation Commission and was a founding member of the Consortium for Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, and the Loka Institute for Democratizing Technology. He was Director of the University of Massachusetts Extension System from 1992 to 2000, and has also served as Associate Dean in the College of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In addition, he was the Assistant Director in the Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station and Program Leader for Sustainable Agriculture in the Illinois Cooperative Extension Service (1989-1992). John was responsible for the establishment of the University of Illinois Agro-Ecology Program.
Larkspur Morton happily spent over a year in the Peruvian rainforest to earn her graduate degrees from the University of California at Davis. She has taught for the Audubon Expedition Institute (AEI), Colby College, Lesley University, and UCDavis over the past two decades. Her work with AEI’s Ecological Education and Leadership Programs as well as her recent semester teaching for Living Routes in India strengthened her commitment to alternative approaches to education, to teaching leadership, group process, cross-cultural understanding, systems thinking, and sustainability. Serving on the Living Routes board brings together several of Larkspur’s life passions: holistic and progressive education, travel and culture, social and environmental justice, living in community, and caring for the earth. Larkspur is currently on the leadership team for a project that is re-establishing the expedition education degree programs (formerly of AEI) so that more learners have the opportunity to expand their worlds, re-connect with themselves, each other, and the earth, and become the leaders and educators we need for the 21st century.
Ali holds an M.Ed. in Adult Education from the University of British Columbia and a B.S. from Skidmore College where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Management and Business. She attended the Living Routes semester in India in the Spring of 2005 which sparked her interests in ecovillages and alternative economics. As a result of her Living Routes experience, Ali wrote her undergraduate thesis on the relationship between ecovillages and participatory research. Ali was a cofounder of NextGEN (Next Generation of the Global Ecovillage Network) and she served on the Global Ecovillage Network Board for two years. She has helped launch two local currencies, Los Angeles Ecovillage LETS and Mountain Money, and is in the process of writing a book on how to start a local currency. Following her passion for local food and land conservation Ali is currently working for the Central Colorado Foodshed Alliance and the Land Trust of the Upper Arkansas.
George Grattan is the Social Media Manager for Bentley University in Waltham, MA, and was previously employed in that role and other marketing and communications roles (2008-2012) by Earthwatch. He has a Master’s Degree in English from the University of Virginia, and attended the College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA) as an undergrad. Prior to joining Earthwatch, George was the Associate Director of the Urban Ecology Institute in Boston, a small non-profit educating youth and local communities about healthy urban ecosystems and empowering them to take action to create sustainable cities. He has also been a Visiting Adjunct Professor of English at Holy Cross and a Graduate Adjunct Professor at Boston College, teaching courses on environmental literature and composition, and environmental cultural studies. He co-edited a composition reader, now in its second edition, used in first-year college writing courses (Writing Places), which is designed to help young people learn to think and write critically about the places they inhabit. George and his wife Mary have lived in or just outside of Boston, MA for more than 15 years, and frequently visit the small towns of Eastern Long Island’s North Fork, where he grew up. George enjoys hiking, running, kayaking, swimming, talking to just about all dogs, and working with teens and college students; he has been a Field Team Facilitator on Earthwatch expeditions to the woods of Nova Scotia and to the mountains of California’s Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument.