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Faculty members

Ardoin, Nicole

Nicole Ardoin
Nicole Ardoin
Academic Title 
Assistant Professor
Contact Information
(650) 721-2231
CU 212
Please contact Lacy Coquillard ( to schedule an appointment.
Program Affiliations 
CTE: Science Education
Community Involvement
Community/Youth Development and Organizations
Environmental Education
Qualitative Research Methods
Youth Development and Organizations

Environmental Learning in the San Francisco Bay Area: Networks, Place Connections, Stewardship, and Educational Outcomes (2012–2016; funded by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation)

Community Conservation: Examining Environmental Behavior as Motivated by Participation in Aquarium Programs (2014–2016; in partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium)

Investigating the Long-term Impacts of Science Learning at Zoo and Aquariums (2015; in partnership with the Wilderness Conservation Society, Zoological Society of London, and Lancaster University; funded by NSF Science Learning Plus) 

Blue Habits: Motivating Lasting Pro-Ocean Behaviors among Nature-Based Travelers and Beyond (2014–2016; in partnership with the Oceanic Society)

Evaluating the Impact of Field-Based Environmental Education Citizen Science Experiences on Stewardship Behavior (2014–2015; funded by NatureBridge)

Environmental Education for Academic Impact: Investigating the Empirical Basis (2014–2015; funded by the Pisces Foundation)

Improving the Next Generation of Grantmaking through Building the Capacity of Foundation Program Officers in Evaluation and Adaptive Management (2012–2014; in collaboration with C.R. Hibbs and the Stanford Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society; funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation)

The Value of Nature Centers to Communities, Stakeholders, and Conservation (2010–2015; in collaboration with Joe Heimlich, The Ohio State University; Marc Stern, Virginia Tech; the National Audubon Society; funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences)

Facilitating Environmental Behavior: Leveraging Nature-Based Tourism Experiences into Everyday Stewardship (2011–2014; in collaboration with William Durham, Anthropology; funded by the Woods Environmental Ventures Project Fund)

Translating Environmental Education Research into Practice (2011–2013; funded by NatureBridge)

TogetherGreen Research and Evaluation, National Audubon Society (2009–2013; in collaboration with Marc Stern, Virginia Tech; and Bob Powell, Clemson University; funded by Toyota North America)

Community-based Interventions for Enhancing Residential Energy Efficiency (2010–2012; in collaboration with Tom Robinson, Stanford University School of Medicine, the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center and H-STAR, funded by the ARPA-E program of the U.S. Dept. of Energy)

Nicole Ardoin holds a joint appointment with the Graduate School of Education and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. A unifying theme across Professor Ardoin’s work is an interest in education as an opportunity to engage communities in productive, critical dialogue about sustainability to build resiliency and adaptability in light of changing environmental conditions. To this end, Dr. Ardoin’s current research includes studies on motivations for and barriers to environmental behavior among a range of audiences and in varying settings; program evaluation and adaptive management in informal settings such as parks and museums; the use of social strategies by non-governmental organizations to engage individuals and communities in decision-making related to natural resource management; leadership and training programs in natural resources and conservation; and the impact of “green” buildings and the built environment on environmental attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors.

  • Ph.D., Forestry & Environmental Studies (Social Ecology), Yale University
  • M.Phil., Forestry & Environmental Studies (Social Ecology), Yale University
  • M.S., Natural Resource Management (Environmental Education & Interpretation), University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point
  • B.B.A., International Business & French, James Madison University

Environmental Consultant, 2001 to 2008 (International conservation projects and research, exhibition design and development, environmental and conservation program evaluation, curriculum development, educator training)

Exhibition Coordinator and Education Specialist, World Wildlife Fund (DC), 1998 to 2001

Environmental Education Specialist, Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education (WI), 1996 to 1998

Museum Educator, Discovery Creek Children's Museum of Washington (DC), 1995 to 1996

Interpretive Ranger, Student Conservation Association & Grand Canyon National Park (AZ), 1994

  • Theory and Practice of Environmental Education
  • Science and Environmental Education in Informal Settings
  • Research Approaches for Environmental Problem Solving
  • Sense of Place Seminar
  • Environmental Learning and Environmental Behavior Seminar
  • Interdisciplinary Environmental Problem Solving
  • Sophomore College: Water in the West: A trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon
  • Social Ecology Lab Group (ongoing)

Stern, M.J., Ardoin, N.M., and Powell, R.B. (In press.) Exploring the Effectiveness of Community Engagement Strategies: The case of the TogetherGreen program. Society and Natural Resources.

Lincoln, N.K. and Ardoin, N.M. (In press.) Farmer Typology in South Kona, Hawai’i: Who is farming, how, and why. Food, Culture, & Society.

Ardoin, N.M., Clark, C.C., and Wojcik, D.W. (In press.) Looking Toward the Blue Sky: Environmental education researchers’ experience, influences, and aspirations. Applied Environmental Education and Communication doi: 10.1080/1533015X.2016.1141725.

Ardoin, N.M., Schuh, J.S., and Khalil, K. (In press.) Environmental Behavior of Visitors to an Informal Science Museum. Visitor Studies doi: 10.1080/10645578.2016.1144029.

Ardoin, N.M., DiGiano, M., O'Connor, K., and Podkul, T. 2016. The Development of Trust in Residential Environmental Education Programs. Environmental Education Research doi: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1144176.

Ardoin, N.M., Wheaton, M., Hunt, C.A., Schuh, J.S., Durham, W. 2016. Post-trip Philanthropic Intentions of Nature-Based Tourists in Galapagos. Journal of Ecotourism doi: 10.1080/14724049.2016.1142555.

Wheaton, M., Ardoin, N.M., Hunt, C.A., Schuh, J.S., Kresse, M., Menke, C., Durham, W. 2015. Using Web and Mobile Technology to Motivate Pro-Environmental Behavior after a Nature-Based Tourism Experience. Journal of Sustainable Tourism doi: 10.1080/09669582.2015.1081600.

Oakes, L.E., Hennon, P.E., Ardoin, N.M., D'Amore, D.V., Ferguson, A.K., Steel, E.A., Wittwer, D.T., Lambin, E.F. 2015. Conservation in a Social-Ecological System Experiencing Climate-Induced Tree Mortality. Biological Conservation 192: 276-285.

Lincoln, N.K., Ardoin, N.M. 2015. Cultivating Values: Environmental values and sense of place as correlates of sustainable agricultural practices. Agriculture and Human Values doi: 10.​1007/​s10460-015-9613-z

Gould, R.K., Klain, S., Ardoin, N.M., Woodside, U., Hannahs, N., Satterfield, T., Chan, K., Levine, J., and Daily, G.C. 2015. Eliciting Nonmaterial Values with a Protocol for Place-Based Explorations of Cultural Ecosystem Services. Conservation Biology 29(2): 575-586.

Ardoin, N.M., DiGiano, M., O’Connor, K., and Holthuis, N. 2015. Using Online Narratives to Explore Participant Experiences in a Residential Environmental Education Program. Children’s Geographies doi: 10.1080/14733285.2015.1033615

Ardoin, N.M., Wheaton, M., Bowers, A., Hunt, C.A., Durham, W. 2015. Nature-Based Tourism’s Impact on Environmental Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavior: A review and analysis of the literature and potential future research. Journal of Sustainable Tourism doi: 10.1080/09669582.2015.1024258

Ardoin, N.M., Biedenweg, K., and O'Connor, K. 2015. Evaluation in Residential Environmental Education: An applied literature review of intermediary outcomes. Applied Environmental Education and Communication 14(1), 43-56.

Ardoin, N.M., Gould, R.K., Kelsey, E., and Fielding-Singh, P. 2015. Collaborative and Transformational Leadership in the Environmental Realm. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning 17(3): 360-380.

Gould, R.K., Ardoin, N.M., Satterfield, T., Woodside, U., Hannahs, N., Daily, G.C. 2014. The Forest Has a Story: Cultural ecosystem services in Kona, Hawai'i. Ecology and Society 19(3): 55.

Boudet, H.S., Ardoin, N.M., Flora, J., Armel, K.C., and Robinson, T.R. 2014. Energy Behaviours of Northern California Girl Scouts and Their Families. Energy Policy 73: 439-449.

Rich, H. and Ardoin, N.M. 2014. Teacher and Administrator Perceptions of School Gardens in Cape Town, South Africa. Children, Youth, and Environments 24(3): 58-79.

Ardoin, N.M. 2014. Exploring Sense of Place and Environmental Behavior at an Ecoregional Scale in Three Sites. Human Ecology 42: 425-441.

Lukacs, H. and Ardoin, N.M. 2014. The Relationship of Place Re-making and Watershed Group Participation in Appalachia. Society and Natural Resources 27(1): 55-69.

Ardoin, N.M., Castrechini, S., and Hofstedt, M. 2014. Youth–Community–University Partnerships and Sense of Place: Two case studies of youth participatory action research. Children’s Geographies 12(4): 479-496.

Ardoin, N.M., DiGiano, M., Bundy, J., Chang, S., Holthuis, N., and O’Connor, K. 2014. Using Digital Photography and Journaling in Evaluation of Field-Based Environmental Education Programs. Studies in Educational Evaluation 41(2014): 68–76.

Vaughan, M.B., Ardoin, N.M.  2014. The Implications of Differing Tourist/Resident Perceptions for Community-Based Resource Management: A Hawaiian coastal resource area study. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 22(1): 50–68.

Stedman, R.C. and Ardoin, N.M. 2013. Mobility and Scale in Place-Based Environmental Education. In Trading Zones in Environmental Education: Creating transdisciplinary dialogue, edited by M. Krasny and J. Dillon. New York: Peter Lang.

Ardoin, N.M. and Heimlich, J.E. 2013. Views from the Field: Conservation educators' and practitioners' perceptions of education as a strategy for achieving conservation outcomes. Journal of Environmental Education 44(2): 97-115.

Ardoin, N.M., Clark, C.R., and Kelsey, E. 2013. An Exploration of Future Trends in Environmental Education Research. Environmental Education Research 19(4): 499-520.

Ardoin, N.M. and Bowers, A.W. 2012. Trends in Philanthropic Support: Foundation funding of environmental education. Journal of Environmental Education 43(4): 259-273.

Ardoin, N.M., Schuh, J.S., and Gould, R.K. 2012. Exploring the Dimensions of Place: A confirmatory factor analysis of data from three ecoregional sites. Environmental Education Research 18(5): 583-607.

Oshun, M., Ardoin, N.M., and Ryan, S. 2011. Use of the Planning Outreach Liaison Model in the Neighborhood Planning Process: A case study in Seattle's Rainier Valley neighborhood. Urban Studies Research. Available online at:

Khalil, K. and Ardoin, N. 2011. Programmatic Evaluation in Association of Zoos and Aquariums-Accredited Zoos and Aquariums: A literature review. Applied Environmental Education and Communication 10(3): 168-177.

Castrechini, S. and Ardoin, N. M. 2011. A Process for Engaging Communities in Youth Resource Mapping. Perspectives on Urban Education 8(2): 3-10. Available online at:

Powell, R.B., Stern, M.J., Krohn, B., and Ardoin, N.M. 2011. Development and Validation of Scales to Measure Environmental Responsibility, Character Development, and Attitudes toward School. Environmental Education Research 17(1): 91-111.

Stern, M.J., Powell, R.B., and Ardoin, N.M. 2011. Evaluating a Constructivist and Culturally Responsive Approach to Environmental Education for Diverse Audiences. Journal of Environmental Education 42(2): 109-122.

Gould, R., Ardoin, N., and Hashimoto, J. 2010. Mālama the ‘āina, Mālama the People on the āina: The Reaction to Avatar in Hawai’i. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture 4(4).

Ardoin, N.M. 2009. Strategy for the Future: Environmental Education (Funder's Briefing). Environmental Grantmakers Association: New York.

Ardoin, N.M. 2009. Behavior Change Theories and Free-Choice Environmental Learning. In Free-Choice Learning and the Environment, edited by J. Falk, J.E. Heimlich, and S. Foutz. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press.

Heimlich, J.E., and Ardoin, N.M. 2008. Understanding Behavior to Understand Behavior Change: A Literature Review. Environmental Education Research 14(3): 215-237.

Stern, M.J., Powell, R.B., and Ardoin, N.M. 2008. What Difference Does It Make? Assessing Outcomes from Participation in a Residential Environmental Education Program. Journal of Environmental Education 39(4): 31-43.

Ardoin, N.M. 2006. Toward an Interdisciplinary Understanding of Place: Lessons for Environmental Education. Canadian Journal of Environmental Education 11: 112-126. Available online at:

Powell, R.B., Stern, M.J., and Ardoin, N.M. 2006. A Sustainable Evaluation Framework and Its Application. Applied Environmental Education and Communication 5: 231-241.

Ardoin, N.M. and Sivek, D.J. 2005. An Environmental Education Needs Assessment Study in Nicaragua. Applied Environmental Education and Communication 1(4): 235-244.

Stanford Service:

Chair, Education Committee, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University

Affiliated Faculty; Admissions and Advisory Committee Member, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER), Stanford University

Member, IRB Administrative Panel on Human Subjects in Non-Medical Research

Faculty Fellow and Steering Committee, Haas Center for Public Service

Member, Provost's Committee on Postdoctoral Affairs

Co-Chair, Environmental Ventures Projects Selection Committee, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Faculty Steering Committee, Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society

Member, Committee of the Whole and Affiliated Faculty, Earth Systems Program, Stanford University

Faculty Lead, Young Environmental Scholars (Interdisciplinary Environmental) Conference for Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows, Stanford University

Service to the Field:

Associate Editor, Environmental Education Research

Consulting Editor, Journal of Environmental Education; Children, Youth, and Environments

Chair, Education Advisory Council, NatureBridge

Member, Program Committee of the Board, Monterey Bay Aquarium

Member, Advisory Council, The Brainerd Foundation

Founding Member and Member of the Nonprofit Advisory Board, Blue Sky Funders Forum

Member, Education Advisory Council, Teton Science Schools

Advisory Board Member, VidaVerde Nature Education

Advisory Council Member, North American Association for Environmental Education

Chair, Research Council and Steering Committee Member, ChangeScale (formerly the Environmental Education Collaborative)

Member, Education Operating Committee, Project Learning Tree

Member, Science Advisory Board, Children and Nature Network

Research Fellow, Environmental Grantmakers Association

Reviewer: Applied Environmental Education and Communications; Canadian Journal of Environmental Education; Conservation Biology; Environment and Behavior; Human Ecology; Science Education; Climatic Change