Emily Umbarger

 Emily Umbarger
Director of Sustainability, Instructor of Agricultural Science
College of Education, Michigan State University
Bachelor of Arts, Education
Converse College
Master of Arts, Education
College of Education, Michigan State University
PhD abd., Education, Curriculum, & Technology

About Emily

With her roots in northern Michigan, Emily Umbarger is a native of the Great Lakes region. Umbarger completed her undergraduate degree in education at Michigan State University; her master’s degree in education at Converse College; and her doctoral studies in education at Michigan State University. She is now completing a master’s program in Global Sustainable Systems - Agriculture at Colorado College.

Currently, Umbarger is the Sustainability Director and Instructor of Agricultural Sciences at Interlochen Center for the Arts, where she has spent the past 13 years. During her tenure at Interlochen, she has been instrumental in bringing about positive change in the world of sustainability on the institution’s campus, receiving numerous rigorous certifications for the school in the field of regenerative, sustainable, and earth-friendly practices. In 2019, Umbarger’s efforts led the institution to a U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon School award in recognition of the advancements made in sustainability across campus.

Umbarger oversees the school’s campus-wide initiatives in composting, recycling, sustainability-related outreach and community education, and manages the school’s R. B. Annis Botanical Laboratory and Community Garden. She is currently working on a campus-wide greenhouse gas assessment and carbon neutral planning for the institution. She sits as a trustee on the Allen Foundation board and is a member of Michigan Association for Environmental and Outdoor Educators and the Michigan Association for Environmental Professionals.

Umbarger is a lover of the outdoors and nature and is the proud mother of two boys: Jake and Joey. Umbarger is a Michigan State University-certified Master Gardener, a passionate cast iron chef, a devoted beekeeper, and a lover of our Mother Earth.

I believe that all students should have a safe environment to express their thoughts, feelings, emotions, questions, and ideas and to feel safe and accept for who they are. I believe that excellent learning experiences take place when students are able to experience content in meaningful ways that apply to the real-world and prepare them for the future. I believe that outstanding education occurs when respect, passion, inquiry, and learning occurs inside and outside of the classroom.

Aquaponics Certified Educator, August 2018

MSU Certified Master Gardener, June 2018

Summer Research Fellowship, Michigan State University, 2009

Michigan Teacher Professional Certification, Elementary Education; K-5 all subjects, 6-8 all subjects self-contained, 2003-2009

Michigan Special Area Endorsement: Social Studies and English Language Arts, grades 6-8 endorsement

South Carolina Professional Teacher Certification, 2004-2008

Florida Provisional Teacher Certification, 2003-2004

MLPP (Michigan Literacy Progress Profile), 2002-2003

MTTC (Michigan Teacher Test for Certification), Basic Skills Test, 2000

M. A, Education, Curriculum, & Instruction — Michigan State University, Converse College

B.A, Elementary Education - Michigan State University