Board of Directors

Christopher Nye (Chair) holds a PhD in American studies, was for many years a professor and then college administrator, and is a published poet. In addition to volunteering at Orion and serving on its board, he is vice president of an operating foundation, The Myrin Institute, and is the unofficial steward of its nature preserve. With other retired educators, he heads the Institute’s initiative, Educate the Whole Child, which seeks to develop and promote alternatives to the accountability paradigm in public education. While working at colleges, he instituted environmental programs incorporating place-based education and service learning.

Barrie Ryan taught writing and (she hopes) love of literature at Green Fields School, Pima Community College, and the University of Arizona, in Tucson, Arizona. For some years she was a social worker with homeless persons, as well as those living with HIV, and for twenty years she was a volunteer hospice caregiver. She has published three books of poetry, including Creek Ceremony (Pima Press, 2001).

Scott Russell Sanders is the author of twenty books of fiction and nonfiction, including Hunting for Hope, Earth Works, and Divine Animal. Among his honors are the Lannan Literary Award, the John Burroughs Essay Award, the Mark Twain Award, the Cecil Woods Award for Nonfiction, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. In 2012 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a distinguished professor emeritus of English at Indiana University. He and his wife, Ruth, a biochemist, have reared two children in their hometown of Bloomington in the hardwood hill country of Indiana’s White River Valley.

Josh Stearns is the director of journalism and sustainability at the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, where he works to support and expand community-driven local news. Prior to joining the Dodge staff, Josh served as press freedom director at Free Press, where he spent seven years running national advocacy campaigns in support of digital rights, freedom of expression, and media diversity. His articles have appeared in the Guardian, Columbia Journalism Review, PBS MediaShift, Orion, and Boing Boing. Josh is a visiting scholar in the Journalism and Communication Departments at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has a BA in creative writing from St. Lawrence University and an MA in American studies from the University of Massachusetts.

Priscilla Solis Ybarra is assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of North Texas, specializing in Chicana/o literature and theory as well as environmental literature and ecocriticism.  Her book Writing the Goodlife: Mexican American Literature and the Environment is forthcoming in Spring 2016 from the University of Arizona Press; it will be the first study to engage a long-range environmental literary history of Chicana/o writing. Dr. Ybarra has presented talks at various national and international conferences, including the Modern Language Association, American Studies Association, Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Western Literature Association, Congreso Internacional de Literatura Chicana, and the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis.