The Ohio State University’s Affordable Learning Exchange (ALX) program provided grant support and a cohort of colleagues that made this book possible, and there are many people whose contribution was essential to writing this book. My students at Ohio State and Cornell to whom I’ve taught this material have been my most constant dialogue partners. Dr. Richard Baer was my dissertation advisor and teaching mentor at Cornell, and his own teaching is echoed in many parts of this book. Fellow Baer graduate students Dr’s Jim Tantillo, Karl Johnson, and Jamie Skillen supported my early efforts to engage this material and continue to provide points of engagement. Rev. Dr. David Bartlett (1941-2017) was my advisor at Yale Divinity School and made my unique divinity-environment degree work there possible. Dr. Stephen Kellert (1943-2016) at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies greatly deepened my appreciation for environmental values during my masters work at Yale.
I’m also indebted professionally to Cheryl Riley, whose leadership in outdoor ethics at the National Wildlife Federation helped launch my career; Susan Johnson, whose NWF Wildlife Camp vision shaped my aspirations; Paul Gorman, whose inspired leadership blessed my work at the National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE); Cassandra Carmichael, whose work with the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Programs and NRPE has continued to inspire me; Mary Evelyn Tucker, whose gracious encouragement and collaboration has helped sustain my academic vision; Tim Van Meter, whose collegial company at various pubs has kept me afloat; and Jerry Bigham, Ron Hendrick, Jeff Sharp, and Brian Slater, whose support and guidance in the School of Environment and Natural Resources has made my religion-environment work at Ohio State possible.
Many other friends and colleagues inspired me by their teaching, writing, leadership, or just by being wonderful people who have encouraged me along the way: Clair Bullock, Bob Gates, Brian Lower, Cal DeWitt, Katharine Hayhoe, Terry Chapin, Jay Rundell, Kathy Dickson, Elaine Nogueira-Godsey, Melanie Harris, Steve Bouma-Prediger, Loren Wilkinson, Michal Smart, Eric Mason, Erick Olsen, David Perry, Gretel Van Wieren, Mike Schut, Joseph Lumbard, Fred Dobb, Nigel Savage, Dirk Slater, Larry Schweiger, Craig Tufts, Susie Greenstone, Seabird McKeon, Cheryl Dixon, Jon Wilkinson, Emily Rundell, Greg Graff, Kevin Schwartz, John Leinenweber, Richard Chiola, my CEHV and COMPAS colleagues Don Hubin, Piers Turner, Eric MacGilvray, Michael Neblo, Pam Salsberry and Dana Howard, Elena Irwin, Kate Bartter, David Hanselmann, Bruce McPheron, Carol Anelli, Linda Martin, David Wituszynski, Sara Ward, Meribah Mansfield, Rebecca Tollefson, Fr. Vinny McKiernan, Jerry Freewalt, Dan Misleh, Jason Cervenec, the Columbus Diocese Creation Care Team, Leanne Jablonski, Emma Earick, Howard Van Cleave, Terry Gustafson, Bryan Mark, the outstanding faculty of the School of Environment and Natural Resources, and surely many others: in one way or another you have all played an important part in shaping my work and teaching me by your excellent example.
There are also several folks who deserve the credit for directly helping me develop this online book. Mike Shiflet from OSU’s Office of Distance Learning and eLearning woke me up to the possibility of an online book and provided ongoing assistance; SENR student Leah Kessler served as my first student editorial assistant, taking her outstanding understanding of course material from her time in class to help me organize the book material and begin crafting it for online form; Ella Weaver, SENR grad student and instructional assistant, provided generous advice and help in navigating Pressbooks and greatly improved the final edition; Sarah Walton, SENR PhD student and my outstanding Teaching Assistant during the final semester when the book took shape, who inspired me to continue exploring new approaches to this material; and SENR student Madeline Fox, who applied her editorial skills even while taking my class in order help bring the book to publishable form. And last but certainly not least, former students Natalie Pax, whose sub-chapter inaugurates the section of student chapters, and Sophie Manaster, who co-authored chapter 6, have my enduring admiration for becoming the first student authors whose work is part of this book. As of the autumn of 2019 as this book is being published, eight more students are working with me on finalizing additional sub-chapters that will be added to the book by early 2020.
Finally, I also would not appreciate many aspects of the complex world of religion and the environment without the input, questions, example, instruction, and friendship of many people of faith – friends, family, and strangers alike – who have engaged with me throughout my life. To these peers and fellow travelers, I offer my gratitude, and I welcome your ongoing feedback about how this book can better engage all those who need to be part of the conversation about caring for our common home.