Jan Wellik

Jan Wellik's picture
Basic Info
Wild Gift Class Year: 
2005
Better World Expertise: 
Education
Conservation & Stewardship
Current Occupation: 
Associate Lecturer at UW-La Crosse
Wild Gift provided an incredible catalyst in my life - to create an education program that I had been dreaming about for years! The grant money from Wild Gift allowed me the opportunity to make that dream a reality. Since creating Eco Expressions, a nature writing program for youth in 2004, a series of new doors opened. The dream continues to grow and evolve. Today, 8 years later, I am still leading nature writing workshops with at-risk youth, and am completing a doctoral dissertation to evaluate the effects of nature writing on young people's lives. I owe Wild Gift for this incredible spark in my life...
Impacts of My Work: 
Eco Expressions served an average of 150 youth per year in San Diego, from 2004-2008; and served 3 schools in Blaine County, Idaho in 2006-2007.
The writing activities I created were developed into a curriculum book - Nature Writing Field Guide for Teachers, published in 2007.
Hundreds of K-12 teachers, environmental educators, and therapists from Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and California have incorporated the Eco Expressions curriculum into their programs.
Since its 2004 founding in San Diego, California, Eco Expressions has directly impacted nearly 500 youth, and indirectly impacted thousands through the training of educators.

The mission of my Wild Gift Project, a literary arts program called Eco Expressions, is to provide outdoor exploration and nature writing for youth in the United States. Eco Expressions cultivates self-discovery and outdoor appreciation to illustrate the healing powers of writing and nature.

Since its 2004 founding in San Diego, California, Eco Expressions has directly impacted nearly 500 youth, and indirectly impacted thousands through the training of educators. Eco Expressions served an average of 150 youth per year in San Diego, from 2004-2008; and served 3 schools in Blaine County, Idaho in 2006-2007.

I continue to train educators around the U.S. to implement nature writing activities with their K-12 Science and English classrooms. The writing activities I created were developed into a curriculum book - Nature Writing Field Guide for Teachers, published in 2007.

Hundreds of K-12 teachers, environmental educators, and therapists from Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois and California have incorporated the Eco Expressions curriculum into their programs. I am a presenter at national education conferences each year, including the North American Association for Environmental Education, National Science Teacher Association, Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education and National Poetry Therapy Association.

Currently, I am teaching Environmental Studies and Environmental Writing at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and English courses focused on Environmental Literature at Viterbo University. I am a doctoral student at Hamline University, and as part of my EdD dissertation will study environmental education evaluation.

My goal is to establish an environmental writing institute and retreat center that offers nature writing, environmental journalism and writing residences.