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The Sierra Club

John Muir Education Team

The Sierra Club John Muir Education Team is part of the Sierra Club's Activist Network.

The mission of the John Muir Education Team is to:

  • recognize the importance of John Muir, whose words and deeds continue to inspire us to appreciate and protect our natural heritage;
  • encourage appropriate activities and events commemorating his life and legacy; and
  • inspire all people through his example to experience nature first-hand and to become involved in conservation and the protection of wilderness and biological diversity.

The John Muir Education Team assists people: to learn about John Muir through its educational publications, website, and curricula; to commemorate Muir's life through John Muir Day celebrated annually on April 21; and other programs to encourage people explore, enjoy, study and protect wild landscapes and wildlife in the tradition of John Muir.

A major focus of our Team is networking with people and organizations who are independently working on various John Muir projects. The cross-fertilization of ideas among Muir authors, artists, and educators is this Team's fundamental effort. This includes opportunities for mutual shared assistance in doing John Muir research and education projects around the country and world.

Our team regularly responds to inquiries from students, journalists, and others about the life and legacy of John Muir.


Available Resources:

  • The Sierra Club John Muir Education Team began its efforts in 1995 with the publication of the John Muir Day Study Guide. The Study Guide is a K-12 curriculum inspired by California Education Code Section 37222 recognizing John Muir's birthday every April 21. The Study Guide curriculum is professionally-developed, and is tied to the California history/social studies framework and the California guidelines for environmental education.

    The John Muir Education Team has prepared a series of Science Lesson Plans, based on the California Academic Content Standards for Earth Science, Life Science, and Investigation and Experimentation). These cover topics for grades 1 through 12 ranging from plant and animal habitats, ecosystems, earthquakes, avalanches, glaciers, geology, weather, biodiversity, and trees, as we discover that, as John Muir said, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."

    Teachers and other volunteers are sought to further help update and create more lesson plans using John Muir to classrooms.

  • A free Sierra Club John Muir Fact Sheet with a photo of Muir included is available by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to the address below.
  • Celebrating John Muir Day - This is the online edition of a brief flyer giving background information and celebration ideas for commemorating John Muir's birthday annually on April 21 is available from the John Muir Education Team. If you wish to obtain a free copy of the printed flyer, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Team at the address indicated below.
  • John Muir Exhibit on the Internet is an ongoing program of the John Muir Education Team. More details about the history, operation, and goals of the John Muir Exhibit can be found on the About the Exhibit page. Again, volunteers to help expand and improve the Exhibit are invited to assist in this effort!
  • Join the Facebook Group - Fans of John Muir
  • Join the John Muir Education Team on the Club's Grassroots network.
  • The John Muir Education Listserv is an e-mail discussion list for John Muir fans, educators, and researchers. Anyone, whether or not a Sierra Club member, may join this mailing list to learn and share about John Muir, and programs of the John Muir Education Team.
    To subscribe, send an e-mail message to [copy and paste into your e-mail]


    with a one-line command in the message body saying [Substitute your first and last name where indicated]:

    SUBSCRIBE CE-EE-JOHN-MUIR-EDUCATION Yourfirstname Yourlastname

Link to the John Muir Exhibit!

If you have a website, please help us spread the word about the inspirational life of John Muir! You can use the following banner, and link to our quick URL:
Visit the John Muir Exhibit!

Would you like to get involved?

Like all Sierra Club efforts, the John Muir Education Team is led by volunteers. If you would like to help our efforts to promote John Muir and his legacy, consider some of the following volunteer opportunities:

  • Join the campaigns to complete John Muir's Unfinished Business - Protect our national parks, national monuments, wild rivers, and wilderness areas.
  • Participate in or start a Poster or Essay contest, or a History Day Project.
  • If you are a teacher, send us your standards-based lesson plans for inclusion in our collection of updated and expanded John Muir Lesson Plans.
  • Volunteer to do research, typing, and/or scanning of Muir historical documents and photographs
  • Make a display, or host an existing one, at your local library or museum about John Muir.
  • Show a John Muir video at your school, library, museum, or club meeting
  • Compile the content for a new web page on some aspect of Muir's life. For example:
    • Write a book review of one of Muir's books or one of the many recent books about him.
    • Take one of the countries Muir visited, such as Australia, Brazil, Chile, India, or New Zealand, and identify his itinerary, features seen including Muir's description, images with links to source websites, a description of those places today, and bibliography for further information.
    • Contribute your own story about how John Muir influenced you.
  • Contact the Sierra Club John Muir Education Team for more ideas! E-mail:

Team Roster

(Affiliations are for identification purposes only.)

Core Team:

  • Jill Harcke, director of John Muir Mountain Day Camp, Martinez, CA
  • Barbara Mossberg, poet, university professor, author, and radio host, Eugene, OR
  • Peter and Donna Thomas, book artists, Santa Cruz, CA
  • Doug Harnsberger, historical architect, Swarthmore, PA
  • Tiffany Lodholz, President, Wisconsin Friends of John Muir, Montello, WI
  • Harold Wood, chair and webmaster of Sierra Club John Muir Exhibit, Visalia, CA

Team Members:

  • Ron Eber, historian, OR
  • Richard Fleck, American literature professor, Denver, CO
  • Bonnie Gisel, Curator, Yosemite Conservation Heritage Center, Yosemite, CA
  • Ron Good, park interpreter and musician, AZ and WA.
  • Will Collin, Friends of John Muir's Birthplace, Dunbar, Scotland
  • Dick Shore, professor and John Muir historian, KY

Strategic Relationships:

We have over 24 strategic relationships with people and organizations around the U.S. and Scotland.

Your involvement is welcome too!

Please direct comments and questions to:

Harold Wood
Sierra Club John Muir Education Team
P.O. Box 3499
Visalia, California 93278
e-mail :

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