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The Sierra Club

John Muir Education Team

The Sierra Club John Muir Education Team is a program by Sierra Club California and the Club's National Environmental Education Team.

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.

  • 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.
    Teachers and volunteers are sought to help update and bring this curriculum guide to more classrooms, not only on April 21, John Muir's birthday, but throughout the school year. We can send you a free one-page description and order form by sending us a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Team at the address indicated below.

  • 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 ommemorating 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!

  • 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

  • Join the John Muir Education Team on the Club's Grassroots network.

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 - Restoring Hetch Hetchy, saving the Giant Sequoias, and protecting Yosemite and other wild places.
  • Participate in or start a Poster or Essay contest, or a History Day Project.
  • If you are a teacher, submit quality lesson plans for inclusion in an updated and expanded John Muir Day Study Guide.
  • 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 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:

Currently active members of the John Muir Education Team include:

(Affiliations are for identification purposes only.)

Susan Barry, a watercolor artist of Muir and nature landscapes.

Garrett Burke - An honors graduate from Pratt Institute, Garrett Burke is an award-winning graphic designer creating movie posters, logos and packaging for entertainment industry clients such as Warner Bros., Nickelodeon, Disney, 20th Century Fox, Microsoft and the Star Wars folks. His concept honoring John Muir - Yosemite Valley is currently one of five finalists being considered for the 2005 California State Quarter.

Janene Ford, Department Coordinator, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library - custodian of the John Muir Papers.

Dr. Bonnie Gisel, Sierra Club LeConte Memorial Lodge, Yosemite; Editor of Kindred and Related Spirits: The Letters of John Muir and Jeanne C. Carr, conference coordinator for the 2001 Fifth national John Muir Conference hosted by the University of the Pacific; consultant for John Muir National Historic Site.

Jill Harcke, Educator, co-producer of John Muir Tribute CD.

Maureen Lewis, John Muir Memorial Association - Education Team, San Diego and John Muir's Great-Great-Grand-daughter.

Dr. Barbara Mossberg Ph.D, Dean, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Cal. State Monterey Bay, poet and author, internationally known public speaker on education and liberal arts.

Jennifer Rigby, M.S., Science Education, Director, The Acorn Group, Inc., interpretive planning and design, project manager for the California Plan for Environmental Education.

Catherine Soria, elementary school teacher at Yosemite School certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, who leads educational field trips to Muir's birthplace in Scotland.

Cathy Sponseller is a long-time Muir enthusiast and photographer. She has a BA in Geography and MA in Environmental Education from San Francisco State, plus grad courses in Museum Studies. She has volunteered for the National Park Service at John Muir and Eugene O'Neill National Historic Sites, The Yosemite Fund, and served on the Board for the Walnut Creek Open Space Foundation. She also is a fan and volunteer for the Willows Theatre's musical, "John Muir's Mountain Days."

William Swagerty, Ph.D., Professor at University of the Pacific and Director of its John Muir Center for Environmental Studies.

Janet Wood, M.S., Geosciences Education, community college instructor and a JPL/NASA Solar System Ambassador.

Harold Wood Esq., volunteer webmaster of the John Muir Exhibit, and Coordinator, Sierra Club John Muir Education Team.

Additional corresponding members serve in an advisory capacity, including among others:

Jill Endicott, Vice Principal and 4th grade teacher at Green Valley School in Danville, California, who uses a model curriculum using John Muir as the focus;
Susan Liebermann, Educator in Yosemite, California;
Marian Macumber, M.S., Special Education, Educator in Ventura, California;
Daryl Morrison, Librarian of the John Muir Papers at the University of the Pacific
Jennifer Rigby, M.S., Science Education, Director, The Acorn Group, Inc., interpretive planning and design

Your involvement is welcome too!

Please direct comments and questions to:

Harold Wood
Sierra Club John Muir Education Team
P.O. Box 3543
Visalia, California 93278
e-mail :

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