« FACULTY / Peter Schoonmaker

Chair of MFA in Collaborative Design

Peter Schoonmaker is Founding Chair of the MFA in Collaborative Design at PNCA, the first program in the United States to apply collaborative design thinking to real-world wicked problems. He comes to PNCA with a background in non-profit entrepreneurship, working with conservation organizations, community groups, government agencies, and natural resource businesses to design mutually beneficial forest, fisheries and watershed partnerships in the Pacific Northwest.

In past positions, Peter developed one of the first web-based environmental news services, assessed the status of Pacific salmon, and led several watershed assessments. He has studied vegetation change and fire history in temperate rainforests, in South America, and in New England. His wildlife experience includes Hawaiian forest birds, Andean condors, peregrine falcons, and Pacific salamanders.

Peter is founding president of Illahee, a non-profit organization that provides a forum for environmental innovators to exchange ideas and increase the rigor of public discourse around environmental/social/economic systems. He was also board president of Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center, facilitating a process that permanently protected 35,000 acres of ancient forest.

Peter has held positions at University of Massachusetts, Oregon State University, Willamette University, Portland State University and Linfield College.

PhD 1992 Harvard University (Organismic & Evolutionary Biology)
BA 1981 Colorado College (Biology)

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