Dr. Bob Carter has been active in the fields of environmental and outdoor education and heritage interpretation for the past three decades. He spent 22 of those years at Northern Illinois University teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in environmental education, outdoor education, interpretation, and museum studies. For the last several of those years he also served as Curator of NIU’s Blackwell History of Education Museum and Research Collections. “Dr. Bob,” as many friends, colleagues, and students call him, received his B.A. in Environmental Studies from Northeastern Illinois University, and his M.S. in Outdoor Teacher Education and his doctorate in Adult and Higher Education from Northern Illinois University.
Dr. Carter is a long-time advocate for programs such as Project WILD, Project WET, and Project Learning Tree, and has served as a member of EEAI’s PLT Advisory Council since its inception. In 2014 he was given an Outstanding Educator award by Project learning Tree for his long time promotion of PLT materials with his student teachers at NIU. He is a winner of EEAI’s highest award, the Malcom D. Swan Award for outstanding service and contribution to the field of environmental education in Illinois.
Although retired from academia since June 2016, he continues his involvement in EE as a Consulting Editor for the Journal of Environmental Education, a member of NAAEE’s EE Certification Advisory Board and as a trainer for NAAEE’s Guidelines for Excellence. He is also the current director of the National Association for Interpretation’s Heartland Region, is a Certified Interpretive Trainer, and contributes a quarterly column to NAI’s Legacy magazine. He considers himself an “itinerant historian” of EE, publishing on the topic and even creating a first person interpretive character named “Environmental Ed.”