Educator, historian, and storyteller Dr. Chuck Stead was raised in the Village of Hillburn, NY, in the heart of the Ramapo Mountains. His early education was a combination of Catholic schooling and indigenous woodlore. Living among the thousands of people exposed to Ford Motor Company toxic waste dumping, he focused his graduate education on remediation and ecological recovery of the Ramapo Watershed. Chuck received a Master’s in Public Policy from Empire State College with a focus in Social Ecology from the Institute of Social Ecology at Goddard College, Vermont. He earned his doctorate at Antioch School of Environmental Studies in Keene, New Hampshire. Chuck’s dissertation was published in book form as Get the Lead Out (2019).
Having spent years investigating Ford’s impact on the watershed and upon the Turtle Clan of the Ramapough Lunaape Nation, he helped bring about a 40-million-dollar cleanup in Torne Valley, New York. Chuck previously worked with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland County where he held the post of Environmental Educator with the county MS4 stormwater committee. He also worked for the Town of Ramapo, where he reassembled a 200-year-old ironworkers saltbox house that was dedicated as an Environmental Research Center. The Ramapo Saltbox ERC was utilized by primary and secondary schools, as well as numerous colleges and universities, and was a meeting place for indigenous people and community members.
Currently, he is an adjunct professor at Ramapo College, Mahwah, N.J. teaching sections of World Sustainability, Ecology/Society/and the Sacred, as well as Global Ethics. He has just designed a course in Controversies in Environmental Science for Marymount Manhattan. He is working with Alicia Cook, medicine woman of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation, in the development of a Traditional Ecological Knowledge curriculum. Chuck is also working on a curriculum to facilitate the O.E.’s Hudson Valley Pollinator Pathway project.
Chuck Stead lives in Goshen NY with his wife Kat and cairn terrier Leo.