Ann Catherine Rossmiller
Ann Rossmiller is a researcher who is guided by human development and sustainability. Through her work, she strives to highlight the importance of early childhood experiences and the early childhood profession related to greater sustainability goals while also demonstrating the power children and youth have to shape the world around them when given proper resources and autonomy.
As an educational studies doctoral candidate at the University of Cincinnati, Ann has had the opportunity to work on a NSF funded research project for four years. This mixed methods study explored how young children’s experiences on a playscape– a nature-based environment with intentionally designed affordances– innately lend themselves to STEM learning.
Her current dissertation research builds from this work and investigates the nuances of nature-based early learning (NBEL) experiences as well as the impact impact of these experiences on one’s sustainable mindset during preadolescence. This work will not only be the first study measuring long-term impacts of NBEL but it will also contribute to the development of an empirically tested framework detailing how specific interactions with nature during early childhood lead to proenvironmental behavioral intention and connection to nature later in life.
In addition to her role on the playscape research team and her dissertation work, she is a member of the Leave No Child Inside Collaborative of Greater Cincinnati (LNCIgc) steering committee, and the editorial assistant for Children, Youth & Environments (CYE). Ann also developed and taught two undergraduate courses related to education for sustainability and the impact of environments on child and youth development.
Her research interests have bloomed from all of these experiences and now focus on: impacts of nature-based early learning experiences on preadolescents’ sustainable mindsets, multi-faceted benefits of nature engagement, conservation education for children & youth through nonformal education environments, positive youth development through pro-environmental action, & equity issues in environmental education.