Ben Graves

Guest Speaker

Ben Graves has been teaching high school in Western Colorado for six years. His undergraduate (BS) and graduate (MS) studies were in the Earth Systems Science Program at Stanford University where he felt drawn to teaching after volunteering as a docent and ranger at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve.

Ben currently teaches AP Environmental Science, 9th Grade Earth Science, College Biology and a Solar Energy Training course. His teaching philosophy is based on engaging students with meaningful hands-on learning experiences that explore and build connections to their diverse local environment. This includes starting a district-wide outdoor careers pathway program called the Youth Outdoor Network where students engage in science practices in the field with resource management agency partners; developing a multiyear citizen-science partnership with CU Boulder around air quality monitoring; and initiating a Solar Energy Training program where students can earn a vocational certificate in Solar Electric Installation. His current professional development focus is on helping students build skills in scientific argumentation and facilitating productive debate around controversial issues.

He is a Senior Fellow with the Knowles Teachers Initiative (, a national teacher leadership program for early career science and math teachers. He lives with his wife and one-year-old daughter in beautiful Paonia, CO where they can often be found hiking in desert canyons, rafting wilderness rivers, or cross-country skiing on the largest flat-topped mountain in the world.

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