David_Scott_Gilligan_CraftsburyDavid grew up on the Eastern Seaboard but came of age in the American West.  After beginning his studies in Philosophy and Religion at Flagler College in Northeastern Florida, he left the academy for a few years to travel the continent and see what life and landscapes were all about.  He resumed his studies at Prescott College in Arizona, where he studied Natural History and Ecology as both an undergraduate and a graduate student.  After a few years of working seasonally in the outdoors, David returned to Prescott College as a faculty member in the Environmental Studies and Adventure Education programs from 1999-2005.  During this time he extensively explored the backcountry of the Sierra Nevada of California and later other high mountains of the world, including the Icefield Ranges of the Alaska-Yukon border country, the Highlands of Scotland, the Norwegian mountains, the Swiss Alps, the Nepal Himalaya and the Southern Alps of New Zealand, which became the subjects of three books: The Secret Sierra, In the Years of the Mountains and Rise of the Ranges of Light.  

 Drawn back to the East by the promise of a well-balanced life, the allure of canoe country, proximity to the North Atlantic, and most importantly the opportunity to develop a natural history program at Sterling College, David moved to Vermont and took a position as a faculty member in Natural History and Ecology in 2006.  Since then he has developed an array of on-campus natural history courses, as well as off-campus field programs in the Sierra Nevada of California, Alaska, Newfoundland and Labrador and the coast of Maine and the Maritimes.  He continues to write books and articles, including his most recent book Nature, Culture, Consciousness.  He practices meditation regularly, as well as a variety of other spiritual practices and study topics.  He lives with his wife Laura just outside the village of Craftsbury, a walk through the woods from the college, a quarter mile portage from the Black River, from which one can travel by canoe to anywhere in the world.