Charlie received his undergraduate degree in geophysics from Amherst College, master’s degrees in geology and geotechnical engineering from Stanford, and a PhD in civil and environmental engineering from Cornell. He has been on the engineering faculty of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York since 1983. In 1990, he became the first director of the Sciencenter, an independent, hands-on science museum in Ithaca, where he organized the construction of the museum with 4,000 volunteers and grew the staff to 30 and attendance to 100,000 guests per year.
Charlie’s primary focus at RCC is on how to get very young children curious about their world and how to encourage them to develop good learning habits early on that will last a lifetime, particularly those related to the environment and attachment to nature. His project involves studying how the experiences of preschool children (ages 0–5) with nature affect them as adults in terms of interest, behavior, and advocacy related to the environment.