Michael is an award-winning author, master storyteller, ecologist, educator, poet and musician who has been featured on educational television, over National Public Radio and by the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). He reaches thousands of people each year through personal appearances and his books are used by millions throughout the world. His work draws from science, Earth stewardship and cultural diversity and he has worked with many indigenous peoples during the past 25 years. Michael is a juried artist with the New Hampshire Council on the Arts and the Vermont Arts Council, and has been affiliated with the Vermont Council on the Humanities and the Quebec-Labrador Foundation. His programs, performances, keynotes, workshops and residencies are given to children, school groups, teachers, naturalists, families, storytellers, conferences and general audiences. He has taught at numerous colleges and universities throughout North America. (Michael is of Italian ancestry.)
In 1984 Michael founded a service called P.E.A.C.E.® - Programs for Environmental Awareness and Cultural Exchange. P.E.A.C.E.® promotes understanding, awareness, appreciation and stewardship as the foundation for building a harmonious, sustainable relationship between people and Earth, and among the cultures of the world.
Michael is the creator and coauthor of the best-selling, award-winning books Keepers of the Earth, Keepers of the Animals, Keepers of Life, Keepers of the Night and Native American Gardening. His newest books (early 2011) include Catch the Wind, Harness the Sun: 22 Supercharged Projects for Kids and Riparia's River. Michael's other popular books include Earth Tales from Around the World, Pond and Brook: A Guide to Nature in Freshwater Environments, A Time Before New Hampshire: The Story of a Land and Native Peoples and The Crimson Elf: Italian Tales of Wisdom. His "Books for the Spirit" include Everyday Herbs in Spiritual Life: A Guide to Many Practices, Abraham's Bind & Other Bible Tales of Trickery, Folly, Mercy and Love and Remains Unknown: The Final Journey of a Human Spirit. Michael's picture/activity books include In the Beginning: The Story of Genesis and Earth Activities for Children and A Child of God: Stories of Jesus and Stewardship Activities for Children. He also wrote A Guide on Environmental Values Education (UNESCO — English and Spanish editions). He has written more than 250 articles for magazines such as Cricket, Rodale's Organic Gardening, Ranger Rick's NatureScope, Sanctuary, Instructor, Vermont Life, Nature Study, Green Teacher and Whole Terrain. Michael's articles have appeared in major newspapers-from the Providence Journal and Denver Post to Haaretz — and his op-eds have been carried over Reuters International News Service.
Michael accompanies his original songs with acoustic guitar and invites audiences to sing along. All One Earth: Songs for the Generations — his award-winning family album — features smooth adult harmonies, a children's chorus, animal voices and a superb melding of acoustical guitar, piano, bass, violin, harmonica, flute, recorder and mandolin.
His Contributions to Education
In 1981 Michael created, named and published "Environmental Values Education" (EVE) — the first comprehensive strategy for moral education and the environment. He also pioneered the use of storytelling and the arts for teaching environmental ethics. In the Keepers of the Earth® series which was co-authored with Joseph Bruchac (1985-1994), Michael created "Ecological Education," a wholistic approach inspired by biological diversity and rooted in the diversity of human intelligence and culture.
Michael earned a B.S. in Natural Resources Management from the University of Rhode Island (magna cum laude). He was awarded a full Rackham Fellowship from the University of Michigan (M.S. in Natural Resources/Environmental Education, summa cum laude ) and was elected a member of the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.