Kurt has been developing and teaching field environmental philosophy courses since 1994. At UConn-Storrs (1994-2004) he developed “Words In the Woods,” a three-week summer-camp intensive for gifted and talented high school students. During this time, he served as an elected Inland Wetlands Commissioner in the town of Chaplin, Ct., which gave him a practical understanding of the legal and regulatory aspects of environmentalism. He also served as an appointed Conservation Commissioner for the same town, and received the Presidential Award from the Connecticut Association of Conservation and Inland Wetland Commissions in 1999 for his leadership role in preserving open space in the Natchaug River watershed. To organize conservationists within the borders of Connecticut’s largest drinking water watershed, Kurt founded and served as president for the citizen-action Naubesatuck Watershed Council. Under his direction, Naubesatuck played the leading role in establishing long-term protection for, and USGS monitoring of, the Fenton River on the UConn-Storrs campus.
As a visiting research professor at the Center for Environmental Philosophy based at the University of North Texas (2005-2007), Kurt was mentored by Dr. Eugene Hargrove, founder-editor of Environmental Ethics, the preeminent academic journal of environmental philosophy. At CEP, he developed “Tracing Darwin’s Path” in collaboration with Dr. Ricardo Rozzi, and the Omora and OSARA foundations. This unique and transformative intensive takes place every December and January on Navarino Island in the Cape Horn Biosphere Reserve at the southernmost tip of South America.