Portrait of Holly Parker

Holly Parker, Ph.D.

Director UNE North- Institute of North Atlantic Studies

Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives


Portland Campus
On campus

Holly Parker brings a broad range of experience and perspective to her work at UNE. An educator for more than 20 years, Holly has worked in traditional, experiential and digital classroom settings.  She has collaborated with school systems in Alaska and the USVI to develop standards-aligned, interdisciplinary digital curricula, taught high school English for 14 years in boarding school settings, and directed a boat building program for at-risk youth in Maine.  An area of significant interest for Parker is collaborating with industry, educational institutions and nonprofits to deliver integrated, transformational learning opportunities to the underserved in Northern New England.  A lifelong mariner, Holly is also passionate about maritime and ocean issues impacting Maine and beyond. Holly has represented UNE and Maine three times at the Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik, Iceland. She represents UNE on the Maine North Atlantic/Arctic Education Consortium and served on the state-sponsored Host Committee for the Arctic Council in 2016. 

Holly is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, where she focused her studies on successfully addressing learning challenges in the integrated classroom. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine; her research focuses on education for sustainability leadership. 



Dartmouth College
Harvard University
Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine


Selected publications

Leadership of Heart and Mind: Examining the Mind and Skill Sets of Student Sustainability LeadershipMuskie School Dissertations.

Other scholarly activity

"Sustainable Development in the Arctic: Communication and Ethical Challenges— An Interactive Workshop." Arctic Circle Assembly, 2019

"Leveraging Abundance: A Mindset and Framework to achieve the UN SGDs in the North." Arctic Circle Assembly, 2018

"Catalyzing Planetary Health Engagement at University of New England." Co-authored with J. Gunderman, MPH. Planetary Health Alliance Conference, Edinburgh, 2017. 

Research interests

Sustainable development leadership and education
Systems mapping and bioregional planning
Science communication

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