Molly's Professional Story
Creative non-fiction and place-based author Molly Murfee is a freelance writer, field educator and outdoor guide. Her essays specialize in nature and environmental writing cut with cultural and societal critique.
She believes writing is a powerful tool - able to educate and entertain, placate or infuriate, speak equally to a politician or a housewife. With a fundamental drive to connect people to their place, themselves and their communities, Molly’s deep desire is that her words incite readers to become vehicles for positive environmental, social and cultural change in the crucial topics of our time such as the preservation of our wild places or the assurance of human rights.
To this end her creative non-fiction essays and articles offer an alternative perspective and commentary on both current and timeless topics involving wilderness, environmental issues, connecting to nature, disconnecting from technology, mountain and outdoor culture, sustainability, stewardship, community, mythology, philosophy, modern culture, natural history, human rights, communication and beyond. Molly is currently working on a book compilation of these essays and stories.
Exploring these themes in a more pithy and readily accessible format, Molly devotedly pens her regular op-ed column and blog, Earth Muffin Memos. With thought-provoking and informative creative essays, Earth Muffin Memos motivates and inspires readers to dig deeper and become better citizens on this planet.
Beyond writing, Molly is also a seasoned educator, regularly offering immersive backcountry experiences and workshops, weaving thoughtful and strong heart strings between participants and the natural world that surrounds them. These offerings range from graduate-level courses at the Summer Teacher Institute of Western Colorado University, to workshops for both the practiced writer and novice at the local Center for the Arts – all in nature writing and environmental literature. She is also proud to offer writing skills to her community in courses such as learning to write to politicians or crafting a professional biography.
Collaborating with visual artist Ivy Walker, the pair presently offers a graduate and community level wilderness immersion - “Regenerations: Cultivating Connections to Earth, Art & Activism.” The five-part series, as well as single day experiences, is a dynamic investigation of our relationships to nature, community, creative expression and outreach through writing and visual art exercises conducted in the backcountry. Throughout the course, participants explore topics revolving around nature and connection, healing, despair, finding your voice, and putting this voice out into the world.
Molly and Ivy are actively working to expand the Regenerations concept into a broader educational institution that creates and contributes to new visions of eco-conscious and life-affirming culture through interdisciplinary educational offerings intersecting with nature, art, science, philosophy, community, self and activism.
A long-time wilderness guide, Molly also has the joy of sharing the backcountry with others with Colorado Backcountry and the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival where she introduces clients to the wildflowers, ecosystems and wildlife of the Southern Rocky Mountains. Thereby understanding the impacts of recreation, she is the co-director, educator and curriculum developer of the Mountain Manners Stewardship Program, teaching back, side and frontcountry users how to ethically utilize our wild spaces. Here she executes Mountain Savvy courses, the Peak Protector volunteer program, and directly interacts with recreational users to spread the word on ethics such as Leave No Trace travel etiquette.
Molly holds Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in literature, creative writing and nature and environmental writing specializing in the incorporation of outdoor experiential education into academic programs.
With over 400 published articles, her regional and national by-lines include The Mountain Gazette, Powder Magazine, Patagonia-Japan, Telemark Skier, Backcountry Magazine, Cross Country Skier Magazine, San Juan Horseshoe, ClimateEdu and Solar Today. Locally she served as the predominant feature writer and editor of the local arts, entertainment and culture publication, the Crested Butte Weekly, and continues to write regularly for the Crested Butte News and Crested Butte Magazine.
She served in field programs as a faculty, instructor, naturalist and wilderness guide with institutions such as Colorado College, Colorado State University, the Audubon Expedition Institute at Lesley University (now transformed into the Expedition Education Institute at Marlboro College), Colorado Outward Bound, Alaska Wildland Adventures, Global Routes, WorldTeach and Trailmark Adventures.
In particular her work as a long-time field faculty member with the Audubon Expedition Institute (AEI) demonstrates her passions. A traveling college program offering a B.S. in environmental studies and a M.A. in environmental education, AEI was exclusively field based, the program’s philosophies focused on experiential education, outdoor living, interdisciplinary studies, and student-centered learning.
Versatile as an educator, her arenas of expertise include creative writing; environmental literature; environmental studies; environmental, cross-cultural and experiential education; outdoor adventure skills; natural history; leadership; philosophy; and Leave No Trace ethics across a variety of locations including the United States, Mexico, Canada and the Bahamas. Her breadth of teaching ranges to include college, graduate school, non-credit seeking adults, high school and middle school.
In addition to creative freelance writing, Molly uses her skills of communication as a copywriter for a variety of business clients crafting copy for press releases, websites, brochures, feature articles, grant applications, radio commercials, ad campaigns, social media outreaches and more.
She served as the Executive Director of 1% for Open Space, helping to permanently preserve over 12,000 acres in Gunnison County for 13 years. As the Marketing Director of the Center for the Arts for 10 years, she developed and executed a comprehensive marketing plan to promote their programming in the literary, visual and performing arts helping to grow the Center from two to seven departments.
Molly is also proud to creatively direct her local decades-old, multi-generational autumn equinox celebration, Vinotok, fostering earth-honoring and community-building practices through a harvest feast, street theatre and storytelling workshops.