Barbara Joyce Frank, Ph.D., has been a trailblazer and advocate of humanity’s profound connection to Nature and the Earth, for the past 40 years.
Being a grandmother of five grandkids, she is discovering the joy of introducing them and children of the present youngest generation, as she has done with people of all ages throughout her career, to the Earth’s fascinating story and lessons for living. She has recently published a book entitled Grandparenting with the Wisdom of Nature, a guide for grandparents on helping their grandchildren to form a profound connection to Planet Earth.
Barbara shares her Earth-systems knowledge to inspire children to be our planet’s future stewards. In this way, she is helping children to bring balance into their lives as many of them spend far too much time in cyberspace and too little time outdoors.
Raised near the Atlantic Ocean, at a very early age Barbara felt a deep sense of connection to Planet Earth. Throughout her life, she has derived inspiration, guidance and comfort from Nature, and found ways to share it with others worldwide. She encourages people to bring Nature into their workplaces, schools and homes. Her mission is to weave Nature’s wisdom into everyone’s life. She was green decades before it was cool.
Barbara’s doctoral dissertation research was a groundbreaking interdisciplinary environmental project on the effects of urbanization on the flow of a South Carolinian river. After completion of her doctorate, Barbara and her two children embarked on an adventure, which would result in spending 15 years in Europe.
University of Maryland University College hired Barbara as a faculty member to develop a Geology program at its Munich, Germany Campus. Her years of teaching were marked by the attendance of 25% of the student body in her classes and study tours. She led experiential-learning courses to Italy for volcanoes, Yugoslavia for caves, and Austria and Switzerland for glaciers. It was during the years in Germany that her students gave her the nickname “Doc Rock” which captured her love of the Earth and her joy in sharing Nature with others.
Since returning to the United States, Barbara has worked for the U.S. House of Representatives Science and Space and Technology Committee, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of Energy. For the past decade, she has created a meeting and training retreat center in naturally beautiful Great Falls, Virginia, 30 minutes from Washington, DC, and five minutes from the Potomac River. Her business, Meeting Oasis, is designed to help nonprofit, government and corporate organizations to deal innovatively with change, drawing on deep understanding of natural systems.
All the while, she guides school children, teachers, boy and girl scouts, church groups, etc., to experience joy and meaning from a deep connection to Nature through teaching courses, writing books, giving speeches, leading tours, and developing educational products. In 2010, Doc Rock launched Doc Rock, LLC, offering earth and biological science programs for elementary-aged students. Her teaching methods, developed over her 40 year career, foster a long-lasting interest in science. She achieves this result through her contagious enthusiasm, her amazing ability to convey in simple straightforward ways the relevance of science in everyday life. She is in contact with former students from the 1970’s who thank her for introducing them to the reality of the natural world. Beyond the science, Doc Rock helps her students to connect deeply to Nature which helps them to feel a deep sense of belonging and a great way to handle stress in life.