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Honors Institute

Honors Faculty Directory

Foothill College English Professor Scott Lankford

Scott Lankford, Ph.D.

Professor of English, Honors Instructor, Director of the Foothill Center for a Sustainable Future

Language Arts Division



Foothill campus
Office: 6015
Office Hours:
Office Hours during COVID quarantine -- online only.
Email me at for avialable times/online conference options


GEN Director of Communications and Outreach

In collaboration with Stanford Global Studies, I'm currently working as the Director of Communication and Outreach for the newly launched GEN Global Educators Network -- which supports international curriculum and collaboration for community college professors nationwide.

Check out my intro video for the project--What Is Climate Change Across-the-Curriculum?--And How Do I Get an A?

I'm Director of the Foothill Hypocenter -- which coordinates a wide range of Teach-Ins, Publications, Guest Speakers, and Public Protests on the Foothill College Campus. Hypocenter for a Sustainable Future

For surprising stories about Foothill's pioneering role in expanding LGBTQ Rights nationwide, check out this Foothill OwlCast Interview with Scott Lankford on What Makes Foothill Special!

Faculty Advisor for student magazines on

Mindsets Magazine, a 100% student-written and edited online magazine focused on Stanford Professor Carol Dweck's Growth Mindset research.

Generation A explores student responses to the global climate crisis.

The Global Citizen presents students perspectives on immigration, the climate crisis, war, poverty and other urgent global issues.

View or Join our Climate Crisis ConneXions FB Group at
Climate Crisis ConneXions

Follow my climate change research twitterfeed @ClimateConneXions

I blog frequently about Americans in Paris at How Americans in Paris Changed the World, where I've been named one of Medium's top History writers.

Creating Safe and Respectful Campus Conversations

Together we will explore a wide range of topics--including discussions of religion, politics, gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity. Together we will come to these discussions with an open mind, a spirit of shared respect, and a desire to create a truly safe and supportive space for our peers and colleagues of all backgrounds by avoiding derogatory language or actions. I commit to doing everything in my power to create a safe and comfortable learning environment for everyone in my classes and on my campus--and I fully expect you to do the same. I will enforce a strict line between expression of personal opinion and belief (very welcome in class) and expressions of prejudice (e.g. racism, sexism, religious intolerance, homophobia, transphobia) in your language or non-verbal behavior (not welcome in class). If at any time you are concerned about the classroom environment, please speak to me right away.

My sexual/romantic orientation is Gay.
I'm a cis-gendered male.
My Preferred Pronouns are He/Him/His.


Teaching Schedule Spring 2020 -- Online Only!

ENGL1CH Honors College Writing and Critical Thinking Tue/Thurs 10-12
ENGL8 Introduction to Children's Literature TBA Asynchronous

Course information:


My interests include telemark turns; trad climbs; cozy cafes; bookstores; one thousand kinds of tea; ecology; philosophy; literature; going to the gym; Tibetan yoga; surfing, snorkeling, and body boarding; guitar; trekking; Zen and Bhodi Chitta Buddhism; plus adventure travel to anywhere and everywhere on earth (including Mexico, Costa Rica, Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma, Brunei, the Philippines, Taiwan, Singapore, Nepal, Colorado, Washington DC, NYC, Costa Rica, Turkey, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, Australia, Russia, and Italy).


Born in Denver, I graduated from Manual High School -- an inner-city public school with a majority African American enrollment -- and still by far the best school I ever attended.

Growing up in Colorado, my hobbies were guitar, telemark skiing, and wilderness mountaineering. My first teaching experience came as a wilderness skiing and rock-climbing instructor in Alaska, Africa, and the Rockies. In 1985 I was a member of the American Mount Everest West Ridge Expedition (you can read all about it in my teammate Ed Webster's classic book Snow in the Kingdom: My Storm Years on Everest or another teammate's book, Robert Anderson's To Everest via Antarctica). Prior to entering grad school at Stanford, I even had a brief career as a singer/songwriter, working as a warm-up act for nationally-famous performers such as Don McLean and Harry Chapin on the New England college circuit. In fact, writing songs was what first got me interested in studying poetry!

I joined the Foothill faculty in 1989 and served as Dean of Language Arts from 1994-1997. In 1991 I became the co-founder of Foothill's award-winning Cultural Diversity Center, the Foothill Gay and Lesbian Employees and Friends Association, and the Foothill student Gay/Straight Alliance. In addition to courses in College Writing, I have taught Creative Writing, Poetry, American Literature, Lesbian/Gay Literature and a variety of special-topic Honors Seminars ranging from "Lake Tahoe's Literary History" to "Contributions of Islamic Cultures to American History," to "Blogging as an Emerging Genre."


B.A. Philosophy, Williams College, 1980
M.A., Modern Thought and Literature, 1989
Ph.D., Modern Thought and Literature, 1991

Campus Abroad Teaching Experience
Paris Spring 2005
London Fall 2015
Italy Fall 2016


My book Tahoe Beneath the Surface: The Hidden History of the World's Largest Mountain Lake was released in October of 2010 and was awarded a Bronze Medal as 2010 Nature Book of the Year by Foreword Magazine (the leading national journal of independent publishers and independent booksellers nationwide).

My previous book, Northwest Passages: From the Pen of John Muir (revised edition 1998) won the Benjamin Franklin Prize from the Independent Publishers Association.

My next book, Earth's Largest Lakes and the Battle to Save Them will focus on the global crisis of climate change which threatens the survival of Earth's largest lakes on five continents.

For my Sabbatical Research Fall 2020/2021/2022 I'll begin writing a book entitled "Everest and Climate Change: Crisis on the Roof of the World"

I blog regularly on topics such as Americans-in-Paris and The World's Largest Lakes on

Faculty Committees and Student Clubs Fall 2017-2018
Foothill Center for a Sustainable Future
Foothill Sustainability Committee
Native American Heritage Month Planning Committee
Black Heritage Month Planning Committee
Asian American Heritage Month Planning Committee
Latino/a Heritage Month Planning Committee
LGBT Heritage Month Planning Committee
FHDA Pride (LGBTQIA Employees and Friends Association)
Faculty Co-Advisor for Gender/Sexuality Alliance
Faculty Advisor for Honors ConneXions Club
Faculty Advisor for Environmental Action Club

Curriculum Vitae-Academic Resum�

I'm an active member of a community group named San Mateo County Extinction Rebellion.

Personal Quote:

"Alfred North Whitehead listed adventure as one of five necessities to the truly civilized community, next after truth and beauty, ahead of art and peace. It is a startling idea and he meant it to be so. Men and women are both taught to recognize adventure only as a passing fancy in the growing child, to be put aside with adolescence at the latest. The mature individual settles down; that is to say he does without adventure. Then he should do without beauty, and faith, and laughter, for these too are incidental to real life, to eating and begetting and keeping out of rain.

....Adventure is as needful to the real life of the spirit as food is to the body. The inadvisability of an action will not curtail it if it fills that need. Gambling is more or less bad for society, but people will play the tables so long as hope of sudden wealth connotes hope of change, variety. That is why it appeals broadly to the poor more than the rich: their lives are drearier. Workers go on strike not only for wages and decent hours but out of sheer dramatic hunger. A love affair imparts adventure, not merely because it is unsanctioned and a little risky, but because it proceeds on part-knowledge, like all creative endeavor. A general goes into battle; an artist paints; men climb Everest and fling themselves into the sky; become healers and judge a crime on part-knowledge. They have to, for that is the condition of living" --Michael Drury

Last update: 2020-04-22
Direct directory record link:

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