About Me

Welcome to my professional personal page. I’m Stephen “Bear” McDonald. I am, in no order of consequence: a writer, a photographer, an explorer, an American historian and social studies educator.  I am also the proud father of a teenage daughter.

This page will include my thoughts, queries, musings and links to my photography and writing. I also hope to include links to historical sites and places of significance that I visit to share them with you. Additional plans not limited to this page include educational videos and podcasts.

My undergraduate studies were at the University of Vermont where I wrote for the student newspaper The Vermont Cynic as well as a debater and student coach with the Lawrence Debate Union; additionally, in 2015, I returned to school at the age of 35, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York with four consecutive straight A terms.  From there, I pursued graduate studies in American Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut followed by further graduate study in Teaching Social Studies at Teachers College, Columbia University where I have ended my sojourn as a student with a Master of Arts in Teaching Social Studies.

My Integrative Research Project, or “masters thesis” explored the interdisciplinary and civic benefits of integrating archaeological practices and fieldwork into inquiry-based learning in the social studies curriculum.  This thesis is not held in public repository but happily included with my curriculum vitae.

My research interests include: colonial history and early American history of New York, New Jersey and New England; Indigenous peoples of the northeastern United States, in particular the Ramapough Lunaape Nation; American literature, American art and American music; social history, immigration and the peopling of America including slave narratives as well as immigrant narratives; social inequality, environmentalism, education, American social thought, progressive theology, and religion in American life.

Additional interests include psychology, economics, health care, science and technology, homesteading, country living, farming and sustainable agriculture. I like to sail. I make candles and dabble in woodworking. And I’m pretty good cook. I learned and continue to play three instruments: the guitar, the violin, and the saxophone. And I am fascinated by genealogical research and family history.

New Jersey is where I was born, and home to most of my family. New York is where I, presently, live. The Green Mountains of Vermont and the “salt and pine” of Maine are where my heart lies.

Please follow my blog if you like what you read.  Please contact me with any thoughts, words, queries you may have.

Please follow my Instagram.

Thank you.  And Enjoy!