Faculty Focus: MASD Director Goes to Antarctica

Natural Leadership


This fall Cindy Gilbert, director of MCAD’s master of arts in sustainable design program, joined a small team that is working on a multi-year, multi-million dollar documentary about the life of Adélie penguins.

Based at a remote field site in Antarctica, the team of four spent three weeks capturing the migration of the penguins from the Ross Sea to land as they began building their nests and meeting their mates. Read on for a Q&A with Cindy about her Antarctic experience, as well as to see the penguins in action.

Read the interview, and see some of Cindy’s photos and videos here.


Image courtesy of Cindy Gilbert. 

Cindy Gilbert / Director

Cindy Gilbert is the founding director of MCAD’s Sustainable Design program which is home to the fully online, multidisciplinary MA in Sustainable Design (MASD) that is the first of its kind in the world. In this role, she fosters a culture of awareness and creativity through sustainable, innovative and collaborative design. The MASD program blends theory, practice and leadership into a holistic, hands-on learning experience that culminates in student-driven thesis work that brings novel, sustainability-focused products and services to fruition.

Cindy has taught numerous courses and workshops, around the world and online, in the fields of biology, sustainability and biomimicry. She is founder of Alula Consulting which specializes in innovative online and sustainability education projects for educational institutions, non-profits, and corporations. Most recently, she served for nearly four years as the founding director of university education at the Biomimicry Institute where she developed and managed all higher education programs, including the professional certification program, annual education summits, affiliate and fellows programs, and design challenges. Cindy is based in Montana.