Photo of Bradley John Monsma

Bradley John Monsma

Professor, English

Contact Information


Ph.D. English and American Literature, University of Southern California, 1995
MA English and American Literature, University of Southern California, 1991
BA English, Calvin College, 1989


Since joining the CSUCI faculty in 2005, Brad Monsma has taught or team taught (at last count) 13 different courses—Environmental literature, multicultural American literatures, American authors, research and service learning courses in Mexico, and an interdisciplinary course called Oceans: The Whale/Human Interface.

Much of his teaching and writing takes place in the interdisciplinary borderlands. Between 2006 and 2011 he was faculty director of the Center for Integrative Studies where he focused on developing and assessing interdisciplinary courses and starting a program to allow faculty to collaborate to improve writing instruction in the sciences. In 2010, he and Kathryn Leonard (Mathematics) were awarded $250,000 from the W.M. Keck Foundation to support the Stepladder Program in Interdisciplinary Research and Learning (SPIRaL).

Monsma’s book, The Sespe Wild: Southern California’s Last Free River explores the environmental and cultural history of Sespe Creek, its endangered species, and its management dilemmas. His essays and poems have appeared in Surfer’s Journal, Pilgrimage, Writing on the Edge, ISLE, High Country News, Modern Language Studies, and numerous anthologies.

Since 2007, Monsma has served as President of the Board of Directors of Los Padres ForestWatch, an environmental watchdog, advocacy, and volunteer organization. As a surfer, he splits time between shortboard and noserider. As a whitewater kayaker, he paddles both a playboat and creeker and is always looking for a spot on river trips throughout the West. As a backpacker, he’s always trying to go lighter.

Representative Courses Taught

  • ENGL 337 Environmental Literature
  • ENGL 349 Perspectives in Multicultural Literatures
  • ENGL 354 Studies in Cultural Literatures
  • ENGL 327 Major American Authors
  • UNIV 298 Oceans: The Whale/Human Interface



Environmental writing, Creative nonfiction, integrative learning