Emily Burns is a professor of geology and oceanography at the Community College of Rhode Island. Born in Providence, she attended public, private, and alternative schools while growing up. She holds degrees in geology from Hampshire College and the University of California at Davis, and a Ph.D. in geological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. She teaches courses in oceanography, urban geology, natural disasters, and Geographical Information Systems (digital mapping). Her experiences at different kinds of schools and colleges have taught her a great deal about education, especially as a route out of economically and socially disadvantaged circumstances. She teaches at CCRI to help people make better lives for themselves. She joined the board of IYFABW to do more of the same.