Teaching Professor

"Dr. Leon" is a Professor at Xavier University in Ethics, Ecology and Theology. His courses include: "Sacred Ground & the New Story," "Wilderness and Religious Imagination," "Ecological Ethics," "Theology & Ecology," "Native American Myth and Ritual," "Native American Lifeway," "Ecology, Ethics, Place" and "Experiential Foundations." 

Dr. Leon received a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in Environmental Ethics. He also holds two doctoral certificates: one in Theology and Ecology from the Elliott Allen Institute at the University of St. Michael's College; the other in Wilderness/Large Mammal Conservation from the Department of Forestry University of Toronto. He specializes in the New Cosmology, Large Mammal Ecology, Wilderness Conservation, Shamanism, Native American Lifeways and Sacred Phenomenology. He also holds three masters degrees.


In 2010, Dr. Leon founded Xavier Expeditions, a wilderness immersion program that challenges students to see and think within the context of Earth as our primary reality, teacher and healer. By adapting core courses in biology, history, philosophy, literature and theology within an ecological context,  Xavier Expeditions is open to students of all majors. His goal when starting this program was to provide young people with authentic immersion experiences to challenge them to see and think about the human-earth relation in a way that overcomes apathy and inspires the power of hope and a guiding vision of healing. He also seeks to help students awaken to the essential role of story, particularly, to how the human story participates within the more comprehensive life, earth and universe stories, as well as to help others see the importance of not settling for comfort but instead to seek out experiences of being fully alive. Dr. Leon received certifications from the National Outdoor Leadership School's Wilderness Medicine Institute in Kelly, Wyoming.


Before Xavier Expeditions, Dr. Leon served as the Regional Bear Biologist and Bear Management Officer for the Wyoming Game & Fish Department in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He also served as the Bear Wise Community Planner for the State of Wyoming where he authored and implemented a community-based program to reduce conflicts between humans and bears. He was also certified in Large Mammal Capture, Immobilization and Tranquilization from the Sybille Research Station, University of Wyoming and the State of Wyoming, and has publications in bear research and management associated with the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team and the State of Wyoming.

Writer, Artist, Storyteller

Dr. Leon has varied publications, including chapters, research journals, essays and bear management documents. He is completing his first book. He began reacquainting himself with art after years of being away from it and began Art for a Cause. 100% of all artwork proceeds will fund a grant program for students with financial difficulties so they can experience a wilderness expedition. Having been involved in Native American Myth and Ritual as well as in the New Cosmology, Dr. Leon likes to tell stories that give meaning to life and that offer lessons about the human experience of being fully alive.