Timothy Farnham believes in the importance of interdisciplinary study to build a broad understanding of environmental issues and foster creative and practical solutions to real world problems. His scholarly interests focus on environmental values and how humans have perceived their place in the natural world throughout history.
Jennifer Albertine’s research focuses on how plant population responses to global change factors vary across the landscape. She is specifically interested in plants that impact human health through production of allergenic pollen, such as grasses and ragweed. Her multi-disciplinary research also touches the field of agro-ecology where she is interested in how global change will impact our agricultural system, through changes in pasture productivity, plant stress physiology, and competition between crops and weeds.
Kate Ballantine’s research uses restored ecosystems as an opportunity to learn about ecosystem processes and development. Ballantine and her students conduct basic and applied research to investigate how these restored wetlands develop and function, and what restoration methodologies may stimulate desirable (or undesirable!) ecosystem functions.
Jill L. Bubier is a field scientist who studies the responses of northern ecosystems to environmental change. She focuses on boreal and subarctic peatlands, measuring greenhouse gas exchanges and plant-soil interactions, in order to understand feedbacks to atmospheric nitrogen deposition and climate change. Bubier's research has taken her to peatlands of Canada, Alaska, and Scandinavia, and has been supported by NASA, the Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation. Her work involves collaboration with an international team of scientists and training undergraduates, many of whom have co-authored scientific papers with her.
Catherine Corson is the Miller Worley Associate Professor of Environmental Studies. As a political ecologist, she uses ethnography to explore questions of power, knowledge, and justice in case studies from rural villages to international policy arenas. Her current research focuses on the rise of market-based environmentalism, popular resistance to it, and associated shifts in environmental governance. Prior to receiving her PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, Corson spent a decade as an environment and development policy analyst. Her interdisciplinary academic training, in biology, development studies, and environmental economics, as well as political ecology, underpins an interest in interdisciplinary teaching and research.
A writer, photographer, pilot, and Earth historian, Lauret Savoy is also a woman of mixed African American, Native American, and Euro-American heritage. Her work explores the complex intertwinings of natural and cultural histories. She writes about the stories we tell of the American landscape's origins and the stories we tell of ourselves in this land. Each of her courses challenges students to examine their assumptions about the world.
Douglas Amy is a leading expert on electoral voting systems, including proportional representation, redistricting issues in the United States, and the plight of third party candidacies.
Alexi Arango’s research focuses on advancing renewable energy by employing new semiconductors in the production of solar cells. His lab studies how quantum dots, molecular dyes, metal oxides, and other novel semiconductors can be incorporated into third generation solar cells that are both highly efficient and less expensive to manufacture than conventional solar cells employing silicon.
Jen Christiansen’s major interest and concern is the politics and economics of global climate change. Other research interests and many of his recent publications focus on questions of comparative economic performance in the G-7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, and U.S.). Christiansen has a keen interest in environmental issues and is actively involved in Mount Holyoke’s Environmental Studies program, of which he is a founding member.
Christine DeLucia specializes in the indigenous and colonial histories of North America, particularly in the Northeast/New England. Researching in an interdisciplinary manner, she works extensively with local, regional, and transatlantic archives and museums, as well as with material and visual culture, archaeological sources, oral history, and the land itself. She has published on topics of memorialization, environmental history, and indigenous literary networks. In all her work she examines enduring connections between past and present, and how the places we inhabit can convey alternative narratives about diverse peoples.
Steve Dunn’s interests are in hard-rock geology, particularly the areas of metamorphic petrology and geochemistry. His favorite research focus is the geology of the 1.3-1.0 billion-year-old Grenville Province of southern Ontario. He maintains a geochemistry laboratory that includes a vacuum line for collecting CO2 from calcite and combusted graphite for stable isotope analysis. These data serve to constrain metamorphic temperatures and fluid-rock interactions. Dunn teaches courses on minerals, rocks, and environmental geology.
Ecologist Martha Hoopes is interested in how species coexist and even more in why they don't. Her research focuses on invasion ecology and conservation biology and the human interactions with the environment that lead to interactions between invasive species and rare species. Hoopes and her students study invasive plant species in the Quabbin, Harvard Forest, and on Mount Holyoke property, using fieldwork, mathematical models, and statistical approaches to explore spatial dynamics and metacommunities, or how communities interact through dispersal.
Girma Kebbede's research and teaching interests are the interrelations between politics and development, human dimensions of environmental change, and socio-economic and political causes and consequences of political conflicts in Africa. His books in these interests include The State and Development in Ethiopia and Sudan’s Predicaments: Civil War, Displacement and Ecological Degradation. His forthcoming scholarly publication, The Erosion of Ethiopia’s Natural Capital, deals with the degradation of Ethiopia’s environment and natural resource base.
As a structural geologist interested in the nature and timing of fabric development in both metamorphic and igneous rocks, Michelle Markley has packed her trusty rock hammer for field work in the Canadian Grenville, the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains, and overseas in the Southern Alps of New Zealand and the Western Alps of Switzerland. Markley’s teaching interests are diverse; she has taught courses on Appalachian geology, diamonds, earthquakes, structural geology, historical geology, and Uranium..
Thomas L. Millette, is a geographer and geoprocessing specialist with broad research interests in the applications of remote sensing and GIS to environmental monitoring and management. Thomas has applied image processing of satellite data to a wide variety of environmental assessments. Most recently, Thomas has developed the Airborne Multispectral Imaging System (AIMS) to develop high resolution imagery (4.0 cm) to identify forest pests (Asian Longhorned Beetle and Wooly Adelgid), and to conduct thermal ungulate surveys (moose and deer) and habitat analysis . Thomas also collaborates with the Umass Microwave Remote Sensing Laboratory’s airborne radar interfermometry research program.
Stan Rachootin teaches what evolved (Introductory Biology, Terrestrial Arthropods, Invertebrate Zoology), how evolution might work (Evolution, Macroevolution), and how evolution evolved (Darwin). He has advised theses on how flatfish evolved from round fish, why a tiny fly preserved in amber made eye lenses on its wings, and what the differences in shapes of closely related snails teach us about metaphor in statistics. Each project takes a new problem, though most find that development can help disentangle an evolutionary mystery.
A specialist in glacial geology, environmental geology, and climate change, as well as a groundwater geologist, Alan Werner's research focuses on past environmental change. "Although we tend to think that planet Earth is stable and unchanging, in fact, the geologic record indicates that profound changes have taken place on a variety of timescales," says Werner. He studies records of climate change to document the nature and timing of climate events in various locations in the Arctic.
Todd Anderson is a postdoc in the Restoration Ecology Program. His research focuses largely on understanding how soils develop and function over time following wetland restoration, with a particular interest in nitrogen cycling and greenhouse gas emissions. He is also investigating the use of biochar as a soil amendment during restoration to jump-start beneficial ecosystem functions that can take centuries to develop.
Leszek Bledzki is a limnologist, ecologist and forester, and senior research associate of the Miller-Worley Center for the Environment, Environmental Studies and Biology Departments. He provides curricular support for environmentally-related laboratories in science courses; manages the collection/archival of water quality and weather data; and is assisting faculty and students with independent research. Bledzki's research interests range from biostatistics and modeling, through ecosystems functioning, global climate change, nitrogen and carbon cycling in temperate peatlands to taxonomy, ecology and biogeography of Rotifera, Cladocera and Copepoda. Bledzki has published over 90 peer-reviewed and popular-press articles.
Julianne Busa's interests lie at the intersection of human and natural systems, incorporating not only ecosystem resilience but also the human dimensions of restoration and conservation work. Busa has published research on global biodiversity conservation as well as the corporatization of environmental movements and alternative food and is particularly interested in socioeconomic issues, community structure, and the need for fair distribution and access to resources.
Laurie A Kamins
Robert Schwartz is a European historian keenly interested in the history of environmental change and public health. In his course,`Research Methods in History, Environmental Change and Public Health`, students explore how industrialization and the growth of cities in Victorian Britain affected infant mortality and the spread of infectious diseases; how the state, local governments, and medical professionals responded to these problems in public health; and how the history of environmental change and public health inform policy and practice today.