People

Faculty

Timothy Farnham

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies; Chair of Environmental Studies; on leave Spring 2022

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.

Timothy Farnham

Olivia Aguilar

Leslie and Sarah Miller Director of the Miller Worley Center for the Environment; Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

Olivia Aguilar's research interests lie at the nexus of race, community and transformative learning in environmental education. To this end, she believes that education for and about the environment is most successful when pursued as a community and regularly involves community and project-based learning in her classes. With an interdisciplinary background, she has taught a variety of environmental courses from introductory courses to Environmental Education, to Food Equity and Empowerment, and Sustainable Agriculture. Her current book project involves collecting oral histories from Latino/as to re-frame what it means to be “outdoors” in their own words.

Olivia Aguilar, Leslie and Sarah Miller Director of the Miller Worley Center for the Environment

Kate Ballantine

Marjorie Fisher Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

Kate Ballantine’s research uses restored ecosystems as an opportunity to learn about ecosystem processes and development and improve restoration practice. Ballantine and her students conduct basic and applied field and lab research to investigate how these restored wetlands develop and function, and what restoration methodologies may stimulate desirable (or undesirable!) ecosystem functions.

Kate Ballantine

Catherine Corson

Miller Worley Associate Professor of Environmental Studies; on leave 2021-2022

Catherine Corson is the Miller Worley Associate Professor of Environmental Studies. As a political ecologist, she uses ethnography to explore rise of market-based environmentalism, popular resistance to it, the turn to technology in conservation, and associated shifts in governance. Prior to receiving her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, Corson spent a decade as a policy analyst and has conducted fieldwork on indigenous and local resource rights in the Global North and South. Her interdisciplinary academic training in biology, development studies, environmental economics, and political ecology, underpins an interest in interdisciplinary teaching and research.

Catherine Corson

Gretchen Peltier

Visiting Lecturer in Environmental Studies
Gretchen Peltier

Lauret Savoy

David B. Truman Professor of Environmental Studies

A writer, teacher, photographer, and pilot, Lauret Savoy is also a woman of multiracial heritage. Her courses and writings explore the narratives we tell of the American land’s origins — and the narratives we tell of ourselves in this land, including the place of race. Winner of Mount Holyoke College’s Distinguished Teaching Award and an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, Lauret has also held fellowships from the Smithsonian Institution and Yale University. She is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. Senior classes have chosen her to be a Baccalaureate speaker and Last Lecturer.

Lauret Savoy, David B. Truman Professor of Environmental Studies; Co-Chair of Environmental Studies

Kevin Surprise

Visiting Lecturer in Environmental Studies

Kevin Surprise’s research explores the political economy of global climate change. His recent work examines the material and discursive processes shaping solar geoengineering technology and policy in the U.S., and the implications of solar geoengineering for climate governance. Ongoing research analyzes the connections between solar geoengineering research, climate security discourse, and the U.S. military’s “command of the commons.” As a geographer interested in the ways in which politics, economy, and power intermingle with and shape environments, he teaches courses on international development, political ecology, capitalism and climate change, and environmental justice.

Kevin Surprise

Affiliated Faculty

Alexi Arango

Associate Professor of Physics; Chair of Physics

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.

Alexi C Arango    Assistant Professor of Physics

Steven R. Dunn

Professor of Geology

Steve Dunn is passionate about rocks and minerals. His favorite course is Rocks and Minerals, GEOL-201. His background and interests are in the areas of metamorphic petrology and geochemistry. He enjoys researching the geology of the 1.3-1.0 billion-year-old Grenville Province of southern Ontario. Dunn loves to spend time in his geochemistry laboratory, collecting CO2 from calcite and combusted graphite (his favorite mineral!) for stable isotope analysis. These data allow him to reconstruct the geological history of rocks that were once buried deep in the earth’s crust. Dunn’s courses include Environmental Geology, Rocks and Minerals, Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology, Geological Resources and the Environment, and the Death Valley Field Course.

Steve Dunn

Martha Hoopes

Professor of Biological Sciences; Chair of Biological Sciences

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.

Martha Hoopes

Girma Kebbede

Professor of Geography

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 (1992) and Sudan’s Predicaments: Civil War, Displacement and Ecological Degradation (1999), Urban Environmental Health Risks: the Case of Ethiopia (2004), and Environment and Society in Ethiopia (2017). 

Girma Kebbede Professor of Geography

Michelle J. Markley

Professor of Geology; Chair of Geology and Geography

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.

Michelle J. Markley on MHC Campus

Thomas Millette

Professor of Geography; Director of the Geo-Processing Lab

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, Millette 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 interferometry research program.

Thomas Millette

Alan Werner

Professor of Geology

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.

Alan Werner

Staff

Debra LaBonte

Academic Department Coordinator
Debra LaBonte, Academic Department Coordinator