Executive Committee

Dan Sherman
Luce-funded Associate Professor of Environmental Policy and Director of Environmental Policy and Decision Making
Dan teaches courses in U.S. environmental politics and policy including Applied Environmental Politics & Agenda Setting (PG 309), Forest Policy in the Pacific Northwest (ENVR 333), and Environmental Decision Making (ENVR 310), as well as Environment and Society (ENVR 110) and Senior Seminar (ENVR 400). Dan is a full member both the Department of Politics and Government and the Environmental Policy and Decision Making Program. His research interests include state and local environmental movements, hazardous and radioactive waste disposal, environmental justice, agenda setting, and implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act. You can read a paper on Superfund cleanup in Commencement Bay Dan presented to the United Nations Institute for Training and Research Conference on Environmental Governance and Democracy at Yale University online. Dan is the founding director of the Sound Policy Institute, a new initiative to engage the university with regional stakeholders on environmental issues. He serves on the university's Sustainability Advisory Committee and has coordinated several faculty workshops on the integration of sustainability across the curriculum. You can read his article on sustainability in higher education curriculum forthcoming in Sustainability: The Journal of Record online.

Rachel DeMotts
Mellon Associate Professor of Global Environmental Politics
Rachel's teaching and research interests lie in the environmental politics of sub-Saharan Africa. She studies the ways in which people participate in and are affected by conservation, including human-wildlife conflict, peace parks and transfrontier protected areas, livelihood impacts of tourism, community-based conservation, and gendered differences in natural resources access and use. Professor DeMotts has lived and worked in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, and Mozambique, conducting research and cooperating with local environmental and human rights organizations that focus on trying to ensure that local residents benefit from parks and tourism. She teaches classes in both Politics and Government and the Environmental Policy and Decision-Making Program, including Africa-specific courses and Global Environmental Politics.

Kena Fox-Dobbs
Assistant Professor of Geology and Environmental Policy and Decision Making
Kena is interested in a range of geological and ecological topics, including paleoecology, stable isotope geochemistry, modern community ecology, and paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Her most recent research focuses on spatial patterning of nutrient processes in African savanna environments in relation to two important groups of animals; wildlife and termites. Kena teaches courses in paleontology, biogeochemistry, environmental science, and natural history.

Peter Hodum
Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Policy and Decision Making
In addition to his lower division courses in Biology, Peter also teaches Conservation (BIOL 370) and Thinking about Biodiversity (ENVR 335). Peter is interested in conservation biology, with a particular focus on marine bird communities and islands, avian ecology, and community-based conservation. He is the co-founder and director of Juan Fernández Islands Conservancy, a program dedicated to conservation and community-focused education and outreach in the Juan Fernández Islands, Chile, and has been collaborating with the Chilean government to develop conservation plans for several species of Chilean seabirds. Peter has additional seabird conservation and ecology projects in México and on several islands in Washington State.

Emelie Peine
Assistant Professor of International Political Economy
Emelie received her BA degree from the Evergreen State College and MS and PhD degrees are from Cornell University. She teaches several IPE courses including The IPE of Food and Hunger. Her research focuses on the role of multinational agribusiness in the global food regime.

Affiliated Faculty

Dan Burgard
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Dan is interested in environmental analyses and monitoring. His current projects include roadside remote sensing of the effects of diesel particulate retrofit products on school bus tailpipe emissions and remote sensing of both personal and commercial boat emissions. He has measured cars, semi-trailer tucks, and snowmobiles both in the U.S. and internationally with the sensor he helped to develop. Dan teaches Fundamental Chemistry I (Chem 110), Chemical Analysis and Equilibrium (Chem 230), and Instrumental Analysis (Chem 330).

Monica DeHart
Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
Monica teaches courses on the anthropology of development (Social and Cultural Change CSOC 316), migration and diaspora (Border Crossings CSOC 350), and social movements in Latin America (Identity Politics CSOC 315). She serves an advisory committee member for both Latin American Studies and the new Global Development Studies Interdisciplinary Emphasis, as well as affiliates with the International Political Economy Program. Her research centers on the cultural politics of global development, including an emphasis on ethnic identity, transnational communities, and gender. She has conducted field research with Maya indigenous community development organizations in Guatemala, as well as with a United Nations-sponsored Digital Diaspora development initiative for Latinos in the U.S. Her book, in progress, analyzes how ethnic identity has been mobilized as a resource for enacting sustainable, translocal, and efficient development strategies within the context of neoliberalism.

Joel Elliott
Professor of Biology
Joel teaches Marine Biology (BIOL 477), General Ecology (BIOL 211), and Diversity of Life (BIOL 112). He has been using underwater videography, GPS and GIS technologies, and various water quality and benthic biogeochemistry techniques to study factors influencing the distribution and abundance of marine organisms in Puget Sound. His current environmental research examines the factors influencing the distribution and abundance of eelgrass beds and bacterial mats in Puget Sound. Other projects include the effects of high hydrogen sulfide levels on benthic biodiversity and the effects of introduced species on marine communities.

Andrew Gardner
Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology (on leave fall 2013)
Andrew is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research interests are largely focused on the Arabian Peninsula and South Asia. His research has focused on the Bedouin pastoral nomads indigenous to that region, and more recently, upon sustainable development and urbanization in the petroleum-rich states of the region. Andrew teaches a variety of courses of potential interest to students in the Environmental Policy and Decision Making minor, including Political Ecology (CSOC 407), but also Indigenous Peoples: Alternative Political Economies (CSOC 230), Cultural Anthropology (CSOC 200), The Anthropology of Food and Eating (CSOC 117), and the Anthropology of Societal Collapse (CSOC 107). Students interested in ethnographic methods might also consider CSOC 302 (Social Research II). Collectively, these courses are attentive to politics of international development, the constellation of stakeholders who are often omitted from its calculus, and the environment upon which these societies depend.

Barry Goldstein
Professor of Geology
Barry's interests are in climate change and landscape responses to climate change, and include studies in Colorado, New Mexico, Washington State, and Israel. He has also been active in promoting efficient water use policy in Washington State. In addition to courses in the geology department (Geomorphology, Sedimentology, Earth History, Regional Field Geology, Geology of North America, Dinosaurs), Barry also teaches courses in the environmental policy minor, including Environmental Science, Water Resources, and Water Policy.

Kristin Johnson
Associate Professor in the Science, Technology, & Society Program
Kristin's research focuses on the history of the naturalist tradition, including disciplines like conservation biology and ecology. In addition to courses on Darwin, the history of evolution, and science and religion, she teaches a course on the history of ecology that examines the historical relationships between science and society by focusing on the interplay between ecology and environmentalism.

Lisa Johnson
Associate Professor of Law, Ethics, and Environmental Policy and Decision Making
Lisa's primary areas of interest are the legal and moral status of nonhuman animals and animal ethics in political theory. For the environmental policy and decision making minor, she teaches Environmental Law and the Environmental Studies Senior Seminar. She also teaches Business and the Natural Environment, which is a freshman seminar. Her students have written grant proposals to the Environmental Protection Agency relating to sustainability issues, and they have completed a preliminary comparative study relating to community gardens and connection to the land. She earned her JD from the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College, where she focused on Environmental and Natural Resources Law. Her Master of Public Affairs was earned from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs, with a focus on International Environmental Policy.

Betsy Kirkpatrick
Professor of Biology
Betsy's area of expertise is plant ecology, and she is particularly interested in the interactions between native and invasive plant species. Betsy's current research focuses on the restoration of native plant species to Western Washington prairies by manipulating the soil environment. She has also been active locally in promoting education about and use of native species in urban environments. For the biology department, Betsy teaches Principles of Biology, General Ecology, and Field Botany.

Nick Kontogeorgopoulos
Professor in International Political Economy
In addition to teaching several courses in International Political Economy, including 'Third World' Development, the political economy of Southeast Asia, and senior thesis seminar, Nick also teaches courses in Comparative Sociology (Tourism) and Asian Studies (Asia in Motion). His research interests include tourism geography, ecotourism, and community-based development. Nick has conducted research on the role of marine ecotourism in community development in southern Thailand, and is currently investigating the role of tourism in elephant conservation in northern Thailand.

William Kupinse
Associate Professor of English and Urban Grace Poet Laureate of Tacoma 2008-09
In addition to his courses in British modernism and creative writing, Bill also teaches a first-year composition course, Writing and the Environmental Imagination (ENGL 132), and Literature and the Environment (ENGL 380), which offers elective credit within the environmental policy and decision making minor. Bill is a literary garbologist; that is, his research explores the role that waste plays in modern literature. You can view a clip of him moderating a discussion on modernity and waste at the Philoctetes Center online. His poems often focus on environmental themes as well, as a recent poem highlighting the ecological dangers of liquid natural gas facilities published in the journal Sea Stories suggests. The author of several essays and a poetry chapbook, Raw Materials, Bill is currently working on a book that brings together literary, environmental, and postcolonial studies titled The Remains of Empire: Waste, Nation, and Modernism.

Steven Neshyba
Professor of Chemistry and former co-chair of the Sustainability Advisory Committee
Steven's research interests are in the area of cloud microphysics and cloud optical properties, both of which are relevant to how the Earth’s climate responds to anthropogenic forcings such as the release of atmospheric carbon dioxide. In a recent collaboration with researchers in the Czech Republic, Steven has been constructing molecular dynamics computer simulations of growing cirrus ice particles. His research has also taken him and his students to the Arctic to measure cloud radiative properties, and to the laboratory to examine ice crystals and soot particles under a scanning electron microscope.

Doug Sackman
Professor of History (on leave 2013-2014)
Doug explores the cultural dynamics of human interactions with the environment in his scholarship and in his teaching. He has particular interests in food and agriculture, Native Americans, technology and modernity, as well as the American West, the Pacific Northwest and the Pacific Basin as regions. His first book, Orange Empire: California and the Fruits of Eden, examined the production and consumption of California's most famous fruit as a way of uncovering some of the patterns by which human society and nature have been interwoven. A new book, entitled Wild Men: Ishi and Kroeber in the Wilderness of Modern America (due out from Oxford in 2009), examines the wilderness idea and Indian-white relations in the context of a modernizing, urbanizing American culture. He is also at work editing A Companion to Environmental History for Blackwell Press which will feature three dozen essays by leading environmental historians. Doug brings his enthusiasm for exploring the relationship between human culture and the environment into such courses as History 369: the History of the West and the Pacific Northwest, History 364: American Environmental History and the first-year seminar, History 122: Ecotopia? Landscape and Identity in the Pacific Northwest.

David Sousa
Professor of Politics & Government
David is a political scientist interested in environmental policy. He is the author of American Environmental Policy, 1990-2006: Beyond Gridlock (co-authored with Christopher McGrory Klyza), MIT Press, 2008; "New Directions in Environmental Policymaking: An Emerging Collaborative Regime, or Reinventing Interest Group Liberalism?" (with McGrory Klyza) Natural Resources Journal 47 (2007): 377-444; and "Congress and Policy Pathways," (with McGrory Klyza), in Jon Isham and Sissel Waage, eds., Ignition: What You Can Do to Fight Global Warming and Spark a Movement, Island Press, 2007. David is currently focused on the implementation of the Endangered Species Act in the Columbia River basin, and is at the early stages of what he hopes will be a book-length project on the changing role of courts in environmental policymaking.

Stacey Weiss
Professor of Biology
Stacey teaches courses in ecology, animal behavior, and physiology. Her research interests focus on questions about animal communication, reproduction, and development. She approaches these questions in the context of evolutionary theory, particularly sexual selection theory, and happens to address these questions in lizards. Much of her research is field-intensive and takes place in southeastern Arizona where she works at the American Museum of Natural History’s Southwestern Research Station.

Peter Wimberger
Professor of Biology (on leave spring 2014)
Peter is an evolutionary biologist and director of the Slater Museum of Natural History. He researches the patterns and processes of evolution using molecular techniques. He teaches Environmental Science and courses about evolution.