Environmental Studies Committee
Dan Perlman's work in biology has ranged from studying colony-founding behaviors among tropical ants to helping regional conservation groups throughout the Western United States set priorities for land and species protection. He also is interested in studying human learning. As founding director of the Brandeis Center for Teaching and Learning, Perlman worked with faculty to help them foster student learning. Perlman also developed a website, EcoLibrary.org, that freely distributes teaching materials developed for ecology and environmental studies.
Expertise: Ecology, conservation biology and animal behavior. Pedagogical methods and innovations.
Charles Chester teaches global environmental politics at Brandeis and in the Global Master of Arts Program at the Fletcher School of Tufts University. He is the Board Chair of Bat Conservation International, Chair of theYellowstone to Yukon Council, and manages the website Global Environmental Politics ~ An Online Guide.
Expertise: International environmental policy, transborder conservation.
Brian Donahue teaches courses on environmental issues, environmental history, sustainable farming and forestry, and early American culture. His primary research interests include the history and the prospects of human engagement with the land, especially in New England.
Expertise: American environmental studies, New England farm and forest history, sustainable agriculture, sustainable forestry, land conservation.
Laura came to Brandeis in the late 1990s after a 20 year career as an environmental lawyer addressing the full range of issues from clean air and water protection to toxic exposure and serving as General Counsel of the MA Department of Environmental Protection. She helped establish the Environmental Studies program and created the Environmental Internship Program. Her environmental law, sustainability and social justice courses and field programs involved students in hands-on problem-solving and research addressing the needs of disenfranchised communities, including groundbreaking occupational health studies involving Vietnamese nail salon workers and hair products targeted to black women. Brandeis students can continue to be involved in several local programs Laura created with students, including the WATCH Housing Clinic.
Expertise: Environmental justice, environmental law and policy, environmental sustainability.
Colleen Hitchcock's academic interests are focused on the role of citizen science in ecological inquiry and conservation biology, specifically relating to studies of biodiversity, conservation, phenology and climate change. She is a lead organizer for the City Nature Challenge in eastern Massachusetts and is also interested in both the application of community/citizen science research as a model for learning by students.
Expertise: Community and citizen science, ecology, evolution and urban biodiversity and conservation.
Dwight Peavey, who recently retired as a senior scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after nearly three decades of service, has taught at Brandeis for the past 15 years and served as senior thesis adviser for several students. Peavey’s academic interests encompass the impacts of anthropogenic activities, especially toxic and hazardous substances on human health and the environment. He is also interested in life cycle analysis and sustainability of today’s and future human activities, including water utilization, agriculture, manufacturing and synthetic chemistry. Exploration of pollution prevention through safer, healthier chemistry is his prime interest.
Expertise: Toxics, life cycle analysis, pollution prevention, green chemistry and sustainability.
Richard Schroeder is a Geographer by training whose research has addressed questions of gender vulnerability to drought and famine in Nigeria; gender, agroforestry and community forestry politics in The Gambia; counter-mapping, community wildlife management and artisanal mining in Tanzania; race, nationality and South African investment in Tanzania; and trophy hunting in South Africa. He teaches courses on the Anthropology of the Environment; Anthropology of Development; and Conservation Politics
Expertise: Political ecology, Africa, conservation, development, wildlife tourism, trophy hunting, forestry, mining, agriculture
Sabine von Mering is currently working on the role of climate change as a challenge for the humanities. Her most recent scholarly work focused on right-wing extremism in Europe and the United States. As director of the Center for German and European Studies, she organizes lectures, conferences and cultural events in the interest of promoting transatlantic dialogue.
Expertise: German as a foreign language; climate change and the humanities; fairy tales; Jewish-German dialogue; German women writers; German cinema; Age of Goethe; German drama.
Sally Warner is a physical oceanographer who studies how water moves and mixes in the ocean. She is particularly interested in connecting the small, fast motions of turbulence to decadal-scale, global processes like El Niño and climate change. She has spent many months living and working on oceanographic research vessels in places like the equatorial Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. As an educator, she aims to teach climate science and oceanography in ways that highlight local case studies to motivate the underlying science.
Expertise: Climate science, physical oceanography, turbulence and mixing, estuarine and coastal fluid dynamics
Faculty Teaching Environmental Studies Courses
Professor of Anthropology
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Professor of English
James Xindi Ji
Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Environmental Economics
Associate Professor of Contemporary Art on the Cynthia L. and Theodore S. Berenson Chair
Professor of Biology
Professor of Anthropology
Associate Professor of Economics
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Professor of Biology
Associate Professor of Sociology
Assistant Professor of English
Senior Lecturer in Education and Elementary Faculty Leader