Environmental Studies Program

Departmental News

November 9, 2022

Photo of Sabine von MeringCGES Director and Professor of German and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Sabine von Mering has been named the winner of the Volkmar and Margret Sander Prize by Deutsches Haus at New York University.

The Volkmar and Margret Sander Prize honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the cultural, political, and academic relationship between the German-speaking world and the United States. It is awarded annually in the fall and is endowed with a $5000 grant.

November 6, 2022

Maggie Del Re and Matthew Baharmast attend Photo at Cop27Brandeis Environmental Studies students Maggie Del Re and Matthew Baharmast attended the UN Climate Change Conference (Cop 27) this year in Sharm el Sheikh Egypt. The students received support from Youth Environmental Alliance in Higher Education (YEAH) Network and the Maurice J. and Fay B. Karpf & Ari Hahn Peace Endowment Award to attend. During the conference they presented about Brandeis’ Year of Climate Action at the conference.

September 1, 2022

Prof Warner in front of Warming StripDuring Brandeis’ Year of Climate Action, Professor Sally Warner decided to take on an ambitious project—sewing a 40-meter-long climate warming stripes banner. Warming stripes are a visual way of depicting the changes in global temperature due to anthropogenic climate change.

August 31, 2022

Photo of Prof. Prakash KashwanDr. Prakash Kashwan joined the Environmental Studies Faculty in fall 2022. After an early career in international development, Kashwan received his PhD in 2011 from Indiana University. He joined the faculty at the University of Connecticut in 2011, most recently serving as associate professor and co-director of the Research Program on Economic and Social Rights in the Human Rights Institute.

Kashwan’s research focuses on the social and political dynamics surrounding global environment and climate issues, working at the intersection of justice, power, and governance. His scholarship engages climate justice questions from a global perspective including research on the broader fields of global climate governance, climate justice, and environmental justice. Kashwan has a demonstrated record of excellence in teaching, offering graduate and undergraduate courses on global environmental politics, environmental and climate justice, contentious politics, political economy of development, South Asia in world politics, and quantitative research methods.

August 25, 2022

Photo of Prof. HitchcockProf. Colleen Hitchcock contributed to a new publication in Nature Portfolio, titled “Citizen science in environmental and ecological sciences”. The publication defines citizen science, explains why it is a valuable to scientists and practitioners, identifies key issues, provides a range of examples of applications, and discusses limitation and challenges.

July 6, 2022

Photo of Prof Charles ChesterBiodiversity conservation efforts have been criticized for generating inequitable socio-economic outcomes. For more than a century, critics have pointed to how conservation has led to inequitable outcomes, often imposing a cost on those with the fewest resources.

Professor Charles Chester argues alongside scholars from a number of universities that inequities could be addressed through a form of “payments for ecosystem services” (PES) in this new publication, titled “Using Ecosystem Services to Identify Inequitable Outcomes in Migratory Species Conservation”. This publication highlights problematic outcomes that can occur in efforts to conserve migratory species, and how PES could be used to address the problems.

Despite an ongoing debate over the fundamental effectiveness and equity of PES, each case study in the scholarship shows that not only has a PES not been made, but that the cost of conservation has been paid by those who are not receiving an associated ecosystem service benefit. It is incumbent on the conservation community to recognize and address such inequities. Read the publication here.

July 1, 2022

Photo of Prof. Brian Donahue"Go Farm, Young People" is a new pamphlet by Brian Donahue, Faculty Emeritus, that urges people to do what many already want to do: help revitalize rural America. Prof. Donahue argues that revitalizing rural America is critical to reforming our food system, protecting biodiversity, and slowing climate change. The challenge is, how can young people be supported so they can gain access to land, and make a decent living? Prof. Donahue offers suggestions on how to face the challenge in this informative pamphlet.

May 24, 2022

Photo of Philip LuPhil successfully completed one-on-one mentoring, workshop activities, and leadership projects that furthered Federal Asian Pacific American Council's goal of equal opportunity and cultural diversity. Phil was recognized for the exceptional high quality of his work during the Career Development Mentoring Program for High Performers.

April 26, 2022

Photo of Prof. Charles ChesterParks and refuges are important for conservation, but without connections, they’re like islands. Prof Chester shared how linking parks and refuges by protecting land in between makes it possible for wildlife to move over bigger areas in this article in The Conversation.

April 21, 2022

graphic of a woman with headphones and green background with little environmental icons While it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the effects of climate change, staying informed and taking action can mediate climate-related stress and inspire others to make a change. The Environmental Studies Faculty shared their favorite media recommendations and advice for engaging in climate action with Brandeis NOW.

April 12, 2022

Photo of Emily Bischoff “If you're considering studying abroad — go for it. ... You’ll be making your own amazing memories exploring new places, trying different activities, and meeting new people.” -Emily B. ’22

Biology and Environmental Studies Student, Emily Bischoff shared her study abroad experience in Panama with Brandeis Undergraduate Admissions. 

April 4, 2022

Photo of Elizabeth Bradfield"Going out there on the water and being alive - it’s a vital part of my life. Without it, I feel stuck. Grounded. Time on the water–hopefully in a way that gives back to the beings I love–feeds my ability to write, in direct and indirect ways." -Elizabeth Bradfield, Co-Director of Creative Writing and ENVS Affiliated Faculty. 

Professor Bradfield was featured in the BrandeisNow. Read more abou her exprience as a naturalist and poet here

March 30, 2022

Photo of Prof. Brian DonahueIt is with deep gratitude that the Environmental Studies Program notes the impending retirement of Professor Brian Donahue. Despite his youthful demeanor, Brian likes to report that he first came to Brandeis 49 (forty-nine!) years ago. Over that half century, he earned three degrees at Brandeis (BA, MA, and PhD, all in history) and was a founding member and pillar of the Environmental Studies Program.

January 19, 2022

Photo of the ocean with a fenceA tsunami raced across the Pacific Ocean after the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano eruputed in Tonga on January 15, 2022. Professor Sally Warner explained the physics behind the tsumani on The Conversation.

January 14, 2022

Photo of Yellowstone National ParkProfessor Charlie Chester co-authored a paper on the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Conservation Initative and its contribution to expansion of consevation in the region.

September 14, 2021

Brandeis Environmental StudiesBrandeis University’s independent student newspaper “The Justice” interviewed Prof. Colleen Hitchcock, about the development of the Climate Justice, Science & Policy minor. Read on to learn how and why Environmental Studies launched the minor!

August 12, 2021

Photo of Prof Charles ChesterProfessor Charlie Chester reflects on the conservation history of the Appalachian trail, and where we need to head in the future in his piece for The Conversation.

July 23, 2021

Photo of Prof. Sally WarnerWhat generates the waves that surfers will ride at the Olympics? Where do the waves come from? And why will the new Olympians be surfing at Tsurigasaki Beach?  Professor Sally Warner provides insight on the waves for surfing at the Olympics in this article on The Conversation.

July 22, 2021

Sonali Anderson ’22, Priyata Bhatta ’22, and Kate Danziger ’22 were awarded a Hiatt Career Center World of Work (WOW) Fellowship to fund their internships this summer.  They will each share their internship experience on Hiatt's blog site.

July 7, 2021

Peniamina (Ben) Percival ’18 (International & Global Studies and Environmental Studies Alum) is headed to the Tokyo Olympics later this month to compete in judo, representing his home country of Samoa.

July 1, 2021

This Fall 2021, Brandeis Environmental Studies will launch the Climate Justice, Science and Policy Minor (CJSP). The CJSP minor will help Brandeis students understand climate change and its connections to social justice issues.

June 8, 2021

“Sound on Mystic” is an outdoor audio installation along the Mystic river in Medford and Arlington Massachusetts with funding from the Medford Arts Council and Arlington Cultural Council, and support from the Mystic River Watershed Association. Environmental Studies Administrator, Jazz Dottin, presented a spoken word piece titled “The Petition” which brings the words of Belinda Sutton to life not far from the Royall estate where she was enslaved in the late eighteenth century. Download the app and walk along the Mystic river to hear her piece and the 13 additional pieces of music, spoken word, sound art and ambience.

May 28, 2021

A new paper in Insecta Mundi describes 36 new species of Chlamydastis in Costa Rica. One of the 36 is named the C. colleenhitchcockae after our very own Professor Colleen Hitchcock!

May 24, 2021

May 24, Environmental Studies held a virtual diploma ceremony to celebrate the graduating class. Congratulations class of 2021! 

March 18, 2021

ENVS student Bobbie Brown '22 recently wrote an article for BrandeisNOW about how students' social lives have evolved during the COVID19 pandemic, and how they have found ways to stay connected.

December 4, 2020

Ever wonder what makes the world’s biggest waves surfable?  Prof. Warner explores this question in this piece published on "The Conversation".

November 1, 2020

How does wildlife persist in cities? Students contribute data to a new study co-author by Colleen Hitchcock in Environmental Studies which outlines a framework for monitoring urban biodiversity.

April 1, 2020

Learn more about the City Nature Challenge in this Museum of Science podcast featuring Prof. Hitchcock discussing how to get involved in local nature observation.

October 3, 2019

Improved forest management – and building more tall, wooden buildings – could go a long way in combatting climate change, environmental science professor Brian Donahue said in a co-written Op-Ed.

September 17, 2019

Students, staff, and faculty gathered at Project Pollinator behind the Bassine Science Building to search for and document pollinators cataloguing their finds using iNaturalist.

August 23, 2019

The Question Formulation Technique, a simple yet rigorous process designed to help students formulate, work with and use their own questions, led to term papers on lemurs for Perlman's students.

July 16, 2019

Hemlocks in Massachusetts are under threat because of a sap-sucking insect called the hemlock woolly adelgid, which has already devastated hemlocks from North Carolina to Connecticut.

April 26, 2019

Associate Professor Colleen Hitchcock spends the day in the field with the National Parks Service and participants from Zoo New England’s Boston Biodiversity Initiative for girls, preparing for the 2019 City Nature challenge.

February 8, 2019

The Rev. Mariama White-Hammond draws parallels in discussion of climate change and environmental justice.

January 11, 2019

Blog features her experience with the Mystic River Watershed Association as an intern and 'Deis Does Citizen Science event.

November 5, 2018

Eric Chasalow, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, takes us on a guided tour of the mushroom patch that was the Brandeis campus this year.

November 1, 2018

Professor James Anderson discusses climate change through the lenses of chemistry, physics and applied mathematics.

October 29, 2018

Even Dankowicz '20 shares his experience as a citizen scientist in the Never Home Alone project featured on iNaturalist.

October 17, 2018

Levels have fallen by nearly 13 percent since 2015; university plans more aggressive cuts by 2020.

July 25, 2018

Awarded grant to develop new Biology of Climate Change course.

May 31, 2018

Environmental studies minor Anna Sherman ’20 receives Boren Scholarship to China.

March 1, 2018

Students and faculty connect with citizen scientists around the city and across the globe as organizers in the City Nature Challenge.

February 9, 2018

Earthwatch scientist Mark Chandler discusses air quality and citizen science work as an example of the intersection between environmental justice and the democratization of science.

January 23, 2018

By taking actions both big and small, the Brandeis community continued its push toward a more Earth-friendly campus.

November 10, 2017

Students examine the ecology of herring migration in support of the Mystic River Watershed Association.

September 25, 2017

A new study co-authored by environmental studies professor Brian Donahue finds that New England is losing 65 acres of forest per day to land conversion.

September 11, 2017

Research by professor Charles Chester demonstrates the environmental service benefits to society from flying transborder species.

April 14, 2017

The environmental studies and business double-major has a passion for building maps with geographic information systems.

October 6, 2016

Associate Professor of American Environmental Studies Brian Donahue has a plan to help New England produce half its food by 2060, even with the negative impact of continuous global warming.

July 15, 2016

Findings indicate employees, clients exposed to above-normal carbon dioxide levels, poor ventilation.

June 6, 2016

Environmental studies major Jake Greenberg ’18 among recipients of academic prize.

November 19, 2015

Committee is charged with refreshing the university's climate action plan, created in 2009, with specific goals and objectives to reduce the university’s carbon footprint.