AESS 2017 Elections are CLOSED.


AESS Annual Elections

While the slate is public, voting is only available to AESS Members. You must sign in to your account to vote. Voting will open April 24, 2017 and close May 24, 2017 at 11:59pm EDT.

  • President Elect (2017-2018; then President from 2018-2020)

    Peter J. Jacques, Professor of Political Science, University of Central Florida

    Describe your role(s) to date in AESS.

    I began attending AESS conferences in 2012, and I was elected to the Nominations Committee in 2012 for the two year term. That same year I became the Managing Executive Editor of the flagship AESS-owned journal, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (JESS). So, since 2012, I have been very involved in the association.

    Background / experience with environmental studies and sciences:

    I earned my Ph.D. from Northern Arizona University in Political Science in 2003. At NAU, I was first introduced to interdisciplinarity by my advisor, Zachary A. Smith who pushed us to take classes outside political science and to learn about environmental issues from multiple disciplinary perspectives, such as my class in environmental economics in the Forestry Department. In this program, American Indian politics were also a part of every course, which ensured a diverse set of perspectives. After NAU, I took my job at the University of Central Florida, where I was hired to exclusively teach environmental politics. I was also accepted into the second round of the DISCCRS training, an intensive week-long community-building program where people from both social and biophysical sciences explained their relevant work in climate change. This program was transformative for me, and from there I was able to be conversant in the biophysical science in climate. At the same time, my work in ocean politics has necessitated a literacy in the biophysical sciences of the marine world. Over the years, I have conducted very interdisciplinary research as well as been a part of interdisciplinary research groups, such as the Climate Impacts on Top Ocean Predators (CLIOTOP/IMBER) program. The work with JESS, serving under the magnanimous Tony Rosenbaum, has, in itself been a genuine education in interdisciplinarity, where Tony navigates journal submissions based on a submission’s potential to speak across and with different disciplines. I am also a core member of the Sustainable Coastal Systems cluster research group here at UCF, which is a multi- and interdisciplinary effort to build a team with engineering, biology and biological modeling, economics, planning, political science and policy, communications, anthropology, and chemistry team members who themselves must agree to work across the disciplinary borders.

    Vision for participation as President:

    One of the key goals I have is to build participation in AESS, and I have something specific in mind. I believe one problem we may have is that AESS may be less interesting to early career biophysical scientists and engineers because there, as yet, few of the products that are a regular part of these disciplines. On this point, I want to work on developing peer-reviewed proceedings for those who wish to publish the conference version of their work. This will mean that actual papers will be submitted to the conference panel and the proceedings for those who want this—to be clear, this would not be something I envision as a requirement, but only as an incentive to “ante up” the professional reward for coming to AESS. We must also do all we can to develop two important groups: grad students, and senior leaders. This is because AESS, in my view, needs more of both. Graduate students come when their mentor’s tell them this is the place to be, because that will be where you meet the people you need to meet are at, and I think without serious financial support for Grad students, the way to be the destination for them is to be the destination for their mentors, perhaps through the advancement of JESS and the AESS Branded Series books which have enormous potential to raise the visibility and reputation of AESS. Senior leadership must be cultivated from our army of Associate Professor ranks, but we also have a lot of AESS members who have been in AESS for a long time, but do not have tenure-track jobs and their ability to spend time on service is perhaps not as wide open. Thus, we must understand this problem and provide incentive programs that provide something their home institution recognizes, such as titles and status. These are ideas that require a lot more conversation, but I think we can move AESS ahead in deliberating on them.

  • Board Position 1-At Large (2017-2019) (Choose one)

    Teresa Lloro-Bidart, Assistant Professor, Liberal Studies Department, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

    Describe your role(s) to date in AESS:

    I have been an AESS board member since 2015. During that time, I have served on the Awards Committee, the Program Committee, and am an Associate Editor of AESS’s flagship journal, the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. I have also been active in conference planning and participation.

    Background / experience with environmental studies and sciences:

    My career is linked together by interests in the wellbeing of socioecological communities (inclusive of humans, nonhumans, and the nonliving environment), with a special focus on the role of education. I have a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies and a PhD in Education, Society, and Culture, with an emphasis in environmental education. Prior to my life as a college professor, I taught high school science for 11 years and actively engaged youth in outdoor environmental learning like school gardening. I am the environmental studies and sciences specialist in the Liberal Studies Department at Cal Poly, Pomona, where I teach a wide range of ESS courses, including critical food studies, critical animal studies, and nature in popular culture. I am currently engaged in a community-based research project with a local community garden where students in my critical food studies course participate in service-learning, for which I received Cal Poly, Pomona’s “Early Career Summer Support Fellowship” and the Council on Anthropology and Education’s “Concha Delgado Gaitán Presidential Fellowship.” Besides my professional service with AESS, I serve on the editorial boards of several environmental education journals, am co-editing a special issue of the Journal of Environmental Education, and am a founding co-chair of the subcommittee of the Council of Anthropology and Education that aims to increase the robustness and use of anthropological research methods and methodologies in environmental and science education.

    Vision for participation as Board Member:

    The most important goal I have for my next term is to enact concrete strategies that broaden and diversify participation in AESS and the ESS community as a whole. That is, I aim to be an active voice for diversity. Since part of AESS’s vision is to provide “collective voice,” I think it is critically important that our community reflect the collective voice of not only our constituency (AESS members and the ESS field more broadly), but also the communities with whom we work, many whose lives have been or will be imperiled by environmental crises wrought on by climate change and other environmental inequities like food injustice. I believe AESS is a venue where diverse communities can come together and shape an ethical and just agenda around environmental issues. I began working on this goal in my current board term through my participation in the Awards and Program Committees and through AESS conference planning and organization. We took an active approach in diversifying the outcomes and participation in these efforts, including modifying award criteria to include mentorship experiences and efforts to foster diversity, in its many forms. In a next term I would work with the Awards Committee to broaden the suite of AESS awards, embedding mentoring opportunities through the development of a society of fellows. Research demonstrates, for example, that mentorship can provide support to underrepresented groups, broadening and strengthening notions of community within an organization and across many fields.

    Rob Alexander, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Administration , James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

    Roles in AESS:

    Starting my employment as a university faculty member in 2011, my involvement with AESS began in 2014 when I served as my university’s representative at CEDD in Rye Brook, NY and then presented at AESS 2014 at Pace University.  Each year since, I have attended and presented at AESS including a full-day pre-conference workshop at AESS 2016 at American University on Building Collaborative Competencies.  I have also published in JESS and played a minor part of the AESS 2016 Local Planning Committee.

    Experience with environmental studies and sciences:  

    Despite my recent arrival as a faculty member, my engagement with environmental studies and sciences extends back to 1992 when I taught at the North Carolina Museum and Life and Science and founded a volunteer-run environmental education program for the Durham, NC City Schools.  After completing a B.S. in Geology at Duke University, I entered the non-formal environmental education profession, teaching for various environmental and outdoor education organizations including the National Wildlife Federation, Nature’s Classroom, and Guided Discoveries, Inc. 

    From 2000 to 2004, I worked as the Executive Director of the Wilderness Education Institute in Boulder, CO and began Board service for the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE).  This led to chairing the Advocacy Committee for the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) and being an early member of the NAAEE/NPEEE Guidelines for Excellence: Materials review team trained by Dr. Bora Simmons.

    Since that time, I completed a PhD in Public Administration at Syracuse University with an emphasis on environmental policy and management, examining the collaborative links required between scientists, policy makers, and public administrators to address complex environmental and sustainability challenges.  I currently work as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at James Madison University (JMU), the Associate Director of the Institute for Constructive Advocacy and Dialogue at JMU, and the Coordinator of JMU’s Environmental Studies minor.

    Vision for participation:

    As a lifelong environmental educator, the AESS commitment to blurring boundaries between disciplines, departments, universities, and sectors motivates my interest in AESS Board service.  My primary contribution is my organizational development and management expertise and skillsets related to both strategic planning facilitation as well as building and sustaining collaborative partnerships.  Having worked in the nonprofit sector during times of fiscal constraint and created successful cross-disciplinary programming within higher education and beyond for both environmental and LGBTQ/diversity outcomes, I am primed to dive into the work of growing and sustaining AESS.   Much of this effort must entail continuous, authentic outreach to both likely and unlikely partners as the need for our knowledge and expertise in current policy discussions becomes ever more urgent.

    I envision AESS playing a stronger role in the public governance of environmental problems, participating in key discussions at the local, state, and federal levels to inform our collaborative paths forward.  AESS has this potential and I would like to be part of our Board to help us realize our collective capacity to make important differences for our environmental, ecological, and social futures.

  • Board Position 2-At Large (2017-2019) (Choose one)

    Laureen Elgert, Assistant Professor of Social Science and Policy Studies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    Describe your role(s) to date in AESS.

    I have served on the AESS Board since 2015, and have primarily been involved with the Awards Committee, participating in the expansion of AESS’ awards program to recognize early career and student contributions to environmental science and studies.  The Awards committee has been particularly concerned with seeking ways to make AESS awards more reflective of the organization’s desire to become increasingly inclusive and interdisciplinary.

    Background / experience with environmental studies and sciences:  

    I am a scholar and teacher who researches environmental policy and international development, with a particular focus on sustainability and social justice. My work examines the complex relationship between knowledge, policy processes, and outcomes in the areas of environment and development. Key questions that guide my work include:

    1) how is environmental policy and decision-making shaped and influenced by discourse, expertise, global authority and power/interests?

    2) what are the environmental and political outcomes of policy making and decision-making processes, and what are the implications for equity?

    These topics have inspired 9 published papers in environmental studies and development studies journals such as the Journal of Peasant Studies, Geoforum, and Environmental Values.  Over the past 9 years I have taught undergraduate and graduate courses ranging from Population and Development, Environment and Society, to Sustainability Labeling, and have mentored dozens of students on academic projects and in voluntary club organizations, such as Engineers Without Borders.

    I have a PhD in Environment and Development from London School of Economics and I am currently an Assistant Professor at WPI in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies program.  At WPI I am also the Director of the Ecuador project center, where annually, students spend a term undertaking sustainability projects with community partners.  I also co-direct WPI’s program in Global Public Health.  I am active in the Critical Policy Studies community, where I serve on the editorial teams for both the Advances in Critical Policy Studies book series and the journal of Critical Policy Studies.

    Vision for participation as Board Member:

    I will continue working with the AESS awards committee, using a growing awards program to build community and interdisciplinary dialogue and fellowship within AESS and environmental science and studies more generally. In collaboration with other board members, we have also discussed the possibility of establishing an AESS speaker series, to which members can connect remotely, to further develop interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral understanding and cooperation.

    Kent “Kip” Curtis, Assistant Professor of History, Ohio State University

    Describe your role(s) to date in AESS.

    I was actively involved with AESS since prior to its founding attending meetings from 2007-2013.  I have presented research, organized panels, participated in conversations, and chaired panel.  During 2011-2013 I served on the Nominations Committee, serving as Chair in 2013.

    Background / experience with environmental studies and sciences:

    I have been an active participant in environmental studies professionally since 2001.  I received my Ph.D. in Environmental History from the University of Kansas in 2001.  Between 2001-2002 I worked for Second Nature, Inc. in Boston focusing on Sustainability in Higher Educations and working specifically on helping faculty integrate ‘sustainability’ into their curriculum.  I was Director of Education at the Thoreau Center in Lincoln, MA between 2003 and 2005, creating and directing environmental education program located in Walden Woods and focused on the literature of Henry David Thoreau.  Between 2006 and 2013, I was an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL, during which time I finished my first book, Gambling on Ore: The Nature of Mining in the United States, an environmental history of metals mining.  Between 2009 and 2014, I founded and directed the Edible Peace Patch Project, a schoolyard garden education/urban agriculture not for profit (  Since 2015, I have been an Assistant Professor of Environmental History at The Ohio State University where I am part of the Initiative for Food and Agricultural Transformation ( developing an urban agriculture research, demonstration and training farm on OSU’s Mansfield Campus and organizing a research project for food systems intervention in nearby Mansfield, Ohio.

    Vision for participation as Board Member:

    I would like to help AESS expand its membership, increase participation in its conferences and become, as has been its ambition from the start, the primary national organization for environmental and studies academic and practicing professionals.  I believe this includes developing strategic outreach strategies to include both more humanities and more interdisciplinary scholars, to actively and aggressively recruit scholars and graduate students for participation in AESS annual conferences, and to help the organization become financially sound and resilient.

  • Board Position 3-At Large (2017-2019) (Choose one):

    Leslie Gray, Professor of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Santa Clara University

    Describe your role(s) to date in AESS:

    I have been an active member in AESS since 2010 organizing conference sessions and discussion symposia at our annual AESS meetings.  In 2012, I was the site coordinator for the AESS meetings held at Santa Clara University.  This entailed arranging all elements of the SCU conference including field trips, arts-related events and general conference services.  I was then elected to the board, where I updated the AESS Syllabus databank and participated in AESS’s strategic planning process.  In 2016, I was elected to the nominations committee.  This year, I am acting President-elect for a one year period and am working closely with the program committee chair of the 2017 AESS conference in Tucson.  

    Background / experience with environmental studies and sciences:

    My PhD is in geography but I am a faculty member in the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Santa Clara University.  I directed SCU’s Environmental Studies Institute from 2007-2013.  During this time, I led the effort that resulted in the creation of a Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences in 2011.  This new department was accompanied by a stand-alone Environmental Studies major and a revised Environmental Science major.  I am also very involved in Sustainability at Santa Clara University.  As a faculty associate for curriculum development for the Center for Sustainability, I created and direct the Sustainability minor as well as a Sustainability pathway.  

    My research focuses on human-environmental interactions.  I conduct research on land use change in West Africa, solar technology in East Africa, and on local food systems and urban agriculture in California.  I am also very engaged with undergraduate research; many of my projects are conducted with undergraduate students as research assistants and co-authors.  

    Vision for participation as Board Member:

    As a member of the AESS board, I would be very involved in strategic planning and membership recruitment.  I am particularly excited to work with AESS board members to develop a new mentorship program that supports recent PhDs, particularly those of diverse backgrounds and to explore ways to encourage graduate students to see AESS as their interdisciplinary home.  My goals for the next few years include supporting our annual conferences, working to professionalize the organization and to help make AESS an effective voice in higher education.

    Elizabeth Demaray, Associate Professor of Fine Arts, Rutgers University-Camden, Art and Artificial Intelligence Lab, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

    Describe your role(s) to date in AESS.

    I’ve had the pleasure of curating exhibitions, organizing panels, and presenting my own work at the AESS for the past six years. In 2011, I gave a talk at the Environmental Art panel at Vermont University. The next year, I organized the Art and Science Collaborations panel and installed an accompanying exhibition of visuals at Santa Clara University’s de Saisset Museum. In 2014, I assisted Kim Smith in placing a formal call for panel presentations from artists and helped her to incorporate these presentations into the symposium’s topic areas. I was also the featured artist at the Welcome to the Anthropocene symposium in New York. In this capacity, I exhibited my work at Pace Gallery, spoke about my art, and curated an exhibition of artists who presented at the panels. In 2015, I assembled an eco-art panel at the University of San Diego. Finally, in 2016, I was the discussant at the Art and Science Collaborations at Biological Field Stations panel. I also organized the Art at AESS Google group to clarify the needs of the art community at the AESS, to better support the organization as a whole, and to initiate dialogues that may become panels at future conferences.

    Background/experience with environmental studies and sciences:

    I work in art/sci collaboration and eco art. In this vein, I build listening stations for birds that play human music, fabricate alternative forms of housing for hermit crabs, and culture lichen on the sides of skyscrapers. My present work, the Manhattan Tundra Project, is a proposal to create an emergent ecosystem on the top of the World Trade 4 building in New York City. I am currently an associate professor of fine arts at Rutgers University, Camden. I am also a work group advisor in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, and a co-founder of the DigiHuman Laboratory (now the Art and Artificial Intelligence Lab) in the Department of Computer Science at Rutgers, New Brunswick. In 2012, inspired by my first AESS conference, I created a civic engagement course called Art and Urban Sustainability. So far, my students have assisted the New Jersey Tree Foundation in the planting of 7,000 community-supported trees on the streets of Camden, NJ.

    Vision for participation as Board Member:

    I believe that the AESS is a superb community in which to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration on environmental issues and that the contribution of artists is vital to its mission. As a board member, one of my goals would be to create structures that encourage the greater participation of STEM and STEAM practitioners at future conferences while identifying ways that these fields can better support environmental studies.

    I would like to encourage greater community and regional involvement in AESS events through making them partially open to the public. I would also like to see the general membership become more active in submitting ideas and producing events both inside and outside of AESS conferences. These kinds of creative activities can become the lifeblood of an organization, garnering new members and new ideas. I’m really excited about the future of the AESS and as a board member, I hope to support us in this phase of our existence.

  • Nominations Committee – Position 1 (2017-2019) (Choose one):

    Song Gao, Associate Professor, Stetson University

    Describe your role(s) to date in AESS.

    Since the spring of 2016, I have been serving as an Associate Editor for AESS’s Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (JESS).

    In addition, I have been serving actively on several committees at AESS since 2014.

    In both 2015 and 2016, I actively participated in shaping the national conference programs as a program committee member, and focused on reviewing physical science-oriented abstracts and inviting potential speakers. I made suggestions to regroup sessions to have a more balanced program interfacing science and policy.  Serving on the nominations committee since 2015, I have routinely attended the teleconferences in discussing specific nominations and potential nominees.

    In 2014, I served as Chair for the “Environmental Chemistry” session at the Annual National Conference. In addition, I served on the Outreach and Membership committee at AESS during 2014.

    Background / experience with environmental studies and sciences:

    I did doctoral (University of Washington – Seattle) and postdoctoral (California Institute of Technology – Caltech) research on atmospheric aerosol chemistry. This work has continued with field and lab work at Hong Kong Univ. of Science and Technology and Nova Southeastern University where I had held faculty positions, and currently at Stetson University.  In addition, my research has dealt with water pollution and remediation, and science-based climate mitigation policies, which together has led to dozens of peer-reviewed publications in international journals.  I have served on several review panels for the National Science Foundation, and have been serving as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences.  In addition to teaching courses in the fields of classical chemistry, environmental chemistry and renewable energy, I have mentored more than 30 undergraduate and graduate students in the past 6 years, two of whom recently received National Science Foundation Green Chemistry Scholarships. At Stetson, I am continuing the research and teaching activities focusing on environmental chemistry and science-based policy making.

    Vision for participation as a Nominations Committee member:

    I envision that AESS will continue to grow and embrace scholars in a diverse range of disciplines including arts, humanities and law, social sciences and physical sciences, all of which contribute to the in-depth understanding of the environment and sound policy making while further developing truly interdisciplinary curricula across universities.  As a nominations committee member, I intend to especially look out for talents and participants in the physical sciences to add to the already rich pool of expertise at AESS. Also intend to look for active participants from international institutions, including those from developing countries, to engage in the dialogue of sustainability in energy and the environment, with respect to the relevant sciences, technologies and policies

    Rebecca Romsdahl, Associate Professor of Earth System Science and Policy, University of North Dakota

    Describe your role(s) to date in AESS.

    I have been a conference presenter and participant, who would like to become more involved in the organization.

    Background / experience with environmental studies and sciences:

    All of my degrees are interdisciplinary environmental studies/sciences, and I currently teach an undergraduate course on sustainability.

    Vision for participation as a Nominations Committee member:

    I would work toward helping raise visibility of AESS, encourage more members to become involved in leadership, and help the organization increase awareness of environmental issues.

  • Nominations Committee – Position 2 (Choose one):

    Sharon Moran, Department of Environmental Studies, State University of New York, Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), Syracuse, NY

    Describe your role(s) to date in AESS.

    I have been around since the beginning, and want to help it thrive and grow. For many years I participated in a fruitful and informal network called NEES (Northeast Environmental Studies). It helped many of us understand the need for and value of a professional organization for Environmental Studies. Next, I helped launch the AESS, and that was in connection with a conference held about ten years ago (the Environmental Summit in Syracuse NY).  At that time, I served on a committee that hatched our journal, the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. Since then I have attended several meetings, and was first elected to a term on the nominations committee about two years ago.

    Background / experience with environmental studies and sciences:

    The research I do is focused on the human dimensions of environmental issues, especially water problems and toxics issues. In particular, I focus on equity, justice, and environmental values. My own background is interdisciplinary, and my degrees are in three different fields; in my teaching and scholarship, I integrate them, and environmental studies has been the ideal context in which to do those things.   

    I have a PhD in Geography (Clark University), a master’s degree in political science and public policy (MIT), and a bachelor’s in chemistry (Boston University). Currently, I am the leader of the Doctoral Program in Environmental and Natural Resources Policy (ENRP) at ESF. I also help run a graduate option co-sponsored with Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management and it is called the Certificate of Advanced Study in Sustainable Enterprise (CASSE). Previously, I was on the faculty at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, where I worked to develop an Environmental Studies program and helped them secure their first tenure track line for it.

    Vision for participation as a Nominations Committee member:

    If re-elected, I expect to continue to serve through networking and brainstorming, identifying people and emerging interests who should be tapped to help our young organization. I’m alert to people working in overlapping areas, and also to ways that shifting political forces may be pushing us to attend to slightly different concerns, and ensuring that knowledgeable people keep getting recruited to AESS. I endeavor to persuade newer scholars of the value of engaging with national associations like ours.

  • Nominations Committee – Position 3 (2017-2019)(Choose one):

    Barbara Goldoftas, Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Public Health Program, Bastyr University

    Barbara Goldoftas is an Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Public Health Program at Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA. In both her research and teaching, she works at the nexus of environment and health. In 2015, she helped launch an MPH program at Bastyr, where determinants of health (environmental, social, and psychosocial) and social justice perspectives are deeply integrated into the curriculum.  She teaches courses on Environmental Determinants of Health; Global Health; Social Justice and Health; and public health nutrition. Her research focuses on the environmental and social determinants of type 2 diabetes, and she is conducting research on type 2 diabetes in northern Nicaragua (a study site made possible by a colleague she met through AESS).

    Previously, she was Visiting Assistant Professor in the Environmental Science & Policy program in the Department of International Development, Community, & Environment at Clark University. At Clark, she created a group of interdisciplinary courses on environmental and public health, including Health and the Urban Environment; Food Production, Environment, and Health; Environmental and Social Epidemiology; and Epidemiologic Perspectives on Global Health. She also participate in the University’s first Climate Teach-In and an early Climate Council.

    She has a doctorate in environmental health from the Boston University School of Public Health, a master of science in science communications from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a bachelor’s in botany from the University of Michigan. Her first career was as a science journalist. She is the author of The Green Tiger: The Costs of Ecological Decline in the Philippines (Oxford 2006). She has been a member of the Nominations Committee since 2015. She brings to the committee her experience and expertise in environment and health, her global perspective, her experience doing research and communicating science on a wide range of environmental and health topics, and previous experience working with the boards of several science, technology, and economics magazines. She has been involved with AESS since 2009.

    Lissy Goralnik, Assistant Professor, Department of Community Sustainability, Michigan State University

    Describe your role(s) to date in AESS.

    I have been participating as an AESS member, as well as presenting multiple papers at each conference, for the last three years, starting as a postdoc and now transitioning to a faculty member. I have participated in field trips and workshops at all three conferences, including workshops on publication, arts and humanities, and contemplative practice in environmental studies. I have published in and reviewed books for JESS. After years of going to conferences as a graduate student, AESS was the first academic community where I felt at home and that I had found ‘my people.’ I continue to feel that way now.

    Background / experience with environmental studies and sciences:

    My work is interdisciplinary through and through, and I consider myself an environmental scholar more than any kind of disciplinary scholar. I am a qualitative social scientist who studies questions about values, ethics, collaboration, and community engagement in the context of natural resources and sustainability issues. I have an MFA in creative writing and a PhD in fisheries and wildlife, and never, until recently taking an environmental studies position in a community sustainability department, have I felt like I belonged anywhere but on the fringes of the sandboxes where I played. Environmental studies provides a breadth of study across environmental issues and a commitment to collaboration and inclusivity that speak to my understanding of the way the world, and environmental problem-solving, work. That said, I’m not sure I understood I was an environmental studies scholar until I started participating at AESS, because the schools I had gone to or worked at did not have environmental studies departments. Therefore I have been working in environmental studies probably since 2003, when I started teaching environmental writing during graduate school, but I did not claim it as my field until 2013.

    Vision for participation as a Nominations Committee member:

    I have been looking for ways to increase my participation with AESS to contribute to the community that has provided me so many opportunities, relationships, and inspiration. As I transition into a new faculty position, and thus have some stability in my work life and will soon also have graduate students I can integrate into the AESS community, it feels like a good time to take something like this on. I am eager to develop relationships across AESS, work collaboratively with other AESS members, and recruit more faculty involvement from my networks at MSU. For the Nominations Committee specifically, I envision participating in future planning, relationship-building, communication, and visioning to fill the important administrative roles that help the organization function, grow, and meet the needs and vision of the members.

  • Nominations Committee Four (to replace Leslie Gray) (2017-2018)

    Ursula Lang, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Urban Studies Foundation/Geography, University of Glasgow (Scotland UK)

    Describe your role(s) to date in AESS.

    Fairly new to AESS governance and organization, I have primarily been engaged with the organization through the email listserv and online resources the past three years. I discovered AESS while a PhD student, and have found the networks of scholars and resources very helpful in developing syllabi and finding out about conferences and workshops. I am eager to gain experience with AESS, and to build connections with others working on related issues.

    Background / experience with environmental studies and sciences:

    My scholarship focuses on human dimensions of urban environmental politics and justice. Who has access to urban natural resources, and how do we share and sustain them? I draw on distinctly synthetic ways of knowing from the field of human geography, and pay particular attention to how sociopolitical power and difference take shape in human relationships to environment. I have a PhD in Geography, a Masters of Architecture, and an undergraduate degree in Biology and Anthropology. I worked professionally as an architect for several years, focusing on sustainable design.

    Vision for participation as a Nominations Committee member:

    Primarily, I am interested to serve AESS, and to learn more about its organizational practices and networks, and to become more familiar with ESS research and teaching across colleges and universities. I have special interests in supporting graduate students and early career scholars, especially around interdisciplinary co-mentoring groups and writing support. I also am interested in developing shared resources for curricula in environmental studies and sciences.

    Melissa Haeffner, National Science Foundation Post-doctoral Research Scientist, Utah State University

    Describe your role(s) to date in AESS:

    I presented two papers at the AESS 2016 conference, one of which is being developed into an article for an upcoming special issue of JESS. I also participated in a writing workshop at the conference which led to the paper being published. I am submitting an abstract to AESS 2017.

    Background / experience with environmental studies and sciences:

    I earned a PhD in Ecology (Human-Environment Interactions) from Colorado State University and a MS in Urban Studies and Planning (environmental specialization) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. I am currently teaching a course in the Environment & Society department at Utah State University, I taught a political ecology course at Colorado State University and environmental sociology courses at DePaul University.

    Vision for participation as a Nominations Committee member:

    As a post-doc, I believe I can add an early career perspective to promote diversity among board members and officers.

  • Treasurer (2017-2020)

    Greg Mohr

    Part-time lecturer in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Barbara, but not a career academic; my main career (1979-2007) was with the Santa Barbara County government as an environmental analyst and long-range planner and policy specialist. I’ve also had several private-sector jobs (1976-79, 1985-90, and 2007-8), preparing CEQA and NEPA documents and third party certifications of greenhouse gas emissions inventories.

    Candidate’s Statement:

    I graduated from UCSB with a double major in Environmental Studies and Geography (BA, 1976), and subsequently did graduate work in Geography until starting my career with Santa Barbara County. Some of you may remember me from the AESS’s conception at the Santa Barbara Environmental Studies Summit in February 2006—I tended bar for the opening reception at the Maritime Museum. I am the founding treasurer for AESS and I’m ready to continue in this capacity, should the membership consent. My interest lies in helping the AESS continue to grow by keeping the financial records straight and in the black. I’ve been treasurer for a number of non-profit organizations dating back to high school, and haven’t yet lost track of a penny or more. It’s been very interesting and personally satisfying to work with the AESS founders and newer leadership during these first years, and I’m willing and able to help continue the growth of the organization and its members. For more information, please see