AESS Annual Elections

Voting is open to AESS members only. Nominations are collected during the fall/winter and elections open in the spring. If you have questions about serving, please contact the Nominations committee chair, Erin Burkett.

Download a copy of the position descriptions doc. 2022 voting is now closed. Results will be communicated soon.


The President-elect shall serve as President-Elect, President, and Past-President totaling a three year term.

In the absence of the President or in the event of his or her inability to act, the President-Elect shall perform all the duties of the President, and when so acting shall have all the powers of, and be subject to all the restrictions on, the President.  The President-Elect shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as may be specified in these Bylaws or assigned by the Board.


 The President shall act as the chief executive officer of the Corporation and chairperson of the Board, shall generally supervise the affairs and activities of the Corporation, and shall keep the Board fully informed of such affairs and activities.  Working in conjunction with the President-Elect and Secretary, the President shall be responsible for maintaining and keeping current (1) the Articles of Incorporation, which shall serve as the guiding document and statement of purpose for the Corporation; (2) the Bylaws, which identify the procedures by which the Corporation performs its business; and (3) the Corporation’s Policies, as enacted by the Board, which shall be compiled and organized by substantive and functional categories, rather than chronologically.  The President shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as may be specified in these Bylaws or assigned by the Board.

Immediate Past-President:

The Immediate Past President shall shall act as support to the Board, retain voting rights, and manage the Circle of Fellows program. The Past President shall have other such powers and perform other such duties as may be specified in the Bylaws or assigned by the Board.


Candidates for President-Elect

Wil Burns

I am currently a visiting professor at Northwestern University, in the Environmental Policy and Culture program, and also teach in the MS in Energy & Sustainability program in the Department of Engineering. I have previously taught at a number of institutions, including UC-Berkeley, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins University. I have taught in law school, professional graduate school, graduate school, and undergraduate environments. My research agenda focuses on climate change, including governance and justice and equity issues associated with carbon dioxide removal.

I have an extensive record of service to AESS, and a commitment to its continued viability. I view AESS as a critical organization for the environmental studies/science community. I am a former President of AESS, a recipient of the Freudenburg Lifetime Achievement. I currently serve as the Editor of the AESS Branded Book Series, as well as an Associate Editor for JESS.

I am interested in leading AESS again to pursue a number of priorities that I think are important for the organization and our discipline, including the following:

* Increasing our commitment to addressing questions of equity and justice in our field, both as a discipline, and in terms of professional development;

* Developing programs that help to further the professional development and fulfillment of adjunct faculty, an increasing percentage of our cohort that are often ignored by professional organizations;

* Developing a new committee to focus on the pedagogy of online learning, another growing element of our field, even prior to Covid. This would include development of a suite of online resources and regular panel(s) at the annual meeting;

* Enhancing the outreach of JESS through tie-ins with webinars, podcasts, and our annual conference.

It would be an honor to lead AESS again in trying times; we need its voice to be strong now more than ever!


Karin Warren

I remember my excitement years ago when I discovered AESS, and felt I had found an organization that fit: AESS’s interdisciplinary discourse, the respect accorded to teaching and activism as well as scholarship, and the collegial manner of shared inquiry. I am Professor and Herzog Family Chair of Environmental Studies & Science at Randolph College, and AESS is my primary professional association. I have presented in conference panels, workshops, and discussion symposia at every conference since I joined. I served on the Awards Committee 2013-2020, and the Professional Development Committee 2018-2020. I am completing my second term on the Board, and the conversations and work of the Board have given me a comprehensive understanding of our organization’s mission, challenges, and opportunities. One imperative is to grow our membership and to include more voices. Recognizing that challenge, I stepped into the role of Membership Chair two years ago, and worked with a wonderful committee to expand our membership and develop programs to better serve AESS. We have launched several initiatives including reduced fee and retired/emeritus membership, an extensive email campaign, and transitioning the AESS listserv to a Google Group. We have also coordinated with the Professional Development Committee and the DEI Working Group to explore joint opportunities, promote the benefits of membership, and engage members. I value the potential and power of shared vision and collaborative leadership. If given the opportunity to serve as President-Elect on the AESS Board, I would collaborate and strategize with our Board and committee chairs to promote and enhance participation and engagement in our organization with an emphasis on increased inclusion of a diversity of perspectives and experiences. I am deeply committed to contributing my time and energy to helping our organization move productively forward and be of greatest service to our membership.


The Treasurer shall be the chief financial officer of the Corporation.  The Treasurer serves for a three year term. Principal duties are:

(a) keep or supervise the keeping of complete and accurate books and records of account of the properties and business transactions of the Corporation, including accounts of the Corporation’s assets, liabilities, receipts, disbursements, gains and losses;

(b) submit regular financial reports to the Board, which shall be distributed to the membership;

(c) receive all incomes of the Corporation with the exception of those specifically excluded by the Board;

(d) deposit the Corporation’s funds in such depositaries as may be determined by the Board or otherwise invest the Corporation’s funds as may be determined by the Board; and

(e) have such other powers and perform such other duties as may be specified in these Bylaws or assigned by the Board.


Candidate for Treasurer

David Hassenzahl (unopposed)

I have been a member of AESS since its founding, and have served AESS in a number of roles over the years. I am familiar with the AESS budget from my time as AESS Secretary and President. I have experience as a member of other 501.c.3 organization boards, and as Interim Chief Executive Officer of Chico State Enterprises, a 501.c.3 with a multi-million dollar budget. As an academic dean, I currently manage a $16 million per year state-side budget, and oversee another $10 million per year in grants and contracts. I bring a commitment to AESS and experience managing budgets, and would be pleased to bring these together in service as AESS Treasurer.

Board Members:

Board Members serve for two-year terms.  Board members are primarily responsible for representing the interests of the AESS community during board meetings and to the public, and for managing the activities and affairs of AESS.  In practice, this means making decisions about key policy matters (like approving the budget for the conference, all other financial matters, etc) and providing support for day-to-day AESS operations.

Candidates were asked:

In 300 words or fewer, Why are you running for an elected AESS position? Please describe: 1) Any experience you have serving in AESS or other professional associations relevant to the position(s) you are interested in running for, and 2) how your experiences, professional work, and/or identities inform your commitment to the diversity, equity, and inclusion of AESS members.

Candidates for Board Position 1

Katherine Hasnain

I am running for AESS Board Member-At-Large because I am interested in representing the interests of the AESS community and increasing support for AESS members. I’m a multi-ethnic individual who has lived overseas in many countries, and I have a dedicated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). If elected as the Board Member-At-Large, my vision for AESS participation is to increase the DEI representation and overall involvement. Currently, I serve as Diversity Committee Co-Chair for AESS, and I engage in collaborative efforts to increase access and inclusion for people of all backgrounds. Under my co-leadership, the AESS Diversity Committee has transitioned from ad-hoc into an official committee. My DEI activities also include my work as a Climate Fellow for the Environmental Defense Fund and as the marketing director for TEDxLSE. As an EDF Climate fellow, I engaged in targeted community outreach to marginalized communities affected by environmental (in)justice. As TEDxLSE marketing director, I organized a Zoom/Facebook turnout of 6,500+ people for Unmuted; an event focused on amplifying marginalized voices and narratives. My educational background also critically informs my commitment to the diversity, equity, and inclusion of AESS members. I’m a distinguished graduate of Duke Law and the University of California, Berkeley. I am completing an MSc student in Environmental Policy & Regulation at the London School of Economics. As a student, educator, and woman of color, I recognize the needs of many AESS members. I am excited about the opportunity to work with the AESS board to bring creative outreach to the forefront of planning and increase representation. By ensuring that diversity, equity, and inclusion values are at the forefront of the Board’s priorities and planning, I hope to strengthen AESS as an organization further and make it more appealing to a broader range of environmentalists and change-makers.

Nirav Patel

AESS embodies the arts, humanities, and STEM. It is such a platform that is truly inclusive and I have strived to serve the organization as a member of the planning committee for the annual conference. I have also been an active member with PDC to engage the professional development for out members at large. Student-centered learning has been a central tenet of my teaching. I believe in adopting student-centered learning as it places students’ interests at the forefront which motivates a student to learn. I am inspired as member to engage as a board member of AESS to lead on providing equitable student learning. Given my experiences of mentoring and teaching students from diverse backgrounds– I am motivated to apply to be a board member at large and augment AESS activities related JEDI.


Candidates for Board Position 2

Jacqueline ‘Jackie’ Maximillian

At the University of Arizona, I am a board member in the Institute for Resilience: Solutions for the Environment and Society, which coordinates interdisciplinary groups of faculty, students, and projects across campus. Therefore, I have experience representing an organization’s interests to various stakeholders and audiences. Additionally, I teach a high enrollment course and over 250 students per semester, which means apart from managing many students, I also work with undergraduate and graduate teaching assistants. Thus, I believe in my ability to manage AESS activities and affairs and make critical policies and day-to-day operations decisions. I am a person of intersectionality, a black woman mother with an international academic background. Thus, I understand different dimensions of diversity, equity, and inclusion. I have professional experience as I serve in the diversity and inclusion councils at the college level. Additionally, I have personal experiences that could help guide the association toward diversity and inclusion targets. I believe in diverse thinking and approaches to environmental problems, and we can achieve this by integrating diverse people and cultures.

Theresa Selfa

I have been a Board/Council member of two other professional associations, the Rural Sociology Society and the Agriculture and Human Values Society. I am interested in becoming more involved in AESS and developing more collaborations and linkages within the organization, as I have been a faculty member in, and currently am Chair of an Environment Studies department at SUNY-ESF for over a decade. It is the primary professional organization for many of our graduate and undergraduate students, so as department chair, I would like to learn more about and contribute to AESS. I am taking a prominent role as a faculty member and department chair in several activities that support greater equity, diversity and inclusion at SUNY-ESF. As an individual faculty member, I have mentored many diverse students at Kansas State and at SUNY-ESF, including many first -generation college students as well as Latinx students, from the US and from Latin America, and women in STEM. In my home department of Environmental Studies, I participated in the submission of two proposals to the SUNY Faculty Diversity program to increase the diversity of faculty at SUNY-ESF. I am a campus committee member on SUNY PRODiG (Promoting Recruitment, Opportunity, Diversity, Inclusion and Growth), a SUNY- wide program that aims to increase the representation of historically under-represented faculty, including under-represented minority faculty, and women faculty of all races in STEM fields. I also supported the successful NSF award for the Louis Stokes Alliance of Minority Participation Program initiative that supports historically underrepresented students in STEM.


Candidates for Board Position 3

Zipangani Vokhiwa

As a rangeland ecosystem science specialist, a member of AESS, a deputy director of environmental affairs in Malawi Africa, a regional director for the Wild Fund for Nature International (WWW-International) for Southern Africa, a professor of science teaching environmental science for four years at Kennesaw State University and over thirteen years at Mercer University, a president of the Fulbright Association for the state of Georgia and currently the president of the Environmental Education Alliance (EEA) of Georgia, being Board-Member-At-Large for AESS will offer an invaluable opportunity to serve a wider community. The three Mercer on Mission projects that I managed to undertake sustainable environmental projects in Malawi included students that were diverse in composition and elements of equity and inclusion were part of the project underpinnings. As desk officer for the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and Agenda 21, environmental sustainability and biological conservation were the pillars of my work which serve as my teaching laboratories as a professor of science now.

Jacob Park

1) I have extensive Board of Directors level experience with a wide range of nonprofit organizations including Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility [2009-2020]; Environmental Leadership Program [2009-2013]; EnviroCitizen/Center for Environmental Citizenship [2002-2005]) as well as Scientific/Environmental Advisory Board level experiences with IUCN/World Conservation Union (Chair, Business, Best Practice, Accountability, Commission on Environmental, Economics, and Social Policy [2021-Present]; Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE; Advisory Council) [2008 – Present]; Vermont Governor’s Council on Energy and Environment (Member) [2015-2017], among others.

2) As a first-generation Korean-American academic scholar, I have 20+ year research, teaching, and management experience at the nexus of business management, social/environmental innovation, and climate change/sustainability science with a special focus/expertise on emerging & developing economies in Asia-Pacific, Africa, and Caribbean regions. As a Visiting Professor in the College of Business & Economics at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa) and a co-author/editor of a new book on Africa’s energy system innovation, I hope to bring even more visibility to global emerging and developing country environmental science/policy perspective(s), particularly around energy/climate change issues, as an AESS board member.

Nominations committee:

This committee is responsible for recruiting and nominating candidates for the elected offices of AESS.  In identifying candidates for positions, the Nominations Committee seeks to assure the representation of the Association’s diversity of membership, in terms of age, gender, racial, and ethnic background, substantive interest, field of work, type of employing institutions, and other considerations.  In practice, this means actively identifying and working with potential candidates and building an elections slate every spring.


Candidate for Nominations Committee At-Large 1

Christine Kirchoff (unopposed)

Representation matters. I serve on the Senate Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) committee at the University of Connecticut and in little and big ways we are working to bring greater representation and recognition of JEDI on our campus, in our departments, and in our classrooms. At present we are working to bring expand the definition of diversity to include disability among other efforts. These efforts matter. I see the effect of representation in our own department where for the first time in the school’s history, we have a female chair of our department. She serves as a shining example for students and faculty alike of what female leadership looks like. Representation (broadly defined) in these high profile positions and in nominations (and awards) matter because they are so visible and can serve to open doors for others. I will strive to support the identification of a range of potential candidates representing the diversity of AESS if elected to be on the nominating committee.


Candidate for Nominations Committee At-Large 2

Brieanne Berry (unopposed)

It isn’t possible to address our pressing environmental issues without community. I’m running for an elected AESS position to contribute to this interdisciplinary group of scholars and activists – to build and maintain a community of learning and practice rooted in environmental policy, activism, and problem-solving. I have not yet served in a leadership role in AESS, although I am currently serving on the Society for Economic Anthropology’s conference chair committee. My desire to run for an elected AESS position is driven in part by my own personal and professional identities. I earned a PhD in Anthropology & Environmental Policy in August, 2021, and will be entering a tenure-track position in August, 2022. I bring to this role a very fresh perspective as a graduate student, postdoctoral research fellow, and soon, new faculty member. These direct experiences allow me to understand some of the challenges and opportunities AESS members may be facing in a number of roles. For example, as a graduate student I often struggled to find my academic community outside of my own university – offering opportunities for early career scholars to flourish and feel welcome is a priority for me. I am also guided by my positionality as a first-generation college student. Creating an inviting association for a diverse population can alleviate some of the barriers to success that other first generation students and scholars face. Finally, as a social scientist with significant experience in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, I see value in diverse ways of knowing. I am motivated to create support structures for environmental studies and sciences scholars who utilize a broad range of research and outreach practices. In running for an elected AESS position I hope to build community, support scholars in all career stages, and advance multiple ways of solving environmental challenges.


Candidate for Nominations Committee Student

Christina Downs (unopposed)

I am running for an elected AESS position for a number of reasons, but largely to bridge the gap between Anthropology and Environmental Sustainability. As a Journeyman Pipefitter in the construction trade, I have worked at many jobsites across the country that are of critical concern to environmental sustainability and policy adherence sectors. I am aware of the dangers inherent in these industries, not only due to my gatekeeper status, but also as a participant in multiple safety committees. These jobsites, such as nuclear and petroleum production plants, also affect the communities in which they are built. As an Anthropology major, I have always strove to understand the effects of industry on the local populations by providing open communication and a willingness to listen. I have seen the disconnect between human societies, the environment, and governing bodies and political activities. My desire in seeking to gain a position in the AESS, is to make a connection between the disciplines for better understanding of the world around us.

Election Ballot

Voting opens April 19, 2022 and closes May 10, 2022. Members in good standing will receive an email notification with link to a ballot. You must be logged into your account to view the ballot and vote.
To vote, click on a position. Select a candidate from the drop down menu. Hit the “add” button. Once you have selected a candidate for each position you wish to vote for, submit your response. You will not be able to go back and add additional votes once you hit submit.

You do not need your membership number to submit the ballot. It is optional.

Per our bylaws, a quorum will be reached when at least 10% of members vote. Results will be communicated to candidates first and then announced to the community at-large in May.