University of Vermont

RSENR research - environmental thought

Rubenstein School Research Emphasis in
Environmental Thought and Culture

Faculty, staff, and students with expertise in environmental thought, culture, education, and behavior pursue studies of environmental ethics and social justice; environmental interpretation and education; sustainability values and advocacy; environmental and human health; and how cultural, religious, and gender identities emerge from and shape perceptions of the natural environment.

Faculty Research Program Descriptions

Thomas Hudspeth: Sustainability education, sustainable communities, behavior and environment

Nature trail signTom's research interests are primarily in sustainability and environmental education and interpretation. He considers learning processes on both a personal and community or institutional level that contribute to a more sustainable world. His ongoing work with his students on Sustainability Stories: A Field Guide to Sustainability in the Greater Burlington Area has gathered stories from sustainability models and leaders over two decades and helped to put a face on sustainability. He also works on projects to interpret sustainability initiatives on university campuses and to create education curricula on sustainability topics, including community-based food systems, eco-machines, Genuine Progress Indicator, and valuing ecosystem services such as pollination and climate change adaptation. For more information, visit Tom's profile.

Adrian Ivakhiv: Environmental ethics, aesthetics, and philosophy; environmental communication; cultural and media studies; religion and ecology

Ecologies of the Moving Image book cover by Adrian IvakhivAdrian's research is focused at the intersections of ecology, culture, identity, activism, media, religion, and the creative arts. His research has included ethnographic study of cultural and religious factors influencing the perception of environmental controversies in Ukraine, the U.S. Southwest, and Cape Breton Island (Canada); and textual and visual analysis of environmental communication in film, media, and the audio and visual arts. His most recent book is a detailed ecophilosophical study of cinema and its 120-year history. Current projects include, among others, an analysis of new media use for environmental communication and a study and analysis of the growth of "green pilgrimage" around the world. For more information, visit Adrian's website.

Stephanie Kaza: Sustainability values and advocacy, environmental impacts of power and privilege, environmental ethics and thought

Dharma Rain book cover by Stephanie Kaza and Kenneth KraftStephanie’s research focuses on Buddhist environmental thought and related topics in religion and ecology. She advises graduate students on a range of research topics including ecofeminism, environmental justice, consumer values, food systems, and transportation planning. She has also been heavily involved with campus sustainability work as a faculty advisor to the UVM Office of Sustainability. For more information, visit Stephanie's profile or her website.

Matthew Kolan: Ecological approaches to educational design, whole systems thinking, power and privilege, ecological leadership, nature-connection, natural history, and wildlife tracking

Matt Kolan leads class at Shelburne Farms.Matt's research interests focus on ecological leadership and explore how the wisdom of nature can inform leadership practices and structures. His research questions consider how to align the way we think, learn, and lead with the way nature works, how leadership practices can create optimal conditions for the full scale of life to thrive, and how to unlearn dominant and colonial patterns of leadership that are perpetuated in many well-meaning change-making initiatives. During his recent sabbatical, Matt used ethnographic research methods to engage with diverse initiatives in sustainability leadership and transformational learning. He interviewed thought leaders and practitioners who are using unique approaches, systems, and practices to foster a more just and sustainable future. He is applying these findings to higher education through development of curricula for a new professional Master's concentration in Leadership for Sustainabiltiy. Visit Matt's profile.

Christine Vatovec: Environmental health, socio-ecological consequences of medical care, health benefits of nature contact, qualitative methods

Hospital gardenChristine's work lies at the intersection of the environment and health. Her overarching research goal is to promote human health and well-being by acknowledging human dependence on ecological flourishing. To support this goal, Christine studies both the environmental impacts of medical care and the human health benefits of nature contact. She is interested in the social governance of complex medical systems and how we can practice medicine sustainably. Christine's current research projects include examining the socio-ecological consequences of breast cancer overtreatment, the impacts of pharmaceutical waste on ecosystems, and the stress-reducing effects of nature contact on cancer patients and survivors. View Christine's profile.

Last modified May 15 2014 08:27 AM