University of Virginia, College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences


Ademide Adelusi-Adeluyi is a historian of pre-colonial and colonial West Africa. Her research on Lagos combines a set of interdisciplinary interests in historical cartography, spatial humanities, the environment and technology. She is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside. During the 2016-17 academic year, she is a postdoctoral fellow at Rice University's Humanities Research Center, where she is developing a cartographic database of Lagos’s history, based in part on colonial maps of the city and region dating from the late eighteenth-century. She received her Ph.D. in History from NYU in 2016. 

Dan Brayton is Associate Professor in the Department of English and American Literatures and the Program in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College. He has also taught for the Williams-Mystic Program in Maritime Studies, and for Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Massachusetts and aboard sailing vessels in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico. His publications on early modern drama and poetry, maritime literature, and environmental topics have appeared in such journals as ELH, PMLA, Forum for Modern Language Studies, and WoodenBoat. His book, Shakespeare's Ocean: An Ecocritical Exploration, published in 2012 by the University of Virginia Press, won the Northeast Modern Language Association Book Prize and was a finalist for the ASLE Book Prize in 2013. Dan also co-edited, with Lynne Bruckner, the volume Ecocritical Shakespeare (Ashgate 2011) and served for four years as Literature, Art, and Music section editor of Coriolis: Interdisciplinary Journal of Maritime Studies.

Noah Deich is a cleantech professional with a passion for fighting climate change. He is currently Executive Director of the Center for Carbon Removal, a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the development of carbon removal solutions, and is a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley's Energy and Climate Institute. Prior to founding the Center, Noah worked in consulting, and gained experience with environmental market and carbon offset modeling, financial valuation of renewable and fossil energy power plants, energy efficiency and demand response program design and implementation, and corporate social responsibility strategy assessments. Noah received his M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and his B.A. from the University of Virginia, and his writing has been published in GreenBiz.

Ross Donihue is a cartographer focused on telling stories that evoke a sense of place. He is the creative director of Maps for Good, a visual storytelling team devoted to producing high-quality low-cost maps for organizations in the US and abroad. Prior to founding Maps for Good, Ross worked at National Geographic in Washington D.C. and taught conservation mapping in Monteverde, Costa Rica. His work has taken him to remote regions of Patagonia, Islands off the coast of California, and has led to numerous collaborations with film makers, designers, and land managers. Ross is a National Geographic Explorer and is a Masters of Environmental Management Candidate at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Vanessa Fabien is a Presidential Diversity Fellow-specific integrative area of focus Sustaining Life on Earth- in the Department of Africana Studies and the Office of Institutional Diversity & Inclusion at Brown University. She was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow on race and the environment in the Cogut Center for the Humanities and Africana Studies at Brown from 2014-2016. Dr. Fabien earned her B.A. in Women’s Studies, with a minor in African American Studies from the University of Florida and her Ph.D. in Afro-American Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. As a historian and environmental justice scholar, her research focuses on 19th and 20th century African American history and culture with particular emphases on: environmental thought, feminist epistemologies, and religion. Her research interlaces African Americans’ environmental thoughts and activism into the historical narrative in environmental history through situating their philosophical standpoints, cultural production, agricultural practices, and political activism in conversation with the conventional discourse. Her article “The Lonesome Valley: Recovering the Foundations of African American Environmental Thought in the Antebellum and Early Postbellum South” is currently under review and she is revising her manuscript tentatively titled, Red, Black, and Green: African American Environmental Thought and the Historical Construction of Environmental Inequality. Professor Fabien teaches “Race, Gender, Ethics, and Environmental Justice” and “Slave Resistance and Moral Order in Environmental History.”

Jim Igoe is Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Virginia. His work, broadly construed, concerns the history of nature in expanding world systems. Specifically, he has addressed conflicts between national parks and indigenous communities in East Africa and North America, the emergence of neoliberal conservation at the turn of the millennium, and the role of mass-produced images in mediating people’s perceptions of, and relationships to, the environment. Igoe is the co-author of Nature Unbound: Capitalism and the Future of Protected Areas andConservation and Globalization: A Study of National Parks and Indigenous Communities from East Africa to South Dakota.

Mary Kuhn is Assistant Professor in Environmental Humanities at the University of Virginia with a joint appointment in English and Environmental Thought and Practice. Her work explores the relationship between plants and politics in nineteenth-century literature, and draws together literary criticism, environmental history, and the history of science. She has published in American Literature and has articles forthcoming in ELH and Common-place. 

Manuel Lerdau received his PhD in Biology from Stanford University and served as a National Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow in Analytical Chemistry at NASA Ames.  From there he joined the faculty of the Ecology & Evolution Department and the Atmospheric Sciences Group at the State University of New York in Stony Brook. In 2007 he joined the University of Virginia as Professor of Environmental Sciences and of Biology and as the Director of Blandy Experimental Farm. Manuel’s research sits at the interface of Ecology, Physiology, and Atmospheric Sciences, and he has published in journals such as Plant Physiology, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on topics ranging from the metabolic regulation of the atmosphere to biological diversity & ecosystem health.  He is currently studying how to combine satellite data and ecological models to examine the impacts of air pollution on crops, how pollinators are affected by pollution, and how ecosystems respond to climate change.  At UVa he teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in Ecology, and he will begin an interdisciplinary Undergraduate Forum on food science and policy in the fall of 2017.

Elizabeth Meyer, FASLA, is the Merrill D. Peterson Professor of Landscape Architecture at University of Virginia School of Architecture. She is a landscape architect and theorist who has taught and published for 30 years about the affective power and hybridity of the designed landscape. Her writings deploy thick site descriptions and construct critical theories to interpret contemporary landscapes as well as to imagine future landscapes. She recently founded the UVA Center for Cultural Landscapes to foster transdisciplinary research, interpretation and practice of pressing landscape topics. Meyer has served in several leadership positions at UVA including Department Chair and Dean. She holds a Presidential appointment to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, a position she has held since 2012.

Rahul Mukherjee is Assistant Professor of Television and New Media in the Department of English at University of Pennsylvania. His writings about chronic toxicity, database technologies, and mobile media have appeared in the journals Media, Culture & Society, BioScope, New Media & Society, and Science, Technology & Human Values and several other edited collections and online journals. His book project examines public cultures of uncertainty about disruptive technologies by attending to frameworks concerned with affect, media practices, and relational ontologies. Rahul has been part of a collaborative project exploring ICT usage in Zambia and the use of memory cards to support download cultures that afford circulation of vernacular music videos in India. At Penn, Rahul has been associated with the Latitudes (postcolonial studies) reading group, the Humanities + Urbanism + Design colloquium group, and the Environmental Humanities and Digital Humanities Initiatives.

Grace Nosek graduated magna cum laude from Rice University and cum laude from Harvard Law School. After law school, she completed a Fulbright fellowship in Victoria, Canada, studying government review of major natural resource development projects. Her paper, Re-imagining Indigenous Peoples’ Role in Natural Resource Development Decision-making: Implementing Free, Prior and Informed Consent in Canada through Indigenous Legal Traditionswill be published in the University of British Columbia Law Review in 2017. She is currently pursuing an LL.M at the University of British Columbia studying climate change litigation. To supplement her legal and policy research and advocacy, Grace has written and published two novels in an environmentally-themed young adult series, the Ava of the Gaia series.

Matthew Oreska is a PhD candidate in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia studying coastal ecology.  He currently works on the carbon cycle in seagrass meadows off the Virginia coast to determine how much carbon dioxide seagrass plants remove from the atmosphere and store in coastal sediments—an ecosystem service that can finance coastal habitat restoration through the sale of carbon offset-credits.  By removing carbon from the atmosphere, seagrass meadows help mitigate anthropogenic carbon pollution.  Matthew’s other projects at UVA include studying mollusk biodiversity and the history of the Virginia bay scallop fishery.  He recently taught two graduate seminar courses on paleontology.  Prior to starting his PhD work, Matthew studied geology and economics at the College of William and Mary, received a Master’s in biology from Cambridge University, and worked in the Department of Paleobiology at the Smithsonian Institution.

Cecily Parks is the author of the poetry collections Field Folly Snow (University of Georgia Press, 2008) and O'Nights (Alice James Books, 2015), and editor of the anthology The Echoing Green: Poems of Fields, Meadows, and Grasses (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets, 2016). Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The New Republic, The New Yorker, Orion, and elsewhere. Her essays on poetry and the environment appear in The Emily Dickinson Journal, ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, and The Los Angeles Review of Books. A recipient of a Pushcart Prize, she teaches at Texas State University.

Tony Perry is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. He holds an M.A. in American Studies from Purdue University as well as a B.A. in English and Africana Studies from Bowdoin College. He is a scholar of race and the environment and in his dissertation he researches the environmental history of slavery in antebellum Maryland. This project provides an ecological analysis of slavery by examining networks of relation between slaves, slaveholders, soils, plants, animals, and weather, networks the formation of which occurred on scales ranging from the local to the global.

Darren J. Ranco, a member of the Penobscot Nation, is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Chair of Native American Programs at the University of Maine.  He has a Masters of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School and a PhD in Social Anthropology from Harvard University.  Dr. Ranco’s research focuses on the ways in which indigenous communities in the United States, particularly Maine, resist environmental destruction by using indigenous diplomacies and critiques of liberalism to protect cultural resources.  He teaches classes on indigenous intellectual property rights, research ethics, environmental justice and tribal governance.

Joe Trumpey is a Farmer, Sustainable Designer, Science Illustrator and Educator. As an Associate Professor at the University of Michigan, he holds appointments at the Stamps School of Art & Design, Program in the Environment, and School of Natural Resources and Environment. He directs the University’s Sustainable Living Experience. As a freelance illustrator, he founded and directs, Michigan Science Art, one of North America’s largest groups of science illustrators. He is the recipient of the University of Michigan’s Undergraduate Teaching Award and has been a TedX Speaker. He has led field-based art and design courses for more than 20 years. Through this fieldwork, he has facilitated seven unique design - build projects in Sub Saharan Africa. He and his family live off the grid in a strawbale home he designed and built in Grass Lake, Michigan. There they farm a variety of heritage breed livestock and grow more than half their food. He was named the 2015 Homesteader of the year by Mother Earth News Magazine

Amie Whittemore is the author of the poetry collection Glass Harvest (Autumn House Press) and co-founder of the Charlottesville Reading Series in Virginia. Her poems have won numerous awards, including the Betty Gabehart Prize and a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize, and have appeared in The Gettysburg Review, North American Review, Sycamore Review, Smartish Pace, and elsewhere. She teaches English at Middle Tennessee State University.

Kyle Powys Whyte holds the Timnick Chair in the Humanities at Michigan State University. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability, a faculty member of the Environmental Philosophy & Ethics graduate concentration, and a faculty affiliate of the American Indian Studies and Environmental Science & Policy programs. His primary research addresses moral and political issues concerning climate policy and Indigenous peoples and the ethics of cooperative relationships between Indigenous peoples and climate science organizations. This research has recently extended to cover issues related to food sovereignty and justice. He is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Kyle is involved in a number of projects through his work with the Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup, Sustainable Development Institute of the College of Menominee Nation, Tribal Climate Camp, Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, Humanities for the Environment, and the Consortium for Socially Relevant Philosophy of/in Science and Engineering. The boards and steering and advisory committees he serves on include Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence, The Center for Indigenous Environmental Health Research, Facilitating Indigenous Research Science and Technology, the Sustainable Michigan Endowed Project, the National Indian Youth Council, the Pesticide Action Network, and the U.S. Federal Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science.