College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Environmental Science & Policy

Faculty advisors

Once students declare their area of concentration, they are mentored and advised by faculty members who are experts in their disciplines, who teach one or more of their classes, and grade their internship experiences.   By combining a strong program office with enthusiastic faculty advising, we hope to foster a "small college" atmosphere on a Research I university campus. 

Dr. Isabella Alcañiz - Environmental Politics & Policy (GVPT)

Dr. Isabella Alcañiz is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government and Politics, and the advisor for ENSP-Environmental Politics and Policy students. Her research on environmental politics, social network analysis, the global south, and Latin American politics has been published in the British Journal of Political Science, World Politics, Water Policy, Environmental Science & Policy, and elsewhere. In 2016, she published her book Environmental and Nuclear Networks in the Global South: How Skills Shape International Cooperation, with Cambridge University Press.

Dr. Alcañiz holds a Licenciatura degree in International Relations from the Universidad de Belgrano (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and a PhD in Political Science from Northwestern University. You can reach Dr. Alcañiz by e-mailing ialcaniz [at] umd.edu

 

Dr. Kurt Finsterbusch - Society and Environmental Issues (SOCY)

Dr. Finsterbusch is a professor in the Department of Sociology and is the advisor for ENSP-Society and Environmental Issues. He specializes in Social Impact Assessment, the Sociology of Development, and Environmental Sociology. In the first area he wrote Social Research for Policy Decisions (with Annabelle Bender Motz) and Understanding Social Impacts and edited with others three major works on social impact assessment methodology. In the second area he wrote Organizational Change as a Development Strategy with Jerry Hage. He is currently writing a book on society and the environment. Most ENSP-SEI students meet Dr. Finsterbusch in class and decide upon their concentration when they take SOCY305 - Scarcity and Modern Society with him.

Dr. Finsterbusch received his B.A. in History from Princeton University; and his Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University. You may reach Dr. Finsterbusch by e-mailing kfin [at] umd.edu or calling 301.405.6397

 

Dr. Martha Geores - Land Use (GEOG)

Dr. Martha Geores is an associate professor in the Department of Geographical Sciences.  She examines the intersection of culture and natural resource management through political ecology.  She is interested in conflict over natural resources because the issues are stark in conflict situations. In her law practice she focused on civil and constitutional rights and natural resource conflict.  She won cases for Maine Lobstermen asserting their common property rights to the lobster grounds in the face of claims by salmon farmers.  Her dissertation research was on community involvement in management of the Black Hills National Forest and was published as the book Common Ground: the Struggle for Ownership of the Black Hills National Forest (Rowman & Littlefield: Lanhan MD 1993). Her present research, with her graduate students, involves resource conflicts in Korea, Philippines, and the United States.  She also studies the social/cultural construction of space, including religious space.  Dr. Geores teaches the ENSP Capstone for the Land Use Concentration: Culture and Natural Resource Management.

Dr. Geores earned her BA in Sociology from Bates College, her JD from New York University (Root-Tilden Scholar), and her PhD in Geography from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  

 

Ms. Joanna Goger - Environmental Law (ENSP)

Ms. Goger is a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Science and Policy (ENSP). She teaches ENSP 102 - Introduction to Environmental Policy, ENSP 330 - Introduction to Environmental Law, and ENSP400 - Capstone in Environmental Science and Policy.

Ms. Goger received her B.A. in History from Duke University and her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law, where she concentrated in Environmental Law and was an articles editor of the Maryland Law Review.

After graduating from law school, Ms. Goger clerked for U.S. District Judge Frederic N. Smalkin and went on to serve as a trial attorney in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. While there, she litigated cases involving the Florida Everglades and the Klamath River Basin in Oregon, which provide interesting case studies in her courses.

In addition to teaching in ENSP, Ms. Goger has also taught a Biodiversity Protection seminar at the University of Maryland School of Law, and regularly advises ENSP Honors students whose topics involve environmental law.

Ms. Goger’s appreciation for the environment grows out of her love for the diverse environmental resources of the state of Maryland. She grew up hiking and camping near Frederick and now enjoys exploring the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay with her husband and three young children. You may contact Ms. Goger by e-mail at jgoger [at] umd.edu, by calling 301.405.4104, or by leaving a message in the ENSP office.

 

Dr. Bob Hill - Soil, Water, and Land Resources (ENST)

Dr. Hill is a professor of Soil Science in the Department of Environmental Science and Technology, where he advises ENSP-Soil, Water and Land Resources students. His primary research investigates tillage effects and nutrient management in agricultural soils and turf. He teaches ENST413 - Soil and Water Conservation and ENST417 - Soil Hydrology and Physics.

Dr. Hill received his B.S. in Zoology and M.S. in Soil Science from North Carolina State University; and his Ph.D. in Soil Physics from Iowa State University. You can reach Dr. Hill be e-mailing rlh [at] umd.edu or calling 301.405.1347.

 

Dr. George Hurtt - Global Environmental Change (GEOG)

Dr. Hurtt is an ecologist and geographer who studies carbon; land-use, land-cover, and climate change; integrated models and observations of coupled natural-human systems; and sustainability science. Following his passion for research, he Dr. Hurtt came to Maryland from the University of New Hampshire as Professor & Research Director in the Department of Geography, and in 2011 was named Associate Director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, and Associate Director of Research Innovations at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC). He currently leads an international effort on global land-use harmonization in preparation for the IPCC 5th assessment, a NASA interdisciplinary science investigation focused on the role of natural disturbances on the Earth's coupled carbon-climate-human system, and is Science Team Leader for the NASA Carbon Monitoring System.

Dr. Hurtt received his B.A. in Biology from Middlebury College; his M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Connecticut; and his Ph.D. from Princeton University. Dr. Hurtt advises the ENSP - Global Environmental Change students. You can reach him by e-mailing gchurtt [at] umd.edu or calling: 301.405.8541

 

Dr. Chris Justice - Land Use (GEOG)

Dr. Justice is the Department Chair in Geographical Sciences and advises students in ENSP-Land Use. He works closely with NASA on a variety of projects; serves as the Program Scientist on NASA Land Use and Cover Change (LCLUC); and is Co-Chair of the GEO Global Agricultural Monitoring Task. His current research is on Land Use at the global level, including land cover and land use change, the extent and impacts of global fire, global agricultural monitoring, and their associated information technology and decision support systems. You can learn more about Dr. Justice and his research here.

Dr. Justice received his B.A. in Geography (Honors) from Reading University (in the UK) and his Ph.D. in Geography, also from Reading. You can reach Dr. Justice by calling his administrative assistant, Mary Mitkish, at:  301.405.1600

 

Dr. Howard Leathers - Environmental Economics (AREC)

Dr. Leathers is Associate Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator in the department of Agricultural and Resource Economics; and advises students in ENSP-Environmental Economics. He teaches World Hunger, Population, and Food Supplies (AREC 365) and senior level courses in Agricultural Policy (AREC 433) and Commodity Markets (AREC 427). His book, The World Food Problem, recognizes that millions of people in the less-developed countries continue to go hungry while there is more than enough food globally to feed them - and tackles the questions of why and what can be done about it. Dr. Leathers has also authored numerous scholarly articles and served as senior economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.

Dr. Leathers received his A.B. degree from Princeton University, his M.S. degree from the University of Minnesota, and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. You can reach Dr. Leathers by e-mailing howardl [at] umd.edu.

 

Dr. Sara Lombardi - Biodiversity & Conservation Biology (BSCI)

Dr. Lombardi is a lecturer in the Department of Biology and is the advisor for thr ENSP-Biodiversity and Conservation.  Dr. Lombardi’s research focuses on physiological ecology, particularly, the impacts of predation and ambient oxygen concentration on metabolic physiology and energy allocation.   Much of Dr. Lombardi’s work has focused on Chesapeake Bay oyster restoration.  In addition to physiological ecology and restoration research, Dr. Lombardi is involved in science education research focusing on improving student learning gains, content retention, retention in the STEM fields, and perceptions of science. Dr. Lombardi earned her B.S. in Biology and Marine Science with a minor in Education from Juniata College; and her Ph.D. in Marine Estuarine Environmental Science from University of Maryland. You can contact Dr. Lombardi by emailing: saral [at] umd.edu.

 

Dr. John Merck - Environmental Geosciences and Restoration (GEOL)

A vertebrate paleontologist by training, Dr. Merck's primary research addresses the phylogenetic relationships of diapsid reptiles, focusing especially on the enigmatic euryapsids, which include ichthyosaurs, nothosaurs, placodonts, and plesiosaurs. His teaching experience spans geological and biological subjects including physical geology, invertebrate and vertebrate paleontology and evolution, and comparative vertebrate anatomy. At Maryland, he teaches GEOL 100/110 - Introduction to Physical Geology; and GEOL 331 - Principles of Paleontology.

Dr. Merck joined the University of Maryland's faculty in 1999 and has served since then as Associate Director of Science and Global Change in College Park Scholars; and advisor to ENSP-Environmental Geosciences and Restoration students. Since 2004, he has also served Director of Undergraduate Studies in Geology. In 2004, he was recognized by the College of Computer, Mathematical, and Physical Sciences as that year's Outstanding Instructor. He has also led eleven travel study programs to natural history localities in Arizona and the Galápagos Islands, and has participated in travel studies to other destinations. Dr. Merck is a self-described "avocational" undergraduate educator, whose philosophy is that curriculum should be structured so that students receive the maximum educational benefit for their efforts and establish early connections with their intended professions.

Dr. Merck received his B.A. In Judaic and Near Eastern Studies from Oberlin College in 1977 and, after a significant mid-life course correction, received his Ph.D. From the Department of Geological Sciences of the University of Texas at Austin in 1997. In his copious free time (!!) Dr. Merck enjoys contradancing, pottery, and nature photography. He can best be reached by e-mail: jmerck [at] umd.edu

 

Dr. Jennifer Murrow - Wildlife Ecology and Management (ENSP)

Dr. Jennifer Murrow is a senior lecturer in Environmental Sciences and Policy. A wildlife biologist by training, Dr. Murrow’s primary research interests focus on wildlife habitat use and modeling and demographic analysis as it applies to population viability on the landscape. As such, her research interests have led to a specialty in GIS applications for wildlife species.

Dr. Murrow advises ENSP-Wildlife Ecology and Management students, and teaches a number of courses, including ENST 460 - Principles of Wildlife Management, 461 - Urban Wildlife Management, and 462 - Techniques in Wildlife Management. Dr. Murrow received her B.S. in Wildlife Science from Clemson University, and both her M.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

In her spare time, she ventures to the southern Appalachians with her family to camp, uke, hike, and mountain bike. You can reach Dr. Murrow by calling 301.405.8373 or e-mailing wildlife [at] umd.edu.

 

Dr. Bill Phillips - Environment & Agriculture (PSLA)

Dr. Bill Phillips is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Plant Science and Landscape Architecture department and Undergraduate Coordinator of the Agricultural Science and Technology program.  His position allows him the opportunity to focus on teaching and advising students in his department as well as the ENSP-Environment and Agriculture program.  Dr. Phillips teaches Introductory Crop Science (PLSC101), Advanced Crop Science (PLSC407), Weed Science (PLSC453) and Application of Knowledge in Plant Science (PLSC460).  His research is focused on herbicide resistant weeds and the role that they play in crop production.

Dr. Phillips received his B.S. in Horticulture, M.S. in Agronomy and Ph.D. in Environmental Science from the University of Maryland.

You can reach Dr. Phillips by calling 301.405.1061 or e-mailing billii [at] umd.edu

 

Dr. L. Jen Shaffer - Culture & Environment (ANTH)

Dr. L. Jen Shaffer is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology, and the advisor for ENSP-Culture and Environment students. Her research focuses on human-environment relationships in social-ecological systems; and explores indigenous environmental knowledge to answer questions about how communities and households adapt and respond to environmental risks and changes associated with biodiversity conservation and climate change in rural southern African communities. She has conducted research in Mozambique, Tanzania, Portugal, South Africa, Kenya and Fiji. At Maryland, Dr. Shaffer teaches Intro to Ecological & Evolutionary Anthropology (ANTH222), Changing Climate, Changing Cultures (ANTH266), Researching Environment & Culture (ANTH468), and Anthropology & Climate Change (ANTH452/652).

Dr. Shaffer received her B.S. in Biology (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology) from Cornell University, her M.S. in Environmental Studies (Biology, Geography, & Planning, Public Policy, & Management) from the University of Oregon, and her Ph.D. in Anthropology (Ecological & Environmental) from the University of Georgia. She was also a postdoctoral fellow in Geography at the Pennsylvania State University. You can contact Dr. Shaffer by emailing: lshaffe1 [at] umd.edu or calling 301.405.1441.

 

Dr. Leith Yearwood, GEOG -- Marine & Coastal Management

Dr. Yearwood is a lecturer in Geographical Sciences, and is well acquainted with marine and coastal issues, having grown up in Guyana, located on the north coast of South America near the intersection of the Caribbean and Atlantic Oceans.

Before coming to Maryland, Dr. Yearwood earned a B.A. in Geography from the University of Guyana, then taught for several years in Antigua and the British Virgin Islands. He entered graduate school in urban planning at the University of Florida, but realized after a required internship that he much preferred geomorphology, so switched concentrations and graduated with a Ph.D. in Physical Geography. Given the geography of his home country, Dr. Yearwood holds a special affection for rivers and much of his research is in fluvial geomorphology.

At Maryland, Dr. Yearwood advises ENSP-Marine & Coastal students, and teaches a number of courses, including: GEOG140 - Natural Disasters, and GEOG201/211 - Geography of Environmental Systems. You can reach Dr. Yearwood by calling 301.405.4053 or e-mailing kyearwoo [at] umd.edu

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