• Community & Environmental Sustainability

    Collaborates with students, faculty, staff, NGOs, local governments, and citizens to explore environmental systems, build resilience, and forward environmental sustainability initiatives.

  • Undergraduate Teaching & Inquiry

    Teaches, explores, and learns with students, faculty, and staff across the chemistry and environmental studies departments as well as in the environmental conversations program.

  • International Study Programs

    Serves as Program Director and occasionally Field Supervisor for the faculty-led Environmental Science in Australia off-campus study program.

  • Environmental + Asian Studies

    Participates in an interdepartment partnership to connect faculty, staff, and students to environmental issues in Asia with an emphasis on Japan and China.

  • Imagining Facilities for Science Education

    Consults with faculty and staff at involved in science facility planning using prior experience with the Regents Hall of Natural Science design team and home construction.

Interested in green chemistry, environmental study, or sustainability?

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Latest Projects

  • Swanson House

    Swanson House used as a case study to explore the theory and practice associated with environmentally conscious whole house renovations. A fall semester course produced a rich whole house remodel proposal which will be implemented in multiple phases by students during the summer months.

  • Sustainability Higher Ed

    Institutions of higher education are uniquely positioned to blend in-depth study of sustainability with tangible practices that challenge the status quo, bring to light trade-offs, and express values embedded in strategic decision-making.

  • Rice Creek

    Rice Creek, aka Spring Brook, is a small, rural, watershed (4400 acres) and the only designated trout stream in Rice County, Minnesota. The lower reach of the stream straddles both the urban expansion boundaries of Northfield and Dundas, MN. In partnership with local units of government, non-governmental organizations, and area residents, we seek to understand the current condition of the watershed, suggest strategic targets for ecosystem function improvements, and monitor the response of the system to changes brought about by development and land management.

  • Wind turbine on St. Olaf natural lands

    Chem 391: Environmental Chemistry

    Materials and energy exist as fundamental components of human cultural and societal systems, and they are inextricably intertwined with earth's physical and biological systems and cycles. As a interdisciplinary scientist with specific training in chemistry, I have opportunities to join with students to dive deeper into the specifics of this complex and feedback rich learning space, using tools that cut across the arts, humanities, social sciences, and physical and natural sciences. In addition to the research work I collaboratively conduct in this space, once in a while I get to offer some specialized courses, specifically an upper level Environmental Chemistry course, where we focus our efforts at considering those socio-cultural centered material and energy resources from inquiry rooted in chemical processes and phenomena.

  • Ames Mill along Cannon River in Northfield, MN reflected in smooth water

    EnvSt 237

    Explore a collaboratively developed environmental studies course that employs academic civic engagement as a means to learn, apply and integrate environmental knowledge. Over the last two years, the course has focused on being an environmental agent, namely, the various roles and strategies one might play to promote change or particular actions. In light of an ever increasing interest and need for social/environmental justice, this has proven very rich space for integration and application of environmental study. Many of the ACE projects intersect with these conceptual and practical spaces well.

From Our Blog

  • Link to Common Read Shared Docs

  • A Chemist goes to the Movies… STINK!

    STINK! takes its viewers on the drawn-out journey of a single father simply wishing to do best by his children, to cope with the untimely death of his wife, and to learn what produced the odor coming from newly purchased pajamas for his tween daughter. The quest for chemical information follows a tortuous trail...

  • Composting – Take One Step Forward

    I thought it would be good to use composting as a way to introduce something my spouse and I call, One Step Forward. The One Step Forward framework provides some background information about a given topic, a few how-to’s, and resources you can use to learn more about the topic or pursue your own actions.

  • Building Community in the Kitchen

    On a hilltop tucked into the northern section of the Kanto Plain in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan is the Asian Rural Institute (ARI), a rural leadership training center and working organic farm. ARI grows and prepares over 90% of what they eat, including fresh fruit, vegetables, rice, wheat and soybeans.

  • Contested Spaces – Arkansas River Haiku

    A haiku in honor of the 2014 ACM-SAIL Contested Spaces learning seminar in Colorado and to a great rafting team. There is tremendous opportunity in this experience to consider how integral theory applies to thinking about environmental learning, action, and reflection.

  • Returning to the new familiar

    I felt a profound sense of connectedness and spirit in this place. I listened to the fluttering of birds on wing, the pace of fellow travelers making music with footsteps in the small stones, the wind moving branches and leaves, and to the warmth of the sun shining into my spirit.

  • Gift of the Persistently Possible

    Just how does one step into the next story? In the liberal arts sense, we do it with thoughtfulness. Thoughtfulness embodied and expressed by people in the careful way they think and in how they care about other people and places.

  • Musings on Green…

    During the last two weeks we have enjoyed the Melbourne area during a break, journeyed to Canberra to see Parliament, discussed how environment plays into the political process and we now find ourselves in Sydney. The break allowed us to muse on various “Green” ideas, topics or just free form thoughts. As we reflect back on our first six weeks in country we ask, “Did we need to journey half-way around the world to appreciate how we are inextricably part of nature and to fully appreciate its wonder, diversity and beauty?”