Tim Billo

Tim Billo, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Program on the Environment

email: timbillo@uw.edu

office: 015F Wallace Hall

website: http://timbillo.wordpress.com/


  • ENVIR 100: Interdisciplinary Foundations
  • ENVIR 250: Data Types and Methods
  • ENVIR 280: Natural History: Knowing our Non-Human Neighbors

Tim’s academic interests are grounded in basic observations of nature. His undergraduate thesis analyzed the response of New England forests to the loss of the American chestnut, a once-prominent tree species virtually eliminated from eastern North America after the introduction of an exotic fungal pathogen. His doctoral dissertation research took him to the rainforests of Costa Rica and Panama where he studied behavioral interactions between two hybridizing bird species to better understand how and why some traits are exchanged between species, while others are not. How species differences are maintained or dissolved has important implications not only for evolutionary biology, but also for conservation. Tim is also passionate about teaching. In addition to his PoE courses, he teaches ornithology, conservation biology, evolution, and an Exploration Seminar on ecology and conservation in Peru. In his free time, Tim enjoys exploring Washington’s many wilderness areas on foot and on skis.

Beth Bryant

Beth Bryant, Affiliate Assistant Professor, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs

email: bcbryant@u.washington.edu

website: http://depts.washington.edu/smea/users/bcbryant


  • SMEA/ENVIR 476: Introduction to Environmental Law and Process
  • ENVIR 511/512 Graduate Keystone Adviser

Beth is an environmental law and policy expert specializing in coastal and marine issues.  Her primary research interest is exploring the interface of law, science and policy in environmental management.  She also enjoys analyzing and communicating complex interdisciplinary concepts to diverse audiences.  As an Affiliate Assistant Professor at SMEA, she teaches two popular environmental law courses and serves as a faculty mentor for undergraduate and graduate students.  In her free time, Beth enjoys hiking, swimming, cycling, camping, scuba diving, cooking, and wine tasting with family and friends. 

Megan Horst, Ph.D. Candidate, Urban Design and Planning
Instructor, Program on the Environment

email: horstm@uw.edu

office: 015E Wallace Hall


  • ENVIR 480:  Sustainability Studio
  • Keio Summer Program: Humans and the Environment in the Pacific Northwest Bioregion


  • B.A. Environmental Studies. Eckerd College, 1998
  • B.A. Human Development. Eckerd College, 1998
  • M.U.P. University of Washington, 2008

Megan enjoys teaching classes with a focus on hands-on-projects and field-based learning, including ENVIR 480 and a summer course for visiting Japanese students, Intro the Environment in the Pacific Northwest. Her interests in teaching and environmental issues are supported by her academic background, which includes two bachelor's degrees in Environmental Studies and Human Development from Eckerd College, and a master's degree in Urban Planning and Design from the University of Washington. Megan is now pursing her PhD in Urban Design and Planning. Her research focuses on the management of sustainable local and regional food systems. Her expected graduation date is in 2015.

Megan has had diverse work experiences in Seattle, ranging from working for county and regional government and local non-profits to doing short-term consulting work for transportation and environmental planning firms. Prior to moving to Seattle, Megan worked as a National Park Service Ranger at Lava Beds National Monument and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Protected Areas Management in western Honduras.

Peter H. Kahn, Professor, Psychology

email: pkahn@uw.edu

website: http://faculty.washington.edu/pkahn/


  • ENVIR 100: Interdisciplinary Foundations
Karen Litfin

Karen Litfin, Associate Professor, Political Science

email: litfin@uw.edu

website: http://faculty.washington.edu/litfin/


  • ENVIR 100: Interdisciplinary Foundations
  • POLS/ENVIR 384: Global Environmental Politics
  • POLS/ENVIR 385: Political Ecology of the World Food System

Karen is an Associate Professor of Political Science and author of Ozone Discourses: Science and Politics in Global Environmental Politics and The Greening of Sovereignty in World Politics. In her commitment to integrating the cognitive, emotive, and contemplative approaches to sustainability, Karen takes a “person/planet politics” approach to her research and teaching.  That commitment led her to establish a UW study abroad program to Auroville, an international township in south India. It also led her to visit 14 ecovillages around the world and write a book on her travels—Being the Change: Ecovillage Experiments Around the World (forthcoming.) This short video offers a preview of the book: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtNjZaXDGqM. Always endeavoring to more deeply integrate mind, heart, body and spirit, Karen is helping to start SkyRoot Community on Whidbey Island, where she is joined by farmer and PoE instructor Beth Wheat.

Sean McDonald

P. Sean McDonald, Lecturer, Program on the Environment; Research Scientist, School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences

  • email: psean@uw.edu
  • office: 012F Wallace Hall


  • ENVIR 490: Pre-Capstone Seminar
  • ENVIR 491: Capstone Experience
  • ENVIR 492: Post-Capstone Seminar


  • B.S. Biology. Marine Emphasis. Western Washington University, 1997
  • Ph.D. School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences. University of Washington, 2006

Sean is the Capstone Instructor in the Program on the Environment and maintains an active research program focused on applied marine ecology in the School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences. As Capstone Instructor, Sean directs the internship activities and senior research of PoE students. He assists each student in developing an independent scholarly project that dovetails with their hands-on work. The goal is to prepare students for careers in environmentally related fields by aiding them in synthesizing their academic coursework and professional (internship) experience. Sean’s research program focuses on applying ecological principles to problems involving the exploitation, cultivation, and conservation of aquatic species in a changing global landscape. In particular, he is interested in individual and community responses to major agents of ecosystem change, such as climate change, ocean acidification, and nearshore hypoxia.

Linda Nash, Associate Professor, History


  • ENVIR 221/HISTAA 221: US Environmental History

Linda Nash is an historian of the twentieth-century US who focuses on environmental and cultural history.  Her research interests revolve around the questions of how and why different people understand environments and environmental change in the ways that they do, and the larger social and environmental implications of those understandings.  She is particularly interested in how environments themselves shape the production of modern knowledge.  Her book, Inescapable Ecologies: A History of Environment, Disease, and Knowledge, draws on environmental history and the history of the body to chart the emergence of environmental health as both an object of scientific knowledge and a political and cultural issue across the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries; it has been recognized with several academic prizes.  Her current teaching reflects her interests in the history of disease and environment, technology and technoscientific knowledge, as well her ongoing concern with consumption and consumerism, food and agriculture, and the modern state and environmental politics.

Lauren Hartzell

Lauren Hartzell Nichols, Lecturer, Program on Values in Society

email: greenphd@uw.edu

website: http://www.laurenhartzell.com


  • PHIL/ENVIR 243: Environmental Ethics
  • ENVIR 300: Synthesis and Application
  • PHIL/ENVIR 415: Advanced Topics in Animal Welfare
  • PHIL/ENVIR 416: Ethics and Climate Change


  • B.A. Environmental Studies and Philosophy. Connecticut College, 2003
  • Ph.D. Philosophy. Stanford University, 2009

Lauren Hartzell Nichols began her interdisciplinary training in environmental studies at Connecticut College. While she originally thought she wanted to be an environmental scientist, Lauren quickly discovered her love and talent for philosophy. She double majored in the science track of the environmental studies major as well as in philosophy so as to prepare herself for a career in environmental ethics. Lauren completed her Ph.D. in the philosophy department at Stanford University, where she recruited renowned climate scientist Stephen Schneider to serve on her dissertation committee. Lauren’s work addresses the ethical challenges climate change poses. In particular, she addresses the complexity of ethical decision making in the face of significant, intergenerational risks. She is currently completing a book with the working title, A Climate of Risk: Precautionary Principles, Catastrophes, and Climate Change. Lauren enjoys teaching courses that expose students to the ethical complexities of environmental problems.

Ned Schaumberg, Predoctoral lecturer, Program on the Environment; TA, English Department

email: schaumeg@uw.edu

office: 015E Wallace Hall


  • ENVIR 200: Environmental Studies: Communication and Information (Fall and Winter Quarter)


  • BA, English, Whitman College
  • MA, English, University of Washington 2012

Ned's interests span a variety of areas. His current research focuses on late twentieth-century authors' efforts to narrate and describe water within their stories in such a way that its "realness" outside of the narrative is apparent. Ned argues these efforts to narrate water and its flow over long periods of time help make its value visible in a way that is otherwise hard or impossible for humans to perceive. In the classroom, Ned strives to help students see the ways conceptions of environment, nature, and environmentalism are culturally rooted, and how cultural understandings of these issues affect the way the issues are studied and addressed politically. Ned also guides students to examine how writing is a process of learning how to think about a particular issue; writing helps students discover what they actually know, think, and can defend.

Kristi Straus

Kristi Straus, Lecturer, Program on the Environment

email: kmstraus@uw.edu

office: 015G Wallace Hall


  • ENVIR 100: Interdisciplinary Foundations
  • ENVIR 250: Data Types and Methods
  • ENVIR 300: Synthesis and Application


  • B.A. Biology. Colby College, 1998
  • Ph.D. Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. University of Washington, 2010

Kristi is passionate about environmental conservation and effective teaching, and is inspired by UW colleagues doing good work on both fronts.  She loves the excitement and energy of teaching large classes but really values opportunities to get to know students as people—so please visit!  In addition to teaching in PoE, Kristi is focused on conservation of local marine invertebrates and developing science curriculum for middle school students. Kristi became deeply motivated by environmental concerns during her two years serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. After serving in the Peace Corps she taught environmental education to elementary and middle school students on both coasts of the US.

Yen-chu Weng

Yen-Chu Weng, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Program on the Environment

email: yweng<at>uw<dot>edu

office: 015G Wallace Hall

website: yenchuweng.wordpress.com


  • ENVIR 250: Data Types and Collection Methods


  • B.S. Geography, National Taiwan University, 2003
  • M.S. Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2005
  • Ph.D. Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2011

As a geographer, Yen-Chu has always been interested in exploring the connections between human societies and the environment. She received broad trainings in both the biophysical sciences and the social sciences and has integrated quantitative, qualitative, and GIS methods into her research projects. Her master's thesis analyzed the spatio-temporal changes of urban landscape patterns in response to urbanization, with a focus on greenspace conservation. In her doctoral research, she explored different perspectives on ecological restoration from the standpoints of scientists, professional practitioners and volunteers. Based on case studies from Wisconsin and Michigan, she interrogated the meanings of science, nature, and participation embedded in restoration ideologies and practices. Yen-Chu enjoys teaching, both formally and as an environmental education docent. She also has been serving as a Master Naturalist for the City of Bellevue, helping with restoration projects, leading canoe trips, and interacting with the public at community outreach events. Yen-Chu contributes to the PoE core courses and is developing a course on interdisciplinary research methods in environmental studies.

Elizabeth Wheat

Elizabeth Wheat, Lecturer, Program on the Environment

email: elizaw@uw.edu

office: 015G Wallace Hall


  • ENVIR 100: Interdisciplinary Foundations
  • ENVIR 300: Synthesis and Application
  • ENVIR 495: Advanced Topics: Environmental Pedagogy


  • B.S. Biology. Union College 1998
  • M.A. Education. New York University, 2001
  • Ph.D. Biology. University of Washington 2010

Elizabeth Wheat is a 2010 recipient of the UW’s Excellence in Teaching Award winner (awarded to only two outstanding graduate teaching assistants each year).   In addition to teaching for PoE, her other day job is farming at SkyRoot farms on Whidbey Island.   In her spare time she enjoys playing guitar, reading and hanging out with her family.

Todd Wildermuth

Todd Wildermuth, Scholar in Residence, School of Law

email: toddw2@uw.edu

website: http://www.law.washington.edu/Directory/Profile.aspx?ID=617&vw=bio


  • ENVIR 495: Advanced Topics: Land Use Planning and Permitting in Practice
  • ENVIR 497: Honors Seminar

Before joining the Law School in 2011, Todd was founder of Rabbitbrush Research, a consulting company that provided research and strategic advice to non-profit conservation organizations.  He coordinates the environmental and natural resource law program in the UW School of Law, teaches the School’s doctoral dissertation seminar, and offers various courses in environmental policy. He has published in the fields of ecological economics, land use policy, and environmental history.