Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.36
Liaison Rachael Wein
Submission Date March 2, 2020

STARS v2.2

Smith College
AC-9: Research and Scholarship

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 10.51 / 12.00 Denise McKahn
Faculty Director of CEEDS
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total number of employees that conduct research:

Number of employees engaged in sustainability research:

Percentage of employees that conduct research that are engaged in sustainability research:

Total number of academic departments that include at least one employee who conducts research:

Number of academic departments that include at least one employee who conducts sustainability research:

Percentage of departments that conduct research that are engaged in sustainability research:

A copy of the inventory of the institution’s sustainability research (upload):
Inventory of the institution’s sustainability research:

Permanent Faculty
1. Elisabeth Armstrong, Professor in the Study of Women and Gender
Studies gender and movements for social, economic and environmental change, emancipatory cultural studies and feminist archives. Many of her courses are community-based research courses linked to basic needs community movements around land, food and self-determination in Springfield, Massachusetts. Her second book, Gender and Neoliberalism: The All India Democratic Women’s Association and Globalization Politics, describes the changing landscape of women’s politics for equality and liberation during the rise of neoliberalism in India between 1991 and 2006.

2. Alex Barron, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Policy
Barron's current research focuses on the design of climate policies to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and avoid catastrophic climate change. This includes evaluating how policies have worked in the past, designing specific policy incentives to reduce emissions, and work to improve the tools that policy makers use when designing those policies.

3. Jesse Bellemare, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences,
Plant ecology, biogeography and evolution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. In particular, he is interested in how historical processes, such as past climate change and dispersal limitation, might influence plant species’ contemporary distributions and the diversity of plant communities.

4. Andrew Berke, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Atmospheric and physical chemistry. His research focuses on exploring the fundamental physical properties and chemical composition of aerosols. These properties have implications for problems ranging from human health to air quality (regionally, nationally and globally) and climate change.

5. Judith Cardell, Professor of Engineering, Professor of Computer Science
Analysis and design of electric power systems and energy markets. She is interested in integrating wind power, small-scale distributed and renewable generation and greater demand response into the power system. She also works with microgrids and smart grid developments as important avenues for the integration of new low carbon technologies.

6. Alexis Callender, Assistant Professor of Art
Studio practice incorporates varied media in painting, drawing and installation to explore the intersections between myth, identity and material culture. Through the visual forms of historical narrative, the built environment and repurposed archival imagery, she considers issues of migration, environmental instability and hybridized landscapes.

7. Elliot Fratkin, Chair Emeritus in African Studies, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
International expert in nomadic populations. Studies issues of development and change, particularly focusing on nomadic response during periods of drought and famine to inform climate resilience and adaptation.

8. Daniel Gardner, Professor of History
Specializes in the cultural and intellectual history of premodern China and the environment in China today. He has written extensively on the Confucian and Neo-Confucian traditions in China. His interest in contemporary environmental matters in China has led to his most recent publication, Environmental Pollution in China: What Everyone Needs to Know. He is now working on a project, “Imagining an ‘Ecological Civilization’: China's Environmental Turn in the 21st Century,” for which he was awarded an Andrew Carnegie Fellowship.

9. Andrew Guswa, Professor of Engineering
Studies hydrologic processes and mathematically defines ecosystem services. Recent work studied the effect of landscape change on water supplies that have storage elements. Collaborated on the Natural Capital Project to develop hydrologic models to support land-management decisions.

10. Colin Hoag, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
His work sits at the intersection of historical ecology and political anthropology. With research and teaching interests in capitalism, space, landscape, water, rangelands, botany, multispecies studies, bureaucracy, the state, migration and colonialism, he asks: How do different humans interrupt, exploit or adjust themselves to more-than-human ecological processes? How are human social categories, such as race, class, gender, species and nationality used to determine who can access natural resources—that is, who among us lives (well) and dies? How might we marshal anthropology's careful attention to everyday life, the legacies of history, and the deep interaction between ideas and the material world to investigate the causes of environmental change?

11. Pinky Hota, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Pinky Hota is a political and legal anthropologist with research interests in indigeneity, religious politics and right wing populism, minority recognition and citizenship, as well as environment and extraction, especially in contemporary India. Her current research examines the negotiations between tribal groups, the Indian state and mining companies to examine the synergies and contradictions between indigenous, environmental and extractive claims and futures.

12. Danielle Ignace, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Plant physiological ecology, species invasions, climate change, nitrogen deposition, ecosystem ecology, plant ecology, and desert and forest ecosystems.

13. Niveen Ismail, Assistant Professor of Engineering
Studies the use of natural systems to improve water quality through removal of contaminants including trace organic and microbial pollutants. She is passionate about engaging the community and integrating ecological rehabilitation when considering engineering solutions to water quality issues.

14. Elisa Kim Kulosman, Assistant Professor of Art
Research combines methodologies from environmental policy with architectural drawing and representation to engage a wide set of concerns about the environment, borders and boundaries. Her current oceanic mappings question the agency of the line and the illusion of the fixity of the map as an outlined artifact delineating cultural, political and social bodies from one another. In particular, her work studies the fluid spatiality of the sea through drawings of new and uncharted, yet already contested, territories of the ocean floor and their associated events and populations, inviting a re-reading of oceanic space not merely as industrial or extra-geographic border zones, but as the grounds for global migration, public encounter, shared inhabitation and cultural exchange.

15. Albert Kim, Assistant Professor of Statistical and Data Sciences
Co-author of the fivethirtyeight R package and ModernDive, an online textbook for introductory data science and statistics. His research interests include spatial epidemiology and model assessment and selection methods for forest ecology.
16. Leslie King, Professor of Sociology
Her areas of interest include population studies, environmental sociology and social movements. Much of her research has focused on how ideologies of nationalism, gender, race and ethnicity, and class are implicated in the construction and implementation of population policies. A new research project investigates shareholder activism and socially responsible investing, particularly in the areas of social justice and the environment.

17. Elizabeth Klarich, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Elizabeth Klarich is a Latin American archaeologist specializing in Andean prehistory, with a regional focus on the Lake Titicaca Basin of Peru and Bolivia. Her theoretical interests include the origins of inequality, the development of early cities, the nature of leadership strategies and the role of prehistory in modern identity politics. Her recent work has focused on the origins of urbanism. She asks: “Why do people shift from living in dispersed, semi-independent settlements and move into centers?” This is still a process we can see all over the world; we’re now more urban than rural as a planet and these processes have been going on for thousands of years. Her work informs climate migration patterns and implications associated with systemic inequality by evaluating the development of early cities.

18. Maggie Yuanyuan Liu, Assistant Professor of Economics
Applied microeconomist, specializing in migration and international trade. Her research focuses on the labor market outcomes of globalization in developing countries. With a regional focus on China and India, Liu studies the formation and mobility of human capital, as well as the barriers that inhibit efficient allocation of skills. She is also interested in issues of gender, economic geography and environmental migration.

19. Ann Leone, Professor of French Studies, Professor of Landscape Studies
Ann Leone researches and writes about the functions of landscape in French, Russian, British, American and German literature; she is currently exploring the roles of vernacular landscapes in Northampton's past and present. Her recent work has articulated the role of the landscape as an unacknowledged character.

20. James Lowenthal, Professor of Astronomy
High redshift galaxies, Lyman break galaxies, starburst galaxies, millimeter and submillimeter galaxies, galaxy formation and evolution, QSO absorption line systems, QSO host galaxies and ultra-faint radio sources. Recent work focuses on residential and commercial light pollution.

21. Mehammed Mack, Associate Professor of French Studies
His first book, Sexagon: Muslims, France, and the Sexualization of National Culture, was released from Fordham University Press in January 2017, and earned honorable mention prizes from the Arab-American Book Awards in the nonfiction category and from The Association for Middle East Women's Studies (AMEWS). His next book project focuses on dystopian visions of a European future in which the continent has been overrun by immigrants. It is tentatively titled "Eurabia: Reverse Crusades and Counter-colonization in European Culture. Definition of immigrant recognizes climate migration and drivers of population movements.

22. Denise McKahn, Associate Professor of Engineering
She is dedicated to the development of renewably derived fuel, electricity generation and thermal conversion technologies through the design, modeling and control of dynamic and complex systems. She is particularly interested in both fuel cell electricity and electrolytic hydrogen production as well as geothermal district energy systems.

23. Steve Moga, Assistant Professor of Landscape Studies
He is an urbanist and city planning historian with research interests in environmental design, cultural landscapes and the power of place. His research publications include analyses of the origins of the zoning map, New York City waterfront planning, and metropolitan parks and open space planning in Boston. He recently published a book on the history of urban lowlands and American city form.

24. Robert Newton, Professor of Geosciences
Newton is a groundwater geologist, hydrologist and geomorphologist interested in groundwater contamination issues, chemical cycling in groundwater systems, interactions of groundwater and wetlands, and use of high¬-resolution light detection and ranging (LIDAR) data for imaging geomorphic features and processes.

25. Ruth Ozeki, Professor of English Language and Literature
Ruth Ozeki is an award-winning author, filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest whose novels have garnered international critical acclaim for their ability to integrate issues of science, technology, environmental politics, philosophy and global pop culture into unique hybrid narrative forms.

26. Paulette Peckol, Professor of Biological Sciences
Marine ecology, coral reef ecology, environmental biology and algal physiological ecology. In tropical areas, she focuses on the effects of disturbances from both humans (overfishing, coastal pollution) and natural causes (hurricanes, El Niño events) in coral reef communities, studying coral, fish and algal population dynamics on reefs off Belize and the Bahamas.

27. Javier Puente, Assistant Professor of Latin American and Latino/a Studies
Trained as a historian of the Andes, researches trajectories of Latin American agrarian reforms, the land struggles of campesinos and, more recently, their experiences of socio-environmental suffering. Newly hired, Puente will complete a number of scholarly projects and teach a series of courses that combine his focal core interests: the past, present and future of rural peoples and places and the sociopolitical impacts of climate events.

28. Jeffry Ramsey, Professor of Philosophy
Research interests in the use of models in the sciences, specifically models that are created through the use of approximations and idealizations. He also works on the philosophical grounds of our concern for nature. The way we speak, think and write about the natural world reflects our values and ethical stances, and we need to be aware of the ways our discourse is framed by those assumptions.

29. Amy Rhodes, Professor of Geosciences
Studies how human activities and environmental change affect the geochemistry of soils, surface water and groundwater. Recent projects include effects of forest succession on the geochemistry and nitrogen cycling of soils, with emphasis on the succession of Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) to Black Birch (Betula lenta) forest. She is also helping to establish baseline water chemistry for residential drinking water wells located in northeastern Pennsylvania in advance of possible shale gas development.

30. Kevin Rozario, Associate Professor of American Studies
Although trained as a historian, Rozario maintains interdisciplinary interests that keep pulling him into such other fields as literary criticism, media studies, philosophy, economics, environmental history, gender studies, politics and cultural theory. His work on the culture of capitalism, paradoxes of dissent, disaster and the making of modern America help to inform notions of climate resilience.

31. Susan Sayre, Associate Professor of Economics
Numerical simulation and dynamic optimization techniques to investigate water policy in a variety of settings. Her recent projects focus on the downside risk of climate change in the California Central Valley agricultural sector, how the possibility of improved information influences optimal current payments for hydrological ecosystem services, the impact of endogenous investment in well deepening on groundwater externalities, and the impact of mistrust on negotiations over the future of California’s Sacramento San Joaquin delta.

32. L. David Smith, Professor of Biological Sciences
Marine biological invasions, the role of phenotypic plasticity (environmentally induced changes) in marine invertebrate predator-prey interactions and coral reef conservation.

33. Viz Taraz, Assistant Professor of Economics
Research interests lie at the intersection of development and environmental economics. Her research centers on climate change, adaptation, agriculture and irrigation, with a regional focus on India.

34. Paul Voss, Associate Professor of Engineering
Studies pollution transport and climate interactions with miniature flight vehicles. He has developed unique meteorological balloons that can be flown for thousands of miles as they measure pollutants, temperature structure and winds. Voss and his students have participated in major atmospheric research campaigns in New England, Houston, Mexico and the Arctic.

35. Camille Washington-Ottombre, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Policy
Studies adaptation to climate change and environmental justice. Past work explores how small communities in sub-Saharan Africa and on U.S. campuses respond to climate change. She has researched the adaptive capacity of small rural communities in Kenya and Zambia. More recently, Washington-Ottombre has been studying the role of institutions of higher education as agents of change by analyzing the development and the impact of measures relating to campus sustainability.

36. Gregory White, Professor of Government
White’s research and publications focus on North African politics, migration and refugee studies, environmental politics and international security. In 2009–10 he received a New Directions Grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, where he studied climate and earth science at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.

37. Rachel Wright, Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
Investigates how coals respond to environmental threats. This work serves (1) to inform ecosystem managers on best practices to maintain healthy reefs and (2) to explore basic biological principles related to adaptation under climate change.

A brief description of the methodology the institution followed to complete the research inventory:

A list of faculty that have expressed interest in supporting the work of the Center for the Environment, Ecological Design and Sustainability (CEEDS) was generated and provided to the Faculty Director of CEEDS. That list was added to the reporting on faculty research in sustainability used in the prior STARS reporting. The Faculty Director then personally reviewed the scholarly publications, presentations, invited talks and other forms of institutionally recognized research deliverables of the entire list of faculty. Those that clearly demonstrated a tangible commitment to advancing sustainability knowledge or lines of inquiry within their scholarly domain are included in this reporting. To determine the number of employees who conduct research at the institution we define roles of ladder faculty (tenure and tenure track).

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainability research is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.