Teaching & Research

Studying Sustainability & the Environment

Cabinet MountainSustainability Across the Curriculum Initiative

Environmental Studies Program
Jon Isacoff, Director (email)
Program Requirements

Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering
Noel Bormann, Chair (email)
Program Requirements and Courses

Mechanical Engineering
Patrick Ferro, Chair (email)
Program Requirements and Courses

School of Education
Jon D. Sunderland, Dean 
School of Education's Main Website

Study Abroad
Ann Keller, Interim Executive Director
Study Abroad's Main Website

Law School - Environmental Law Clinic
Rick Eichstaedt, Director (email)

Sustainability, the Environment, & Studying Abroad

Chimfunshi, Zambia - Study chimp psychological behavior and provide service to the local people living or working on the Chimfunshi Wildlife Reserve, a 27,000 acre reserve for chimpanzees.

Benin, Africa - WATER: West African Appropriate Technology, Education, and Reciprocity. Students in this program take a common course, WATER and, as part of the course, may travel to sub-Saharan Africa. WATER focuses on the engineering, public health, and cultural dimensions of improving water and sanitation in a developing country.

Cali, Columbia - Explore global water issues in this course offered jointly by Gonzaga and Javeriana Universities. Learn about global water supplies, common freshwater contaminants, and available treatment technologies in developing and developed countries. The course emphasizes water issues in the Western Hemisphere and includes three weeks at Javeriana University in Cali, Colombia.

Ecuador - Emabar on a biological expedition through Ecuador, follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, explore the Galapagos Islands--one of the world's most unique and historic ecosystems-and earn four credits.  This course uses an international experience as a backdrop to learn about evolutionary, ecological and biogeographical processes.

Gonzaga has an Affiliation Agreement with the School for Field Studies Programs (both semester and summer) in the following locations where sustainability is the primary focus:

COSTA RICA:  Costa Rica is a resource-rich, wonderfully biodiverse country that is rapidly developing and increasingly recognized for its efforts to ensure conservation and the protection of natural resources. It is home to beautiful cloud forests, dry forests, volcanoes, lowland rainforests, and plantations. Students will examine management schemes, identify the benefits of protected areas, and determine which systems offer the best option for economic development, the maintenance of cultural norms, and the preservation of biodiversity.

KENYA & TANZANIA:  The Tarangire-Manyara ecosystem of northern Tanzania and the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem in Kenya, just north of Mount Kilimanjaro, are home to indigenous communities, such as the Maasai, and wildlife sanctuaries in which elephants, lions, baboons, and other creatures roam. Visits provide a rare glimpse of Maasai culture, including musical ceremonies, demonstrations in fire-making, dances by Maasai morans (warriors), and lessons in spear throwing. Students study how changes in land-use and resource can be managed to foster the well-being of local communities while safeguarding and promoting biodiversity conservation.

BHUTAN:  Bhutan is nestled in the remote and rugged eastern Himalayan region, an area characterized by extensive and numerous mountains (the Himalayas) and valleys. The country has also been identified as one of the top-10 biodiversity hot spots in the world. Bhutan is home to an estimated 770 species of birds and an astonishing variety of medicinal plants and orchids. Takin, snow leopards, golden langurs, blue sheep, tigers, water buffalo, and elephants are among Bhutan’s diverse wildlife. Traveling across Bhutan, students in this summer study abroad program will learn about Bhutanese culture, environmental issues, and rural development in Asia.

PANAMA:  Panama is the great connector between two continents; a corridor that links the natural riches of Central America to South America. Few places on Earth can claim the density of species and ecosystem richness that this isthmus can. Our classroom in Panama is the archipelago of Bocas Del Toro; a place where forest and shore come together and present almost limitless opportunities to study the ecology and conservation of both the marine and terrestrial realms. It is the dynamic interface between forested islands and life-filled waters that will drive our understanding of fragile habitats, natural resource use, and indigenous ways of life based on deep relationships with the environment.

AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND:   The astonishing biodiversity of Australia’s and New Zealand’s rainforests, their declines, and dynamic conservation efforts make these areas extraordinary laboratories to study rainforest management and restoration. For thousands of years, they have been home to indigenous tribes, and numerous plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world. These forests, however, have been greatly affected by habitat loss, fragmentation, and climate change. Students focus on the loss and fragmentation of once extensive rainforests and examine environmental policies related to the issue on local and national levels.

TURKS & CAICOS:  TCI has an extensive network of 33 protected areas, but little is known about their function and effectiveness. With the Admiral Cockburn Land and Sea National Park and East Harbour Lobster and Conch Reserve on their doorstep, students evaluate the concept and practice of marine protected areas (MPAs) as a resource management tool. Snorkeling and SCUBA diving in waters surrounding South Caicos, students learn field research techniques to identify a wide range of marine organisms and habitats, and learn about marine ecology and coastal ecosystems.  Students in this study abroad program will learn about artificial reef technology to enhance or restore reef habitats. Students support the work of our clients and stakeholders, who range from local fishers to members of key government agencies. Our goal is to conduct relevant field research that can be used to develop state-of-the-art environmental policies, marine protected areas (MPA) management plans, and community projects.

Faculty researching & teaching about sustainability and the environment

Matthew Bahr - Sociology
Course: Population and Society

Julie Beckstead - Biology
Courses: Intro. to Ecology; Human Ecology;Conservation Biology
Research: Invasion Biology and Community Ecology

Andrea Bertotti Metoyer- Sociology
Course: Environmental Sociology

Noel Bormann-Civil Engineering
Research: Sustainability and Water Resources
Courses: Quantitative Risk Analysis, Water Resources, Geospatial Data Applications

David Boose - Biology
Courses: Intro. to Ecology; Human Ecology; Case Studies in Environmental Science

John Caputo - Communication and Leadership Studies (website – email)
Research: Media Ecology

Gary Chang - Biology
Courses: Intro. to Ecology; Human Ecology

Robert Donnelly - History
Course: Cities in American History

Betsy Downy - History
Course: History of Yellowstone

Stephen Hayes - Biology
Courses: Intro. to Ecology, Conservation Biology

Brian Henning - Philosophy/Co-Chair ACSS (website - email)
Research: Environmental ethics, especially the ethics of climate change and the ethics of food
Courses: Environmental Ethics; Ethics of Global Climate Change

Kevin Henrickson - Economics
Course: Economics of Environmental Protection

Gerry Hess- Law School
Course: Environmental Law

Kent Hickman- Business
Course: Sustainable Business

Patrick Ferro- Mechanical Engineering
Research: Alternative Energy Technologies, Hydrogen Storage, Alternative Energy Cells

Jonathan Isacoff - Political Science
Courses: Ecological Thought and Politics; Global Environmental Politics

Mary Jeannot - MA/TESL, ELC
Course: Water for Life: West Africa (Abroad)

Erica Johnson - Economics
Course: Economics of Environmental Protection

Amy Kelley-Law School
Course: Public Lands Law
Research: Water Law Topics

Hugh Lefcort - Biology (website - email)
Research: Environmental effects of aquatic heavy metal pollution
Courses: Intro. to Ecology; Human Ecology; Environmental Chemistry; Case Studies in Environmental Science

Mara London-Civil Engineering
Research: Environmental Engineering, Sustainability, Treatment
Courses: Environmental Engineering, Biological Treatment Process, Physio-Chemical Treatment Processes

Ellen Maccarone - Philosophy
Course: Ethics of Eating

Michael McBride - Psychology
Course: Environmental Psychology

Sue Niezgoda-Civil Engineering
Research: Stream Restoration, Water Resources, Risk Analysis, Low-impact development
Courses: Sustainable Systems and Design, Geospatial Data Applications, Stream Restoration

Susan Norwood - Nursing
Course: Water for Life: West Africa (Abroad)

Linda Schearing - Religious Studies
Course: Old Testament and Ecojustice

Joanne Smieja - Chemistry
Courses: Environmental Chemistry Lab; Water Quality: Cali, Columbia (Abroad)

Brian Steverson - Business/Philosophy

Michael Treleaven - Political Science
Courses: State and Local Government; Native American Government and Politics; Politics of the Pacific NW; North American Environmental Politics

Peter Williams - Political Science
Course: Energy Resources and Policy

Sherry Wood - Biology
Courses: Field Botany; Human Ecology Lab