e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Coupled Natural and Human Systems Area of Study for M.S., M.P.S. or Ph.D. in Environmental Science

Leader: Colin Beier

The Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNHS) area of study fosters interdisciplinary research and scholarship that explicitly integrates the social and biophysical dimensions of environmental issues using a systems approach.

Our research addresses the challenges of sustaining natural and social capital during the Anthropocene—the current era in which humans shape all major Earth system processes. Drawing on diverse backgrounds, CNHS students and faculty recognize humans as integral components of ecosystems and seek to understand their interactions and dynamics of change at multiple scales. Faculty mentors form collaborative and cross-disciplinary teams to advise CNHS students based on their wide range of expertise and experiences. An emphasis is placed on research and graduate training experience with applications to emerging sustainability issues in real-world settings.

  • a field crew carries litter baskets for installation in remote sites

    Leaf litterfall is an important flux of carbon, energy, and nutrients in forested ecosystems—a field crew carries litter baskets for installation in remote sites.

  • Craig See prepares N and P fertilizer for addition to experimental forest plots in New Hampshire

    Craig See, MS student, prepares N and P fertilizer for addition to experimental forest plots in New Hampshire.

  • Summer interns counts germinants in nutrient-amended plots at the Hubbard Brook and Bartlett Experimental Forests in New Hampshire

    Summer interns counts germinants in nutrient-amended plots at the Hubbard Brook and Bartlett Experimental Forests in New Hampshire.

CNHS Faculty

Name and Interests

Address / Email

Beier, Colin M.
forest ecosystem and landscape ecology, social-ecological systems, climate change, ecosystem services, landscape change modeling, resilience, adaptive management, resource governance, applied geoinformatics
311 Bray Hall
Collins, Mary B.
socio-environmental systems; environmental health inequality; environmental justice; environmental sociology; environmental risk perception; computational quantitative methods; Bayesian modeling; disproportionality; industrial pollution policy and health
215 Baker Laboratory
Diemont, Stewart
systems ecology, ecological engineering, traditional ecological knowledge, Latin America, ecosystem restoration, sustainability analysis, natural wastewater treatment systems and re-use, less-developed countries, agroecology
460 Illick Hall
Dölle, Klaus
pulp & paper and related environmental topics, design, constructed wetlands,subsurface bioreactors, fossil energy, bioenergy, hydropower, water and waste water treatment, paper recycling, paper development, filler materials, energy savings, renewable energy & processes, engineering, machine & process design.
421 Walters Hall
Endreny, Theodore A.
water resources engineering, ecological engineering, stream restoration, urban watersheds, lesser-developed countries
426 Baker Laboratory
Gibbs, James
herpetology, vertebrate conservation biology, genetics and ecology in birds, reptiles and amphibians, songbirds, giant tortoise, statistics, wildlife population monitoring, galapagos islands, conservation biology, ecological monitoring, population genetics, applied demography, undergraduate conservation education
404 Illick Hall
Horton, Thomas R.
mycorrhizal plant ecology, molecular ecology, ecology, fungal communities, mycology, fire ecology
427 Illick Hall
Hussein, Rafaat M.
Risk and vulnerability assessment, analysis and management, hazardous wastes management and transport, expert & knowledge-based systems, computer simulations & database, construction, occupational, and environmental management, safety and auditing, human health
216 Baker Laboratory
Kimmerer, Robin W.
plant restoration ecology, bryology, bryoecology, restoration ecology, ethnobotany, conservation biology and bryophyte ecology, traditional ecological knowledge
351 Illick Hall
Kroll, Charles N.
stochastic and deterministic hydrology, environmental modeling, water resource systems engineering, ecological engineering, urban forestry, drought assessment, environmental systems engineering, stochastic and deterministic modeling, risk assessment, coupled human and natural systems
424 Baker Laboratory
Leydet, Brian F.
Vector-borne disease ecology and human disease risk, vector biology, tick ecology, Lyme and other tick-borne diseases
Illick Hall
Limburg, Karin E.
riverine fish and estuarine ecology, fisheries ecology, watershed ecology, systems ecology, ecological economics, fisheries and ecosystem science, coupled human-natural systems, biogeochemistry, fisheries ecology, ecosystem ecology, biogeochemical tracers, modeling
249 Illick Hall
Limpert, Christina M.
Eco cinema and media studies Nature, culture, and politics Critical, feminist, gender theories Qualitative research, ethnography, participatory research Environmental education Enviro dimensions of war and militarization Public perceptions of environmental threats and ecosystem health Industrial hemp in New York State
213 Baker Laboratory
Luzadis, Valerie A.
ecological economics, ecosystem services, policy, social and recreational dimensions, forest management for renewable energy, watershed management, natural resources policy and values, sustainable development, renewable energy, participatory decision-making
217 Baker Laboratory
Mao, Huiting
environmental chemistry, atmospheric chemistry, air quality, regional to global budgets of trace gases, long range transport, continental export, climate change
420 Jahn Laboratory
Moran, Sharon D.
environmental policy, human dimensions of water/wastewater issues, political ecology, environment-society relations, green and innovative technologies, environmental issues in post-communist countries, qualitative research methods, gender and nature, sustainability indicators, emergent technologies, environmental justice, ethical frameworks in public policy
224 Baker Laboratory
Newman, Lee
phytoremediation, molecular and cellular biology, horticultural therapy, food and health
248 Illick Hall
Feldpausch-Parker, Andrea M.
environmental, science and technology communication; wildlife conservation; climate change discourse and decision-making; environmental advocacy; environmental and natural resources conflict management; qualitative, critical and program evaluation methods; public participation; energy discourse and decision-making
216 Baker Laboratory
Parry, Dylan
Biological invasion, climate change, and conservation, primarily in the context of insects in forested ecosystems.
109 Illick Hall
Quackenbush, Lindi J.
geospatial information systems, spatial measurements, remote sensing and image processing, particularly focused on spatial techniques for both urban and forest classification, spatial analysis
404 Baker Laboratory
Schulz, Kimberly L.
nutrient and exotic species effects on aquatic ecosystems, ecological stoichiometry, aquatic community and ecosystem ecology, bioenergetics, nutrient cycling, lower food web studies, great lakes, finger lakes, plankton, limnology, aquatic ecology, biogeochemistry, invasive species
456 Illick Hall
Selfa, Theresa
environmental sociology, sociology of food and agriculture, environmental governance, qualitative and mixed methods, social impacts of land use change, bioenergy, water policy and politics, social dimensions of payments for ecosystems services
220 Baker Laboratory
Shaw, Stephen B.
hydroclimatology, water resources engineering, ecohydrology in a changing climate, water resources, climate change, hydrology, systems modeling, stormwater management
418 Baker Laboratory
Stella, John C.
riparian and stream ecology, restoration ecology, watershed management, ecological modeling, tree-ring science, river restoration, arid-land and Mediterranean ecosystems
344 Illick Hall
Vidon, Elizabeth S.
environmental ethics and values; environmental thought and ontologies; tourism geographies/nature tourism; socio-cultural sustainability and land-use; political ecology; wilderness and environmental perception; Native American and indigenous peoples' environmental issues
221 Baker Laboratory
Vidon, Philippe G.
geography/environmental science, surface and subsurface hydrology, water quality, riparian zone/watershed biogeochemistry and hydrology, agriculture, best management practices, nitrogen, phosphorus, mercury, carbon cycling, greenhouse gases (N2O, CO2, CH4).
309 Bray Hall
Volk, Timothy A.
silviculture, forest management for renewable energy, biomass and bioenergy, energy, agroforestry, phytoremediation, management and sustainability of short rotation woody crops, life cycle analysis, ecophysiology, international forestry
306 Bray Hall
Weiss, Jill
Socio-ecological systems, co-adaptive management, collaboration and trust, knowledge transfer, communities of practice and social networks, communication theories, landscape ecology, recreation governance and ethics, environmental education, conservation behaviors and psychologies, organizational management, strategic planning, and assessment. Subjects
224 Baker Laboratory
Yanai, Ruth D.
forest ecology, watershed ecology, soils, biogeochemistry, forest health, ecological modeling, watershed management, ecosystem nutrient cycling, uncertainty
210 Marshall Hall

Graduate Students in Coupled Natural and Human Systems

Current Students Only currently registered students appear — new names appear at start of academic year

Shahrzad Badri

Coupled Natural and Human Systems
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Beier

Holly Barton

Coupled Natural and Human Systems
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Beier

Justin Beslity

Coupled Natural and Human Systems
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Shaw

Ashmita Das

Ashmita Das

Coupled Natural and Human Systems
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Selfa and Diemont
Undergraduate Institution: SUNY Binghamton

Kaya DeerInWater

EFB Conservation Biology
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Kimmerer

Delaney Demro

Delaney Demro

Coupled Natural and Human Systems
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Luzadis and Parker
Undergraduate Institution: University of Illinois at Urba

Personal Statement
I graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences with a minor in Environmental Economics and Law. After this, I spent one year working as a Research Consultant for an Enviro-Chemical Engineering Lab at Argonne National Laboratory. Iíve learned that scientific findings are meaningless unless they are shared with and effectively involve members of the public. I follow this same ideology in my current position as a Research Assistant under Dr. Andrea Feldpausch-Parker and Dr. Valerie Luzadis. My thesis centers around the CREEQ (Citizen Recreational Evaluation of Environmental Quality) citizen-science initiative, through a collaboration with the NYSDEC. I will aid in the development of sample collection protocols and a web survey that will measure public perceptions of water quality and recreational usability of streams in Central New York. The goal of this project is to test the effectiveness of utilizing citizen-science reported data to guide stream water-quality monitoring efforts.

Hiking, hand embroidery, yoga.

Mariah Gladstone

Coupled Natural and Human Systems
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Kimmerer

Hannah Huber

ESC Coupled Natural and Human Systems
Degree Sought: MPS
Advisor(s): Horton

Lucas Johnson

Lucas Johnson

Coupled Natural and Human Systems
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Beier
Undergraduate Institution: Tufts University (Computer Science)

Personal Statement
After graduating from Tufts University with a B.S. in computer science, Lucas spent two years working as a data engineer at a software startup in Boston. He decided that he wanted to apply his programming skill set to environmental challenges, and came to SUNY ESF. He is a research assistant under Dr. Beier, working on the NYS CAFRI (Climate and Applied Forestry Research Institute) forest carbon inventory. He will aid in the development of a protocol and inventory tool that will rely on LiDAR coverages, and Landsat imagery among other things. He is currently working to estimate above ground biomass from LiDAR point clouds that have been published by NYS.

Favorite Quote
Theodore Roosevelt - "The Man in the Arena"

python, R, skiing, hiking, running, lacrosse

Web Link

Dineh Judd

Coupled Natural and Human Systems
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Kimmerer

Michael Mahoney

Coupled Natural and Human Systems
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Beier

Lucia Perez Volkow

Coupled Natural and Human Systems
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Diemont

Shwe Yi Phoo Phoo

Coupled Natural and Human Systems
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Beier

Alexandre Poisson

Coupled Natural and Human Systems
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Luzadis

Annabel Roberts-McMichael

Annabel Roberts-McMichael

ESC Coupled Natural and Human Systems
Degree Sought: MS/MF
Advisor(s): Germain and Diemont
Undergraduate Institution: Cooper Union

Previous Graduate Study: SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Kayla Smith

Kayla Smith

Coupled Natural and Human Systems
Degree Sought: PHD
Advisor(s): Limburg and Parker