David A. Sonnenfeld | Environmental Studies | SUNY-ESF
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

David A. SonnenfeldProfessor

David Sonnenfeld

214 Baker Lab
1 Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210


Mailing address: 209 Baker Lab, SUNY-ESF, 1 Forestry Dr., Syracuse, NY 13210-2786
Messages:  +1 (315) 464-0084 (voice/ text); Instagram: @DASonnenfeld

Fall office hours: M 3:30-5:00 pm, Tu 9:30-10:50 am, & by appointment

Appointments & Affiliations


  • S.V. Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Fellow, Environmental Policy, University of California at Berkeley, 1998-2000
  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1996
  • M.A., Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1991
  • B.A. (Honors College), Independent Scholar, with distinction, University of Oregon, 1973

Research Interests

  • Sociology of environment and natural resources
  • Comparative environmental politics
  • Sustainable development; sustainable transitions
  • Transboundary water governance
  • East/ Southeast Asia; Africa; the Middle East; Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Field, historical, and mixed research methods


  • Taylor, Peter Leigh, and David A. Sonnenfeld, eds. 2018. Water Crises and Governance: Reinventing Collaborative Institutions in an Era of Uncertainty. London and New York: Routledge. [link
  • Lockie, Stewart, David A. Sonnenfeld, and Dana R. Fisher, eds. 2014. Routledge International Handbook of Social and Environmental Change. London and New York: Routledge. [link]
  • Oosterveer, Peter, and David A. Sonnenfeld. 2012. Food, Globalization and Sustainability. London and New York: Earthscan/ Routledge. [link]
  • Mol, Arthur P.J., David A. Sonnenfeld, and Gert Spaargaren, eds. 2009. The Ecological Modernisation Reader: Environmental Reform in Theory and Practice. London and New York: Routledge. [link]
  • Smith, Ted, David A. Sonnenfeld, and David N. Pellow, eds. 2006. Challenging the Chip: Labor Rights and Environmental Justice in the Global Electronics Industry. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. [link]
  • Mol, Arthur P.J., and David A. Sonnenfeld, eds. 2000. Ecological Modernisation around the World: Perspectives and Critical Debates. London and Portland, Oregon: Frank Cass/ Taylor & Francis. [link]


  • Fonjong, Lotsmart, Frank Matose, and David A. Sonnenfeld, organizers/ editors, "Weathering Extremes: African Environmental Politics in a Destabilized World," Virtual Symposium, May 26-27, 2021 [call for abstracts; flyer; program]
  • Sonnenfeld, David A., and Peter Leigh Taylor, eds. 2018. Special Issue on "Society and Natural Resources in an Illiberal World," Society & Natural Resources 31 (5), May. [link]
  • Sonnenfeld, David A., and Arthur P.J. Mol, eds. 2011. Symposium on "Social Theory and the Environment in the New World (dis)Order", Global Environmental Change, Vol. 21, No. 3 (August) [link]
  • Sonnenfeld, David A., ed. 2008. Special Issue on "Globalisation and Environmental Governance," Global Environmental Change, Vol. 18, No. 3 (August) [link]
  • Sonnenfeld, David A., and Stewart Lockie, eds. 2008. Special Issue on "Communities, Natural Resources, and Environments," Local Environment, Vol. 13, No. 5 (July) [link]
  • Sonnenfeld, David A., and Arthur P.J. Mol, eds. 2006. Special Issue on "Environmental Reform in Asia," The Journal of Environment and Development, Vol. 15, No. 2 (June) [link]
  • Sonnenfeld, David A., and Arthur P.J. Mol, eds. 2002. Special Issue on "Globalization, Governance, and the Environment," American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 45, No. 9 (May) [link]

Recent Articles & Chapters

  • *Gallup, Laura, David A. Sonnenfeld, and Farid Dahdouh-Guebas. 2020. "Mangrove Use and Management within the Sine-Saloum Delta, Senegal," Ocean & Coastal Management 185 (March): 105001. [link]
  • Quigley, Dianne, *Alana Levine, David A. Sonnenfeld, Phil Brown, *Qing Tian, and Xiaofan Wei. 2019. "Survey on Using Ethical Principles in Environmental Field Research with Place-Based Communities," Science and Engineering Ethics 25 (2): 477-517. [link]
  • Zhang, Wei, Lei Zhang, Ying Li, *Yuling Tian, *Xiaoran Li, *Xue Zhang, Arthur P.J. Mol, David A. Sonnenfeld, Jianguo Liu, *Zeyu Ping, and Long Chen. 2018. "Neglected Environmental Health Impacts of China's Supply-side Structural Reform," Environment International 115 (June): 97-103. [link]
  • SonnenfeldDavid A., and Peter Leigh Taylor. 2018. "Liberalism, Illiberalism, and the Environment," Society & Natural Resources 31 (5): 515-524. [link]
  • Taylor, Peter Leigh, and David A. Sonnenfeld. 2017. "Water Crises and Institutions: Inventing and Reinventing Governance in an Era of Uncertainty," Society & Natural Resources 30 (4): 395-403. [link]
  • Sonnenfeld, David A., and Peter Leigh Taylor. 2017. "Scientific Publishing in the 21st Century: Challenges, Opportunities, and the Environmental Social Sciences," Society & Natural Resources 30 (1): 1-2. [link]
  • Quigley, Dianne, David A. Sonnenfeld, Phil Brown, Linda Silka, *Linlang He, and *Qing Tian. 2016. "Research Ethics Training on Place-based Communities and Cultural Groups," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 6 (3): 479-489. [link]

Current Teaching

  • EST 494, Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies (1)
  • EST 470/ 670, Water in the Middle East: Issues and Opportunities (3) [flyer]
  • EST 690, International Environmental Policy Consultancy (with Wageningen Univ. & Van Lang Univ.) (3-4) [flyer, article1, article2]
  • EST 797, Environmental Studies Seminar: Research Methods (1)

Recent Graduate Theses


  • Song, Jongdae, "A Holistic Approach to Analyzing the Effectiveness of Government-sponsored Voluntary Environmental Programs: Evidence from Manufacturing Industries in South Korea, 2005-2017," Environmental Science (Environmental and Natural Resources Policy, ESF, 2021 (co-chair)
  • Fuentes Viera, Kaira T.,"The Role of Community-based Organizations in Natural Disaster Recovery and Community Resilience: A Case Study of El Grupo de las Ocho Comunidades Aledañas al Caño Martín Peña, San Juan, Puerto Rico," Environmental Science (Environmental and Community Land Planning), ESF, 2021 (co-chair)
  • Hill, Dustin T., "Toxic Procurement: An Examination of United States Federal Government Contracts, Disproportionality, and Firm Environmental Performance, 2001-2012," Environmental Science (Environmental and Natural Resources Policy), ESF, 2021
  • Mokashi, Shruti, "Forest Gods and Forest Conservation: Evolving Perceptions and Relationships of Local Communities with their Sacred Forests in Western India," Environmental Science (Environmental and Community Land Planning), ESF, 2019
  • Oh, Young Min, "Boundary Interaction between Science and Politics: A Case Study on Multinational Cooperative Mechanisms for Transboundary Air Pollution in Northeast Asia," Environmental Science (Environmental and Community Land Planning), ESF, 2018 (chair)
  • Lee, Kyungsun, "Exploring Eco-Industrial Parks via a Technological Innovation Systems Lens: Sustainability Transitions in South Korea and Japan," Environmental Science (Environmental and Natural Resource Policy), ESF, 2018 (chair)
  • Ni, Xiaole, "Sense and Sensibility: Scientists and Environmental Advocacy in China," Environmental Science (Environmental and Natural Resource Policy), ESF, 2018 (chair)


  • Scott, Kelsey, "Gendered Division of Participation: The Role of Gender in Anti-Hydrofracking Advocacy," Environmental Studies, ESF, 2018

Professional Associations

Current Graduate Advisees

Current Graduate Advisees

Grace FinocchiaroGrace Finocchiaro

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Sonnenfeld and Parker
  • Area of Study: Environmental Policy
  • Undergraduate Institution: Saint Louis University (Social Work)

Graduate Research Topic
Discrepancies between International Priorities and Local Realities: The Complex Socio-political Landscape of Marine Turtle Conservation Policy and Protection in El Salvador

Moory Romero FernandezMoory Romero Fernandez

  • Degree Sought: MS in Environmental Studies
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Sonnenfeld and Luzadis

Graduate Research Topic
Ancestral Wisdom from the Plurinational State of Bolivia in the Current Global Climatic Crisis

Journal articles

  • Ryan SJ, Lippi CA, Carlson CJ, Stewart-Ibarra AM, Borbor-Cordova MJ, Romero MM, Cox S, Mahon R, Trotman A, Rollock L, Gittens-St. Hilaire M, King D, Daniel S. 2018. "Zika virus outbreak, Barbados, 2015 – 2016," American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 98(6): 1857.
  • Stewart-Ibarra AM, Hargrave A, Diaz A, Kenneson A, Madden D, Romero MM, Molina JP, Macias Salto D. 2017. "Psychological distress and Zika, dengue, and chikungunya symptoms following the 2016 earthquake in Bahía de Caráquez, Ecuador," Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 14(12): 1516.
  • Ryan SJ, Carlson CJ, Stewart-Ibarra AM, Borbor-Cordova MJ, Romero MM, Cox S, Mahon R, Trotman A, St. Ville S, Ahmed S. 2017. "Zika virus outbreak, Dominica, 2016," Emerging Infectious Diseases 23(11): 1926.

Dylan SeaverDylan Seaver

  • Degree Sought: MPS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Sonnenfeld
  • Area of Study: Environmental Policy