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Faculty Profile
David Sonnenfeld

David  Sonnenfeld


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214 Baker Laboratory


Mailing address: 106 Marshall Hall, SUNY-ESF, 1 Forestry Dr., Syracuse, NY 13210-2787
Messages:  +1 (315) 464-0084 (voice/ text); Instagram: @DASonnenfeld

Office hours: by appointment



  • 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; illiberalism
  • Transboundary water governance
  • Sustainable development; sustainable transitions
  • East/ Southeast Asia; Africa; the Middle East
  • 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, eds. (forthcoming). Special Issue on "Conservation, Natural Resources, and Environmental Protection in Africa," Society & Natural Resources [call]
  • Matose, Frank; Lotsmart Fonjong; and David A. Sonnenfeld, eds. (forthcoming). Special Issue on "Climate Adaptation and Policy Response in Africa," Global Environmental Change
  • Fonjong, Lotsmart, Frank Matose, and David A. Sonnenfeld, organizers, "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]
  • Taylor, Peter Leigh, and David A. Sonnenfeld, eds. 2017. Special Issue on "Water Crises & Institutions: Governance Challenges in an Era of Uncertainty," Society & Natural Resources 30 (4), April [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

  • Quigley, Dianne, David A. Sonnenfeld, Phil Brown, and Tracie Ferreira. 2022. “Redefining Ethics and Ethics Research Directions for Environmental Studies/ Sciences from Student Evaluations,” Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 12 (December): 739-755. DOI 10.1007/s13412-022-00776-8. [link]
  • *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]

Recent Courses

  • EST 203, Introduction to Sociology (3)
  • 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


  • Loeffelholz, Marie, "From a Human-only Perspective to an Inclusive Approach through Intrinsic Identity and Future-Oriented Concepts: Conceptualizations of Rivers in Three International River Basin Organizations," Environmental Science (Environmental and Natural Resources Policy), ESF, 2023 (co-chair)
  • Kedem, Rina, "Landscapes of Cold Peace. Post-conflict Environmental Cooperation: Israel and Jordan," Faculty of Social Science, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, 2022
  • Ekoh, Susan, "Vulnerabilities, Flood Risk Perceptions, and Future Migration Intentions among Coastal Residents of Lagos, Nigeria," Environmental Science (Environmental and Natural Resources Policy), ESF, 2021
  • 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


  • Finocchiaro, Grace, "Between International Priorities and Local Realities: The Complex Social-Political Landscape of Marine Turtle Conservation in El Salvador," Environmental Studies (Environmental Policy), ESF, 2023 (co-chair)
  • Minnick, Danielle, "Drinking Water Vulnerability Mapping: PFOA Contamination in Hoosick Falls, New York," Environmental Science (Water and Wetland Resource Studies), ESF, 2021 (chair)
  • Romero Fernández, Moory M., "Intercultural and Spiritual Approach to Water and Power in the Communitarian State of Bolivia in Times of Climate Change and Political Transformation," Environmental Studies (Environmental Policy), ESF, 2021 (co-chair)

Professional Associations