Faculty Profiles

Administration   |   Faculty Bios   |   Affiliated Faculty Bios

Administration Bios


Heidi Hutner
Interim Director

Heidi Hutner teaches and writes about environmental literature and film, environmental justice, ecofeminism, ecocriticism, and media.  Her courses are interdisciplinary and, in addition to traditional academic study, often include hands-on experiential work such as hiking, environmental activism, gardening, and creative writing. Dr. Hutner's journey into environmentalism and sustainability began through the study of the links between toxic pollution and disease in the writing of Rachel Carson and Sandra Steingraber.  This lead to her teaching courses and writing about toxics and cancer in literature and film.  More recently, Hutner's work expanded to include a larger range of environmental issues as they are represented in literature, film and other media, such as global warming and climate change, radioactive nuclear pollution, food/agricultural and animal rights, and general sustainability/energy issues.  Hutner writes regularly for magazines and academic publications on environmentalism,  and her book, Polluting Mama: An Ecofeminist and Cultural Memoir, Demeter Press, is forthcoming in 2013.  Heidi is the faculty advisor for the Environmental Humanities Major in the Sustainability Studies Program.


 Ginny Clancy
Ginny Clancy
Program Coordinator
Ginny Clancy has 25 years of experience at Stony Brook University, including 10 years of administrative support in the Office of the President, and Special Projects Coordinator for the Vice President for Entrepreneurial Programs before joining the Sustainability Studies Program. She was part of the administrative team which launched the programs at the Southampton campus, and was the Operations Manager for the Center for Wine, Food & Culture at Stony Brook. Ginny received her Bachelors degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, as well as her Masters degree in Liberal Studies, and an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Higher Education Administration at Stony Brook University.  

Faculty Bios

Kate AubrechtKatherine Aubrecht
Assistant Professor

Katherine Aubrecht is an organic chemist in the Department of Chemistry. She earned a B.A. in Chemistry from Reed College and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Cornell University. Before coming to Stony Brook, she held faculty positions at Saint Anselm College and the College of the Holy Cross. Her research interests include: biodegradable and biorenewable polymers, environmentally benign synthetic methodology, studies of the effectiveness of "in context" approaches to chemical education, and development of sustainability curricula for chemistry students.

Arlene CassidyArlene Kons Cassidy
Arlene Kons Cassidy received her bachelor's degree in Applied and Theoretical Mathematics and a master's degree in Economics from Stony Brook. She completed her Ph.D. in Administration/Management with a concentration in Economics and Mathematics at Walden University. Dr. Cassidy has several years experience teaching a variety of economics, mathematics and business courses for undergraduate as well as graduate students. She has mentored Ph.D. students and has worked as a consultant in varied research design and statistical analysis projects. She has also served on several committees involving academic evaluation and program development, organized and chaired student activities and worked with student advisement. Through her years in education, she has received several awards from students, educational institutions and the community. 

anthony.jpgAnthony Dvarskas
Assistant Professor
Anthony Dvarskas is an environmental economist in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, with a joint appointment with the Sustainability Studies Program. He completed a Ph.D. in Marine-Estuarine-Environmental Sciences, with a focus on environmental economics, at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received a B.S. in biology and a B.A. in romance languages from Washington and Lee University. Prior to joining Stony Brook, Anthony worked as a research analyst at World Resources Institute, as an economist from 2008 through 2012 in the Office of Response and Restoration at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and then as a statistician in the Environmental-Economic Accounts Section of the United Nations Statistics Division. He has experience teaching both undergraduate and graduate students in the area of environmental economics and policy. 

His research interests lie in the interactions of humans with the coastal environment and the challenges associated with balancing economic development, management of pollution, and the health of the underlying resource base. Anthony is particularly interested in the development of methods that link changes in ecosystem indicators to changes in economic well-being. This includes accounting for the value of final ecosystem services (using monetary and non-monetary approaches) and strategies for quantifying losses resulting from pollution and other human impacts. Coastal restoration approaches as a strategy for maintaining or enhancing ecosystem resilience (and potentially securing future ecosystem services) are an important area of investigation in this regard.

marc bioMarc Fasanella 
Visiting Professor
Dr. Marc Fasanella has been a professor and curator of Art and Design for more than two decades. A Visiting Professor of Environmental Art, Architecture and Design in the Sustainability Studies Program at Stony Brook University his current work focuses on urban environmental initiatives and the advent of an ecological aesthetic. As a Full professor at Long Island University, he was a recipient of the Trustees Award for Scholarly Achievement for his writing and design in the spirit of 19th century luminary William Morris. Dr. Fasanella holds a PhD in Art & Art Education from New York University. His dissertation, The Environmental Design of Jones Beach State Park, delved into the geology, politics, environmental impact and aesthetics of the park’s construction. His Masters degree in Post Secondary Technology and Industrial Education focused on teaching students to industrial skills for socially responsible design. His concentrated MA studies were in passive solar architecture and the British Craft, Design & Technology course of education.

Son of the self taught social realist painter Ralph Fasanella, Dr. Fasanella has curated widely reviewed exhibits that have featured the work of notable artists such as George Rickey, Moses Soyer, Robert Gwathmey, David Burliuk, Jim McMullan, Richard Mayhew and Milton Glaser. His most recent curatorial efforts feature environmental installations made in collaboration with students, colleagues and working artists.
Dr. Fasanella resides on the East End of Long Island with his two children Mia and Michael.

donovanDonovan Finn
Visiting Assistant Professor
Donovan Finn teaches courses in urban planning, urban policy and environmental design. He earned his Ph.D. and master’s degrees in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has been an adjunct professor at Hunter College (CUNY), Milano: The New School for Management and Urban Policy, and Parsons: The New School for Design. He has been a community planner in East St. Louis, IL; worked extensively on growth management and sustainable development policy in the Chicago region, and is currently engaged in a number of community-based planning projects in Queens, NY. His current research focuses on the intersections of urban sustainability, local environmental policy and community-based planning.

James HoffmannJames Hoffmann

Jim Hoffmann is the major director for Ecosystems and Human Impact.  He teaches Ecology and Systems Modeling, having received a Ph.D. in Botany from the University of Wisconsin, and a B.Sc. in Marine Biology from Cornell University. He previously served as Director of the Integrated Biological Sciences Program at the University of Vermont, where he also taught in related disciplines. His research has included evolutionary computation applied to modeling complex biological systems. 

gil.jpgSung-Gheel (Gil) Jang
Sung-Gheel Jang teaches both fundamental and applied topics in geospatial sciences/geographic information systems (GIS). He received his Ph.D. in Regional Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and both an MA in City Planning and a BS in Landscape Architecture from Seoul National University in South Korea.  Before joining Stony Book, he taught at the Cleveland State University and  served as program coordinator of a graduate certificate program in urban geographic information systems. He previously worked as a research associate with the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory and the Expert Planning Information Systems Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His professional experience includes the development of 'ISO 19134:2007 Geographic information - Location Based Services - Multimodal routing and navigation' as a leading contributor. His research interests encompass sharing geospatial information, urban sustainability and public health, and geospatial and human dimension on sustainable development.

Elizabeth Terese Newman
Assistant Professor
Ms. Newman teaches environmental humanities, anthropology and archaeology. Previously, she taught for the University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico and Connecticut College. She has also worked for the National Park Service and the Boston Museum of Science. She received a BA in History and Archaeology from the University of Massachusetts-Boston and a PhD in Anthropology from Yale University. Dr. Newman's research interests include Environmental Archaeology with a specialty in Zooarchaeology and Mesoamerican Historical Archaeology. Currently, she is directing an interdisciplinary research project that examines the social and cultural origins of revolution in Puebla, Mexico.  Her research interests include Mesoamerican Ethnohistory, Historical Archaeology, and Environmental Archaeology with a specialty in Zooarchaeology. Since 2006, I have been directing a research project that examines the social and cultural origins of revolution in Puebla, Mexico using the disciplines of ethnohistory, ethnography, and archaeology. I have just completed a book tentatively titled "Propagating Revolution: Explorations of a Mexican Hacienda" (to be published by the University of Arizona Press in March 2014) which draws on seven years of research in Puebla's Valley of Atlixco.

I have also taught for the University of the Americas in Puebla, Mexico and Connecticut College. Outside of Academia, I worked for the National Park Service and the Boston Museum of Science. I received a BA in History and Archaeology from the University of Massachusetts-Boston and a PhD in Anthropology from Yale University.

sharon.bioSharon Pochron
Sharon Pochron teaches topics in conservation genetics, demography, epidemiology and ecology. In her earthworm lab, she and her students investigate the role of acid rain, soil pH and soil calcium on earthworm biomass. They also study the role of environmental toxins (like Roundup) on earthworm mortality and fertility.  She received her Bachelors from Franklin and Marshall College in both anthropology and biology. She received her Doctorate from University of New Mexico in anthropology and biology, after following baboons around the savannah for two years, collecting data on their foraging behavior.

As a post-doc for Patricia Wright, Pochron published more than 20 peer-reviewed papers about the behavioral ecology of lemurs, tarsiers and baboons. She also studied the levels of heavy metal concentrations in local sea life with Jeffrey Levinton. In her increasingly rare spare time, Dr. Pochron writes about science and animals for Highlights, Science New for Kids, and Muse Magazine.

quigs2013.jpgH. James Quigley Jr.
Jim Quigley's professional and academic disciplines combine urban and regional planning, environmental policy and energy management. He is the faculty Director for the Environmental Design, Policy and Planning (EDP) major. Before joining Stony Brook, Quigley served as Director of the Center for Sustainable Energy at Bronx Community College, CUNY from 2003 to 2007, and Director of the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability from 1998 to 2002. He also taught environmental studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey and Portland State University in Oregon. From 1987 through 1994 he worked as a researcher at the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems headed by the ecologist Barry Commoner at Queens College, CUNY. Quigley earned his BA in social service at Cleveland State University, 1974; an MA in international relations at Ohio University, 1983; an MS in appropriate technology and a Ph.D. in city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania, 1990 and 1993 respectively. He was a VISTA Volunteer 1974-75 and a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Micronesia 1977-80.

sperazzaMichael Sperazza
Assistant Professor
Michael Sperazza is a sedimentary geologist in the Department of Geosciences and the Faculty Director for the Coastal Environmental Studies major and minor. Additionally, he is the Director of the Geospatial Center at Stony Brook and the advisor for the students in the Geospatial Science programs. He earned a Ph.D. in Geology and a Master's in Physical Anthropology from the University of Montana. His teaching experience prior to coming to Stony Brook includes the University of Montana and MCC-Maple Woods in Kansas City, where he was the department chair.

His current research interests focus on paleoclimatic reconstructions, understanding the driving forces of past climate change, and the analytical evaluation of the methods used to measure these data. This research has field work based at Flathead Lake, Montana. Additionally, he is using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to exam climate change in the Turkana Basin, Kenya and role climate has played on evolutionary adaptations of early hominids. On Long Island, Dr. Sperazza is examining the glacial processes that built Long Island and how climate change is impacting the stability of the sediments.


 Affiliated Faculty Bios


William P. Bowman
William Bowman is a plant ecologist specializing in the restoration of degraded ecosytems, particularly tidal and freshwater wetlands.  Dr. Bowman received his PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Columbia University.  He has recently contributed to several large wetland restoration projects within Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge and New York City Parks (including the Elders West, Gerritsen Creek, and Soundview Park wetland restorations).  His major current projects include quantifying rates of tidal wetland loss in Nassau and Suffolk Counties since the mid-1970s and evaluating habitat restoration alternatives for the Peconic Estuary Program.   Other current projects are related to management of Phragmites and other invasive plants, soft erosion control and shoreline stabilization practices, and alewife and migratory fish passage restoration.  


Maria Brown

Maria Brown received a Master of Science in Environmental Science from Long Island University. She received a BS in Geology and a BA in Biology from CUNY  Queens College. She worked as an Environmental Scientist and Certified Professional Wetland Scientist for 10 years in local engineering and consulting firms before becoming a science teacher at Sayville High School in 1999. She is certified in general science, biology and Earth science (7-12), and taught Advanced Placement Environmental Science for 7 years.

She has been the full time Science Research teacher at Sayville for the past 4 years. She engages high school students in an Enrichment course in Costa Rica each February where the main focus of the course is sustainability. Maria has received numerous teaching awards including: Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction (2010), Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Outstanding Teacher Award (OSSP, 2010), Noyce Scholars Teaching Award (2010), Leadership, Research, Service Award (Phi Delta Kappa, 2010), Stewardship & Action Award (South Shore Estuary Reserve, 2008), Fran File Educator Award (Great South Bay Audubon Society, 2007) Environmental Science Teaching Award (US EPA, 2006), News 12/Dowling College Educator of the Month Award (2006), and the High School Science Teacher of the Year Award (Suffolk County Science Teachers Association (2004). Maria is a voting member (Legislative Appointment) on the Suffolk County Wetland Stewardship Committee and the Vice President of the Coastal Research & Education Society of Long Island. She will be completing a 3-year summer fellowship at Brookhaven National Laboratory this summer where she conducts molecular ecology research on dragonflies and southern flying squirrel populations in the Town of Brookhaven.

steve.jpgSteve Englebright
In his long association with Stony Brook University, Steve Englebright has been curator of Geology and has taught numerous courses including Long Island Geology and the Natural History of Long Island.  In the early 1980s, Englebright led the effort to preserve the Long Island Pine Barrens and is credited with articulating the connection between the preservation of the Pine Barrens ecosystem and protection of the sole source aquifer which it overlays as a public health imperative to safeguard the drinking water of 1.5 million residents.

Englebright's interest in the interface of science and society in the policy area of public health led him to public elected office where he served in the Suffolk County Legislature and, since 1994, in the New York State Assembly.  Englebright's background in science and education is unique in the state legislature and his skill at translating technical concepts and findings into meaningful public policy has enabled him to craft laws that have relevance to our lives and health. A leading proponent for the use of clean, renewable energy, Englebright authored New York's solar and wind net-metering laws in the 1990s and successfully pushed in 2008 for the expansion of solar net-metering to include all utility customer classes. Additional legislative accomplishments include the Pesticide Use Registry Act of 1996 and the ban on the sale of baby bottles and other childcare products containing the estrogen-disrupting chemical bisphenol-A (BPA).  Steve Englebright received his BS from the University of Tennessee in 1969 and a Master of Science in Geology (Paleontology/Sedimentology) from Stony Brook.

emily.jpgEmily Fogarty
Emily A. Fogarty teaches courses in demography, geospatial analysis, geographical information systems (GIS) and geography. She earned her Ph.D., master’s and BS degrees in Geography (with minors in statistics and urban/regional planning) from the Florida State University.

Dr. Fogarty has several years experience teaching spatial data analysis and world regional geography courses at the undergraduate level. She has been an adjunct professor at Florida State University, Tallahassee Community College, Dowling College and Suffolk County Community College. She has also worked for the Peconic Estuary Program as the Environmental Analyst working on various projects related to climate change, sea level rise, green infrastructure, coastal resiliency, agricultural inputs into drinking water, water quality related to public health, and issues surrounding valuation of ecosystem services. She is particularly interested in investigating how well public institutions that focus on mediating human/environment relationships are communicating. Her past research focused on spatial and temporal variation in tropical cyclone activity related to large scale climate variability, and she published a book chapter entitled “Network analysis of U.S. hurricanes", in Hurricanes and Climate Change. 

Tara RiderTara Rider
Tara S. Rider is completing her Ph.D. in History at Stony Brook University and is a graduate of Long Island University-Southampton College.  With a multidisciplinary background in history, sustainability, and marine studies, Ms. Rider has taught a variety of courses in which students explore how historical decisions have shaped not only their physical environment, but also society's evolving views of nature.  Tara teaches with not only Sustainability Studies, but also with The School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) and the History Dept. at Stony Brook; and is also an adjunct professor at Suffolk County Community College and previously with Empire State College. 

Her current research focuses on the ways in which gender becomes symbolic of the turmoil involved in colonization.  At once substantive and symbolic, the linkage of gender and race with landscape is about questions of power, culture, and identity. Human responses to the different types of environmental conditions and physical landscapes help to shape social thoughts and attitudes.  She has integrated this research into the classroom by developing a study abroad program in Ireland. 

nickNicholas Scalzo
Nicholas Scalzo teaches leadership and career skill courses.  He received a Ed.D. from George Washington University, Washington, DC, an MBA from New York Institute of Technology, and a BA from St. John's University.  He has extensive experience in Training and Organizational Development.  He has held a range of positions in the corporate world and currently teaches at NYIT,  University of Maryland, George Washington University, and the College of Business at Stony Brook University. 


trina picTrina Weilert

Trina Weilert teaches classes in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  Trina Weilert received her bachelor's degree in Geography and a Masters of Liberal Studies in Mathematics and Natural Sciences from Fort Hays State University. She is completing an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Geosciences and Social Sciences at the University of Missouri Kansas City. She has over ten years of experience serving as a GIS consultant within private industry as well as the government sector. She has been an adjunct professor at Fort Hays State University, Maple Woods Community College, and Longview Community College. She is currently working on a flood inundation mapping study at the USGS in Kansas City, Missouri as well as performing research on urban riparian area landscape change within the Kansas City area.


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