2020-2021 Catalog

Environmental Studies

Humans are rapidly urbanizing the planet, with half the Earth’s population already living in cities. At the same time, our thirst for natural resources is stronger than ever. Managing population expansion, urbanization, and resource demand in a sustainable manner will be humankind’s primary challenge in the decades to come. The Environmental Studies (ENV) and the Urban and Environmental Sustainability (UES) programs prepare students to confront this challenge with broad understanding and creative problem-solving. The curriculum combines courses in natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities to expose students to diverse theories and methodologies.

As a flourishing global center and the most populous city in the United States, New York provides an optimal classroom to probe issues of sustainable urbanization. In ENV and UES courses, students conduct site-based studies using approaches from both natural and social sciences. This cross-disciplinary approach gives students tools to formulate innovative responses to urban problems like waste management, water treatment, air quality, and rapid growth. At the same time, students use New York City as a case study to probe issues of global sustainability. Students also take advantage of unique internship opportunities in public policy, environmental conservation, and urban resource management. By contextualizing environmental issues in their own backyard, students exercise social responsibility and community engagement.

Due to redundancies in the programs, it is not possible to double-major or double-minor in Environmental Studies and Urban & Environmental Sustainability, or to major in one and minor in the other.


Division: Sciences
Division Office: Carson Hall 706
Phone: 212-774-0725
Division Chair: Benedetta Sampoli Benitez, Ph.D.
Division Assistant: TBD

Program Faculty:

As interdisciplinary programs, Environmental Studies and Urban and Environmental Sustainability include faculty from assorted departments. The following full-time faculty teach courses in the programs:

Alessandra Leri

Professor of Chemistry

Coordinator, Environmental Studies and Urban and Environmental Sustainability Programs

B.S., College of William and Mary

M.A., University of Virginia

Ph.D., Princeton University

Carson Hall 603

Phone: 212-517-0661


Ann Aguanno

Professor of Biology

Chair, Department of Natural Sciences

B.A., SUNY, Buffalo

M.S. & Ph.D., New York University

Carson Hall 603

Phone: 212-774-4838


Diana Epelbaum

Assistant Professor of Academic Writing

Director, Academic Writing Program

B.A., New York University

M.S., Pace University

Ph.D., The Graduate School & University Center of CUNY

The Faculty Center 401,

Phone: 646-393-4112


Andreas Hernandez

Associate Professor of International Studies

Chair, Department of International Studies

B.S.W. University of Washington

M.S.W., University of British Columbia

Ph.D., Cornell University

The Faculty Center 500

Phone: 646-393-4132


Matthew Lundquist

Assistant Professor of Biology

B.S., State University of NY College at Oneonta

M.S., Michigan State University

Ph.D., Binghamton University

Carson Hall 603

Phone: 212-517-0667


Magdalena Maczynska

Associate Professor of English and World Literatures

B.A. & M.A., Wroclaw University

Ph.D., The Catholic University of America

The Faculty Center 300

Phone: 646-393-4123


Lia Leon Margolin

Associate Professor of Mathematics

B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Tbilisi State University, Georgia

Carson Hall 614

Phone: 212-517-0650


Philip R. Meyers

Professor of Mathematics

B.S., Brooklyn College, CUNY

M.A. & Ph.D., University of Maryland

Carson Hall 614

Phone: 212-517-0663


Erin O’Connor

Associate Professor of Sociology

Chair, Department of Politics and Human Rights

B.A., Michigan State University

M.A. & Ph.D., New School for Social Research

The Faculty Center 400

Phone: 646-393-4133


Benedetta A. Sampoli Benitez

Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Chair, Division of Sciences

Pre-Health Advisor

B.S. & M.S., University of Florence, Italy

Ph.D., University of California, San Diego

Carson Hall 706L

Phone: 212-517-0653



Kenton Worcester

Professor of Political Science

B.A., University of Massachusetts at Boston

M.A., M.Phil., & Ph.D., Columbia University

The Faculty Center 100

Phone: 646-393-4137