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Dear Friends of ESS,

Welcome back to the new academic year! There is so much excitement bustling in the hallways about summer experiences and new endeavors. Students and faculty have done research and community work literally around half the globe – ranging from Nicaragua to the Caribbean, France, Uganda, SCU and more. You can read about what they accomplished and learned in the articles in this issue.

ESS also welcomes academic year lecturer Dr. Franklin Graham to the team. Dr. Graham received a Ph.D. in geography from West Virginia University and has considerable research experience in Africa. He will be teaching ENVS 22 (Intro to Environmental Studies), ENVS 50 (World Geography), and ENVS 79 (Environmental Thought) in the 15/16 academic year in place of faculty who are on leave. If you have not met him yet, please stop by for a chat.

environews_fall15People of all denominations and people longing for greater environmental stewardship and help for the world’s poor have felt a surge of energy and found plenty of discussion material in Pope Francis’ new encyclical, Laudato Sí. Laudato Sí is a call for inclusive dialogue and action for environmental protection and the world’s poor. Shortly after it came out this summer, I was privileged to see a joint march of faith and environmental groups greeted by Pope Francis on St. Peter’s Square; it was a powerful moment to see these two Climate Change March 2015 movements so demonstratively linked. At the request of SCU  president Father Engh, ESS students Sean Reilly and Blair Libby and ESS faculty John Farnsworth and myself together with other SCU colleagues have spent time this summer organizing a conference named ‘Silicon Valley in conversation with Laudato Sí’. Cardinal Turkson, thought to be one of the main authors of the encyclical, as well as other prominent thinkers will start our dialogue. We would be thrilled to see you there. Please see here for the program and registration information.

In the same vein, the Pope’s recent address to the U.S. Congress was followed by a viewing of the speech and panel discussion here at SCU. ESS assistant professor Hari Mix was a member of that panel and shared information on climate change policy.

More developments are in the works. ESS is currently holding a search for a new tenure track line. Faculty and students are doing exciting research and teaching. We have many upcoming, exciting events,  and we will have more to share in the next edition.

In the meantime - happy reading and happy Fall!

ESS Department Chair

Environews Fall15_1  

ESS students aid Dr. Chris Bacon with surveys of food and water security and starting a water monitoring network in Nicaragua! Read more

Environews Fall15_2  

Maximizing the effectiveness of The Nature Conservancy's conservation effort in the Caribbean. Cori Grainger '16 interned there over the summer. Read more

Environews Fall15_3  

ESS majors Andrew Pascale '16 and Tom Wheeler '16 partner with water purification enterprise in Uganda. Read more

Environews Fall15_4  

Harvesting atmospheric water with solar energy. ESS major Ethan Hayden '16 and a team of engineers build a Peltier cooler.  Read more


ESS students Lauren Cloward '16 and Erika Francks '16 work on the Green Rhinos Program in India through SCU’s Global Fellows.

Environews Fall15_6  

Dr. Virginia Matzek presents at International Congress on Conservation Biology in France. Read more

Environews Fall15_5  

Dr. Leslie Gray walks the Camino de Santiago in an effort to develop an immersive course for SCU students. Read more

Environews Fall15_7  

Dr. Hari Mix and ESS major Sean Reilly '16 examine the dynamics of powerful “atmospheric river” storms in California. Read more


Santa Clara University
Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences
500 El Camino Real
Phone: 408-551-7086