Master of Environmental Studies Faculty
The core faculty listed below are those who you'll come to know over the course of your studies. They teach full-time in MES. All of them are available to any MES student for advising and project work. Eventually, one of them will become your thesis advisor. You do not need to find your own faculty advisor before you start.
Have a look at our Faculty Research & Publications Page for a better idea of what they do.
MES Director/Dean of Graduate Studies/Faculty
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Lab 1 3018||(360) 867-5831|
|email@example.com||Lab II 2263||(360) 867-6840
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Lab I 3008||(360) 867-5264|
|email@example.com||Lab I 2026||(360) 867-6511
|firstname.lastname@example.org||Lab I 2013||(360) 867-6675|
Kevin is a historian and philosopher of science, with particular interest in the development of the environmental sciences. Kevin studied biology and philosophy at Reed College. After graduating, he spent several years working as a wildlife biologist for Mt. Hood National Forest. His graduate studies at the University of Minnesota focused on history of science and medicine. His historical research concerns scientific efforts to understand the mass extinction of North American megafauna (e.g. mammoth, mastodon, giant ground sloth) around 12,000 years ago, especially the way that various disciplines approach this problem. Kevin currently serves as the MES Director and Faculty member.
Phone: (360) 867-5831
Location: Lab 1 3018
John Kirkpatrick (Core Faculty) comes to MES with a background in oceanographic research and outreach. He trained as a biogeochemist, working to understand links between microbial ecosystems and nutrient chemistry in ocean waters and sediment. His research has evolved to include high-throughput DNA sequencing and analysis to better understand how communities respond to change under selective pressure and influence the flow of nitrogen, carbon, and other elements in natural and perturbed systems. Science communication, including dissemination of current research to undergraduates as well as journalists, is another focus of his. Since coming to Evergreen he has worked in various aspects of the Evergreen curriculum including general chemistry, while continuing to publish work on environmental chemistry and microbiology.
Google Scholar Page: John Kirkpatrick
Phone: (360) 867-6840
Location: Lab 2 2263
Erin Martin is an aquatic biogeochemist whose research focuses on examining the role of rivers in the global carbon cycle. Rivers are large sources of carbon to both the atmosphere and the ocean and are consequently critical to our understanding of the global carbon cycle. While working in the Amazon Basin, her research demonstrated that bacteria living in the river produce high levels of carbon dioxide through respiration, and this carbon dioxide is subsequently lost to the atmosphere. Her current research in the Mekong Basin (i.e. Cambodia) focuses on characterizing the type of organic carbon that is exported by large rivers to the ocean. Specifically, she uses molecular tracers to determine where in the watershed the carbon originates from, and uses radiocarbon analyses to determine the age of this material. Such information is necessary in order to understand the preservation of terrestrial carbon in the ocean, which can affect atmospheric carbon dioxide levels over long time scales. Through her training (Erin received her masters and doctoral degree from the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington), Erin has research experience working in streams, rivers, lakes, and the ocean. Additional interests include ocean acidification, estuarine ecology, evaluating the impacts of dams on downstream processes, and microbial ecology. Her past and present research has been conducted through collaborations with colleagues in Brazil, Cambodia, and the Pacific Northwest.
Phone: (360) 867-5264
Location: Lab I 3008
Mailstop: LAB 1020
Kathleen Saul (Core Faculty) has an interdisciplinary background that spans chemical engineering, business, energy policy, and political ecology. Her electives delve into the energy landscape in the United States as well as what we can learn about effective policy, technology, and social organization from the nations in the Global South that are already feeling the brunt of climate change. Her current research focuses on the socio-political ecology of energy policy and climate change, especially the human dimensions of displacement resulting from large-scale energy projects. In addition, she is developing a project on the role of fences and walls in shaping the power dynamics associated with climate- and development-related projects. Her recent publications focus on graduate environmental studies and using case studies to help students understand nuclear energy and access to electricity on tribal lands.
Phone: (360) 867-6511
Location: Lab 1 2026
John Withey is a terrestrial ecologist with a background in field ornithology. He teaches classes on landscape conservation and management, urban ecology, research design, and quantitative analyses of environmental data. He welcomes student involvement in his research, which has recently focused on the effects of land-use and/or climate change on native wildlife. In one current collaboration he is examining phenological mismatch across multiple trophic levels, with a particular focus on migratory birds. He has also developed and used different conservation prioritization approaches such as conservation return-on-investment, accounting for evolutionary distinctiveness, using sage grouse as an umbrella species, and incorporating climate change into U.S. protected areas. He enjoys using a combination of field-based empirical data, ecological modeling, and spatial and quantitative analyses in his work and incorporating climate change projections into planning for U.S. protected areas.
Weebly: John Withey
Google Scholar Page: John Withey
Phone: (360) 867-6675
Location: Lab 1 2013
Adjunct Faculty supplement the core faculty by teaching some of our electives. They bring an excellent blend of professional and academic experience to the MES program, offering unique perspectives.
|Michael (Mike) Ruth
Sarah Hamman, Ph.D.
Sarah is the Director of Science for Ecostudies Institute, a non-profit organization focused on conservation of native species and their habitats. Her work is aimed at improving the restoration process through rigorous science, careful conservation planning and inclusive partnerships. Sarah holds a B.A. in Biology from Wittenberg University and a Ph.D. in Ecology from Colorado State University, where she studied the effects of fire season and severity on soil nitrogen availability and microbial community dynamics in Colorado and California. After finishing her dissertation, she completed a post-doctoral position at the University of Texas, where she studied the legacy effects of invasive grasses on soil biogeochemistry and microbial ecology in central Florida rangelands. Some of her current projects include conservation rotational grazing impacts on the ecological and economic status of working lands, inoculation of mycorrhizal fungi on native plant growth, integrated treatment effects on invasive grass removal, and effects of indigenous harvesting practices on prairie community resilience. Sarah is also the Vice Chair of the Board for the Olympia Coalition for Ecosystems Preservation and the Chair of the Research and Plant Inventory Committee for the Washington Native Plant Society. At Evergreen, Sarah teaches courses in fire science, restoration ecology and soil ecology.
Shangrila Joshi Wynn, Ph.D.
Dr. Joshi is a Member of the Faculty in Climate Justice at The Evergreen State College. She has a doctoral degree in Environmental Sciences, Studies, and Policy, with Geography as the focal discipline, from the University of Oregon; a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Ohio University; and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Environmental Sciences from St. Xavier’s College, Kathmandu University. Her dissertation 'Justice, Development, and India's Claim to Environmental Space: A Postcolonial Political Ecology of the Atmospheric Commons' examined North-South climate politics leading up to the Copenhagen Climate Conference, focused on the position of India on debates and negotiations to create a fair burden-sharing agreement for global climate mitigation. Her post-Ph.D. research has critically examined the Clean Development Mechanism and REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) as they have been implemented within Nepal, with an eye towards understanding how they are transforming social relations in the local context, particularly as they relate to the forest commons. Shangrila is a Newar from Lalitpur, Nepal, and spent her formative years there, as well as in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Kabul, Afghanistan. She is fluent in Nepali, Nepal Bhasa (Newa Bhaye), Hindi, and English. She is the proud mother of a delightful young man who has cheerfully accompanied her on most research journeys; and who amazes her everyday with his thoughtfulness, intelligence, creativity, and self-discipline.
Phone: (360) 867-6505
Location: Lab 1, 2024
Mike Ruth (Adjunct Faculty) has been teaching Geographic Information System (GIS) courses at The Evergreen State College for five years, mainly in the Masters of Environmental Studies (MES) program. Mike has a MS in Geology from George Washington University and a BA from University of Virginia. Mike is a Certified GIS Professional (GISP). Mike has worked in the field of professional GIS consulting for over 35 years. From 2001 to 2018, Mike worked for the Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri) Inc as a project manager in Esri’s Professional Services division. Mike has consulted on more than 100 GIS projects for various customers, including state and federal government agencies, local cities and municipalities, international organizations (including several United Nations agencies) and major non-profit organizations. Starting in 2010, Mike started Esri’s non-profit professional services practice. In that role, Mike has provided mapping and GIS consulting to international Non-Governmental Organizations (INGO’s) in ~20 countries in Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe.
Phone: (360) 867-6225
Location: Lab 1, 3015