Faculty Affiliates

Chris Abram

Professor of English
Email: cabram@nd.edu

Chris Abram is interested in Old English and Old Norse literature, especially poetry. His most recent book, Evergreen Ash: Ecology and Catastrophe in Old Norse Myth and Literature, reads Norse mythology as an anticipatory echo of the ecological crises of modernity, and challenges misconceptions about the relative “greenness” of premodern and non-Christian European cultures. He teaches an environmentally-focused undergraduate class on postapocalyptic literatures, and a graduate seminar on attitudes towards Nature across a range of medieval texts

Xavier Navarro Aquino

Assistant Professor of English
Email: xnavarr2@nd.edu

Xavier Navarro Aquino was born and raised in Puerto Rico. Named one of the writers to watch for fall 2021 by Publishers Weekly, Navarro Aquino is the author of the novel, Velorio out from HarperVia/HarperCollins and HarperCollins Español in January 2022. His fiction has appeared in Tin House magazine, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, and Guernica. His poetry has appeared in The Caribbean Writer and is anthologized in Thicker Than Water: New writing from the Caribbean by Peekash Press. Navarro Aquino has been awarded scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a MacDowell Fellowship, and an American Council of Learned Societies Emerging Voices Fellowship at Dartmouth College.

J. Matthew Ashley

Associate Professor of Theology
Email: jashley@nd.edu

I grew up in Colorado and have degrees in philosophy and physics (undergrad) and theology (PhD, University of Chicago Divinity School). I have written on Latin American liberation theology, German political theology, and, more recently on the history of Christian spirituality and science and religion. I have become increasingly interested in the history of nature writing and environmental activism in the United States and its possible points of intersection and overlap with Christian spirituality and ecotheology. I am married with three adult children and return often to Colorado to camp in the back country (particularly in dark sky regions where I tote my telescope) and backpack. I teach courses at Notre Dame on science and religion, Christian mysticism and contemplative ecology.

Tobias Boes

Professor and Chair of German and Russian Languages and Literature
Email: tboes@nd.edu

Tobias Boes is Professor of German, and Chair of the Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures at the University of Notre Dame. His work in the environmental humanities focuses on attempts to articulate planet-wide forms of consciousness and solidarity during the latter half of the twentieth century, and on the history of German environmental thought.

Cat Bolten

Associate Professor of Anthropology and Peace Studies; Director of Doctoral Studies
Email: cbolten@nd.edu

Cat Bolten is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Peace Studies. She has written two books about post-war development in Sierra Leone, and her current book project involves an examination of the adaptation struggles of humans and chimpanzees in disappearing landscapes in rural West Africa.

Annie Gilbert Coleman

Associate Professor of American Studies
Email: acolema3@nd.edu

Annie Gilbert Coleman’s research focuses on the cultural and environmental history of outdoor sports and recreation, and she teaches courses on Wilderness, Sports, and national parks as well as 20th c history. Early publications include “The Unbearable Whiteness of Skiing” (Pacific Historical Review, 1994) and the book Ski Style: Sport and Culture in the Rockies (Kansas, 2004). More recent articles include “River Rats in the Archive: Nature, Texts, and a Moving History of the Colorado River” and “Shredding Mountain Lines: GoPro, Mobility, and the Spatial Politics of Outdoor Sports.” Her second book examines how professional guides and their labor have created American wilderness as a site of scenic adventure and sport and will be published by Oxford University Press.

Anna Geltzer

Assistant Director of Reilly Center
Email: ageltzer@nd.edu

I am an STS scholar, which means I use qualitative methods from humanistic and social science disciplines to examine the relationship between science and its political, social and economic context. What counts as valid scientific evidence? What are the appropriate methods for producing such evidence? And what power relations leave their mark on the methodologies that come to inform actual scientific practice? At Notre Dame, I direct the Science, Technology and Values Minor, the Dual Degree Program in Engineering and Arts & Letters, and assist with the HPS and GLOBES graduate programs as well as the new minor in Health, Humanities and Society.

Robert Goulding

Director of Reilly Center; Director of HPS; Associate Professor of Program of Liberal Studies
Email: rgouldin@nd.edu

Robert Goulding is a historian of science, with research interests focused on mathematics and natural philosophy in the early-modern period. As director of the graduate History and Philosophy of Science program, and of the Reilly Center, he is particularly interested in environmental humanities as part of the formation of graduate and undergraduate students with interests in the sciences and the liberal arts.

Debra Javeline

Associate Professor of Political Science
Email: javeline@nd.edu

Debra Javeline is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame and affiliated with the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative. Her research interests include mass political behavior, survey research, Russian politics, sustainability, environmental politics, and climate change. Much of her work focuses on climate change adaptation, or the reduction of vulnerability to climate impacts, and she is currently exploring coastal homeowner motivations to take action to reduce their risk from rising seas, hurricanes, and other hazards. She is also working on a book project, Unadapted: A Portrait of Unchanged Humans on a Changed Planet.

Sisi Meng

Assistant Teaching Professor of Economics and Technology for Development (Keough School of Global Affairs)
Email: smeng@nd.edu

Sisi Meng is an assistant teaching professor of economics and technology for development in the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame. She also is a faculty affiliate of Notre Dame’s Environmental Change Initiative. Meng earned a PhD in economics from Florida International University in 2016 and a master’s degree in policy economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 2011.

Meng’s research focuses on topics in environmental and natural resource economics, with emphasis on the economic aspects of climate change adaptation and natural hazard risk mitigation. She also focuses on the interdisciplinary studies between labor, health, development, socioeconomics, and geography to integrate multiple disciplines and techniques. She is particularly interested in applying geographic information system (GIS) techniques to spatial cost-benefit analysis of complex environmental issues. Meng aims at bringing rigorous theoretical and empirical analysis to improve climate-related decisions, and consequently improve social well-being.

Meng is currently working on several projects including households’ preferences for sea level rise adaptation policies, the socioeconomic impacts and perceptions of coastal vulnerability, and resilience of critical infrastructures in the presence of hurricanes. Prior to coming to Notre Dame, she was a faculty member in economics at the University of Colorado Denver.

Philip Sakimoto

Director of the Minor in Sustainability
Email: psakimot@nd.edu

Dr. Phil Sakimoto is Director of the Minor in Sustainability at the University of Notre Dame with responsibilities that include overseeing student progress and senior capstone projects, developing campus-wide sustainability-related curricula, teaching sustainability courses, engaging in related public outreach, and developing community partnerships. He also works within the Catholic Church on matters of creation care, recently assisting the Catholic Climate Covenant in planning and carrying out their national roll-out of the Vatican’s Laudato Si’ Action Platform, and, previously, providing planetarium programming (and a planetarium!) for the Vatican’s exhibition Energy for Our Common Home at the 2017 International Expo in Kazakhstan.

He formerly worked for NASA as the Program Manager and Acting Director of their national Space Science Education and Public Outreach Program as well as being the manager of a wide variety of NASA student development and diversity programs. At Notre Dame he has been the Director of the Program for Academic Excellence in the Center for University Advising and a diversity and outreach specialist for the Department of Physics. Dr. Sakimoto received his B.A. in physics from Pomona College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in astronomy from UCLA.

Joshua Specht

Assistant Professor of History
Email: jspecht@nd.edu

Joshua Specht is an environmental and business historian of the United States. His first book, Red Meat Republic: A Hoof-to-Table History of How Beef Changed America, examines the history and legacy of industrial beef.

Meghan Sullivan

Professor of Philosophy; Director of Notre Dame Institute of Advanced Study
Email: msulli36@nd.edu

Meghan Sullivan is the Wilsey Family Collegiate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS). Her research tends to focus on philosophical problems concerning time, modality, rational planning, value theory, and religious belief (and sometimes all five at once). Her first book, Time Biases, came out with Oxford in 2018. Her second book (with Paul Blaschko), The Good Life Method, is due with Penguin in January 2022. Find out more at meghansullivan.org.

Julia Adeney Thomas

Associate Professor of History
Email: jthomas2@nd.edu

Julia Thomas grew up in the coal country of southwest Virginia, and her love of those Appalachian mountains informs her teaching and research. Today she works to bring Anthropocene sciences together with Anthropocene histories. Her publications include Reconfiguring Modernity: Concepts of Nature in Japanese Political Ideology (winner of the AHA John K. Fairbank Prize); The Anthropocene: A Multidisciplinary Approach, written with geologists Mark Williams and Jan Zalasiewicz; and Strata and Three Stories with Jan Zalasiewicz. She is also editor of four books, Japan at Nature’s Edge: The Environmental Context of a Global Power; Rethinking Historical Distance; Visualizing Fascism: The Twentieth-Century Rise of the Global Right; and Altered Earth: Getting the Anthropocene Right as well as over thirty-five essays including three in the American Historical Review: ““The Cataracts of Time: Wartime Images and the Case of Japan,”” ““Not Yet Far Enough: The Environmental Turn”” and ““History and Biology in the Anthropocene: Questions of Scale, Questions of Value.“” With colleagues around the world, Thomas seeks to bridge the divide between the humanities and the sciences to address our global environmental crisis.

Jessica McManus Warnell

Associate Teaching Professor of Management & Organization (Mendoza College of Business)
Email: jmcmanus@nd.edu

Jessica McManus Warnell teaches the required business ethics course at the Mendoza College of Business, and courses in sustainability, women and leadership, and business in Japan. Her current research explores 1) business students’ values, and 2) the intersection of business, society, and the natural environment in the wake of the Fukushima disaster. Jessica is a past recipient of the United Nations PRME North America Chapter Award for Teaching Excellence. Among other publications is her book Engaging Millennials for Ethical Leadership: What Works for Young Professionals and Their Managers (2015), part of the Giving Voice to Values on Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility collection.