Faculty & Staff

Faculty/Staff


Overview

Barnard College is a liberal arts college for women, affiliated with Columbia University and integrally related to New York City. Barnard has a long tradition of educating undergraduate women in the field of environmental science, including natural resources and conservation. As long ago as 1949, the college had a program in Environmental Conservation and Management. In 1984 the college formed a Department of Environmental Science, following the phase out of the Geology and Geography departments. Peter Bower chaired the department until 1993, when Stephanie Pfirman, now at Arizona State, was hired as chair. Martin Stute joined the department in 1995, and Brian Mailloux in 2005 and they currently serve as Co-Chairs. Terryanne Maenza-Gmelch and Sedelia Rodriguez are Senior Lecturers and Laboratory Directors for the multi-section laboratory course, "Introduction to Environmental Science." Leslie Raucher is our Program Manager and Catherine Cook our Departmental Assistant.

Environmental Science faculty and staff are active researchers who have received support from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, Heineman Foundation, the Keck Foundation, and other institutions. Martin Stute's research interests are in environmental physics and hydrology, Brian Mailloux's are in groundwater microbiology, Peter Bower's are in local environmental issues, Terryanne Maenza-Gmelch's are in forestry and ecology, Sedelia Rodriguez's in igneous petrology.  Leslie Raucher's passion is in campus sustainability.  Catherine's interests are in academic and arts administration. Our retired faculty, Joe Liddicoat and Diane Dittrick, have researched fields from paleomagnetism, environmental ethics, hazards and advocacy.  Our recently retired Co-Chair Stephanie Pfirman's interests are in oceanography and Arctic environmental Science.

Science faculty at Barnard teach 4 courses per year. Class sizes in the Environmental Science Department are generally less than 25 and often less than 10 for upper level electives. Since 1995, the department has placed an emphasis on interactive, multi-media approaches to teaching. Professors are encouraged to integrate into their curricula discussions, team and small group projects, demonstrations, computer data analyses, web-based materials, and field trips.

Student advising is an important part of faculty life at Barnard. The number of seniors graduating with a major in environmental science has increased from 11 to 31 in the past eight years. All Environmental Science majors are required to complete a senior thesis. The Senior Seminar is two semesters of in depth research, which typically includes field, laboratory, and/or data analysis components. For most students, the theis builds on a ten-week summer research experience supported by the Barnard Summer Reseach Institute or other sources.  All senior theses are overseen and reviewed by a member of the department, although many students have research mentors from the greater Columbia or New York community and occasionally more remote regions.

The Barnard Environmental Science Department is allied with and complementary to the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (DEES) at Columbia University. This affiliation means that Barnard faculty serve on graduate student committees and examinations, and Columbia as well as Barnard institutional committees. Martin Stute is also a member of the DEES Faculty and has an office and lab at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO).  Several faculty members conduct joint research projects with LDEO and CU faculty and scientists, and are involved in the Columbia Earth Institute. See Affilliates.