Co-directors

Julia Berazneva is an Assistant Professor of Economics and affiliate faculty at Environmental Studies Program at Middlebury College. She teaches courses in microeconomic theory, climate, environmental, and development economics. Her research focuses on environmental and resource economics, with particular interest in human-environment interactions, sustainable development, environmental policy impacts, and the evolution of environmental behaviors and preferences, both in developing countries and USA.

Peter Hans Matthews is a Charles A. Dana Professor of Economics at Middlebury College and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Aalto University in Helsinki, Finland. He teaches courses in poverty and inequality, labor and public economics, macroeconomics and game theory, and does research in behavioral economics, labor economics, political economy, inequality, and philanthropy. He has also published two recent papers on the measurement of economic income and welfare in the presence of environmental disamenities.

Michelle McCauley is is a Professor of Psychology and affiliate faculty at Environmental Studies Program at Middlebury College, and she is the lead advisor for the conservation psychology environmental studies major at Middlebury. Her teaching and scholarship explore the role of psychological theories in understanding human behavior within the workplace, legal system, and the environment. Michelle regularly collaborates with the Office of Sustainability Integration and community partners to foster environmental change.

Affiliates

Jeffrey Carpenter is the James Jermain Professor of Political Economy at Middlebury College and a research fellow at IZA (Institute for Labor Economics). He is currently (or has been) an Associate Editor at Management Science, the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics and the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. His research interests include experimental and behavioral economics with applications to labor, public, development, and environmental economics. While pursuing these interests he has conducted lab and field experiments in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia.

Akhil Rao is an Assistant Professor of Economics and affiliate faculty at Environmental Studies Program at Middlebury College. He teaches courses on statistics, environmental economics, and space economics. His research focuses on environmental and computational economics, with a particular interest in coupled human-natural systems, integrated assessment modeling, and policy design.

Andrea Robbett is an Associate Professor of Economics at Middlebury College. She is a behavioral and experimental economist whose research involves conducting laboratory and online experiments to test models of human behavior. Her work has addressed questions involving voting, cooperation in groups, information avoidance, affective polarization, partisan expression, labor economics, public economics, and financial decision making. She is a member of the executive committee of the Economic Science Association, associate editor of Oxford Open Economics, director of Middlebury’s experimental lab (MiddExLab), and the co-author of a forthcoming textbook, Game Theory and Behavior.

Michael Roy is the L. Douglas and Laura J. Meredith Dean of the Library at Middlebury College. A member of the Energy 2028 Steering Committee, he is interested in strategies for collecting and analyzing energy data as a means to increase accountability and to identify strategies for promoting positive change in how institutions use energy. 

Virginia Thomas is an Assistant Professor of Psychology and affiliate faculty of Environmental Studies at Middlebury College. Her current research focuses on solitude and well-being across the lifespan, examining solitude as a resource and a skill in an increasingly globalized, urban, and social media saturated world. She teaches courses in developmental psychology and cultural psychology, as well as a seminar that explores the intersections of nature, technology, and the self.

Andrea Vaccari is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Middlebury College. Aside from introductory courses and senior seminar, he also teaches courses on image and signal processing, and embedded systems (as in: how does my smart thermostat work?). His research focuses on model-based analysis of datasets with the goal of detecting, tracking, and analyzing “objects” or “events” within such datasets, extract and analyze their most important features, and achieve a better understanding of their behavior.

Nadine Canter Barnicle is the Community Engagement Specialist for The New Perennials Project and co-teaches The Perennial Turn in Ag and Culture. She is also a Professor of the Practice in the Environmental Studies Program at Middlebury College.  Nadine has a 30-year career in strategic community engagement, journalism, advising, mentoring, facilitation, and teaching that began with a master’s degree thesis focused on the collaborative top down-bottom up community process to protect river segments under the Federal Wild and Scenic River Act.  Much of Nadine’s work focuses on strategic coalition building in the areas of land use, transportation, air quality, conservation, and climate change. 

Kate Crawford is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Science in the Environmental Studies Program at Middlebury College. Her research draws on principles of public health and environmental science to understand connections between human health and the world around us. Her research focuses on how chemicals found in consumer products enter the environment and impact the health of people and wildlife. Recent and ongoing areas of research include: effects of endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC) exposure on breastfeeding and metabolism; per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) exposure from ski and snowboard wax; and seafood consumption as a route of human exposure to environmental contaminants.

Jessica L’Roe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Middlebury College. She studies land use in regions undergoing rapid development, focusing on ways that conservation and development policies influence land cover and biodiversity on the one hand, as well as local well-being, wealth distribution, and land access on the other. Her research is geared toward informing environmental policy and sited around protected areas in the Amazon Basin and in East and Central Africa. She teaches courses about research methods and geographic perspectives on environmental change.

Minna Brown ’07 is the Director of Middlebury’s new Climate Action Capacity Project, through which she supports students in developing the knowledge, motivation, and capacity needed to tackle climate change. Over the last fifteen years, she has led the design and implementation of collaborative and impactful programs for higher education institutions, climate action NGOs, and businesses. Before returning to Middlebury, Minna served as the Director of Academic Affairs at the Yale School of the Environment, working with faculty, staff, students, and alumni to reimagine the curriculum, largely focused on the expansion of the school’s climate, energy, environmental justice, and professional development offerings.