Program Director

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David Silver is associate professor and director of the environmental studies program at the University of San Francisco. He teaches classes on urban agriculture, food and culture, and digital storytelling. Since 2012, David has been researching, writing, and building a multimedia history of the farm at Black Mountain College, paying special attention to the social practices on the farm, including collective action among students, faculty, and staff, town-gown collaborations, and challenged...

  • PhD, American Studies, University of Maryland
  • BA, English, University of California, Los Angeles

Full-Time Faculty

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Dr. Alfonso A. Aranda is a passionate scholar-activist dedicated to advancing environmental justice and community engagement. He holds a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of California, Davis, where his research has focused on addressing environmental health disparities in agriculturally-structured and farmworker communities. Dr. Aranda's expertise lies in conducting community-based participatory research (CBPR) to collaboratively assess health risks, exposure to carcinogens, and...

  • UC Davis, PhD in Geography, 2023
  • UC Davis, BA in History, 2016
  • Sacramento City College, AA in History, 2013
  • Community engagement and collaboration
  • Teaching and mentorship
  • Environmental health assessment
  • Policy analysis
  • Presentations and public speaking
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Professor Rachel Brahinsky teaches in the Urban and Public Affairs graduate program, the undergraduate Urban Studies program, and the Politics Department. She earned a PhD in geography from UC Berkeley, where she focused on the human and social geography of cities, with an emphasis on the politics of race and place. Her research and teaching center around the challenges of race and inequality in the context of rapidly changing American cities, with a longtime focus on the San Francisco Bay Area...

  • PhD, University of California, Berkeley
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Brian Dowd-Uribe is an associate professor in the international studies department at the University of San Francisco. His current research explores the social, agro-ecological, and economic dimensions of food, agriculture, and water policy, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and Central America. Specifically Professor Dowd-Uribe’s research examines whether and to what extent transgenic crops benefit small farmers, the role of decentralized water governance committees in mitigating water-related...

  • UC Santa Cruz, PhD in Environmental Studies, 2011
  • UC Santa Cruz, MA in Environmental Studies, 2008
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Adrienne Johnson is a human geographer who earned a PhD from Clark University. Her dissertation looked at the political ecology and critical resource geographies of Ecuador’s palm oil industry with a specific focus on Afro-Ecuadorian, smallholder, and company participation in the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification scheme. She received an MA in geography and a BA in international development studies and political science from York University, Canada. Before joining the...

  • PhD, Geography, Clark University
  • MA, Geography, York University
  • BA (Hons), International Development Studies, York University
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Vijaya Nagarajan is an associate professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and in the Program of Environmental Studies. In addition to teaching at the University of San Francisco, she has also taught at the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard University.

Vijaya's academic interests weave among the fields of Hinduism, Environment, Gender, Ritual, and the Commons. She received her PhD in South Asian Language and Literatures from UC Berkeley. Vijaya has received...

  • PhD, South Asian Language and Literatures, UC Berkeley
  • MA, South Asian Studies, UC Berkeley
  • BS Political Economy of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley
  • College of Engineering, Honor’s Program, Women...

Tanu Sankalia is a tenured full professor in the Department of Art + Architecture, and coordinates the Urban Studies Concentration within the Environmental Studies Program. He teaches courses in urban planning and design, architectural and urban history, and architectural design. He was trained in urban design at UC Berkeley, and in architecture at the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad, from where he graduated with a gold medal for the best diploma thesis.

Professor Sankalia's research and...

  • UC Berkeley, Master of Urban Design, 1999
  • School of Architecture, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India, Bachelor of Architecture, 1994
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Melinda Stone is an interdisciplinary artist who has been engaging in community-based projects for most of her life.

  • Permaculture Design Teaching Certificate, Permaculture Institute of North America, 2021
  • UC San Diego, PhD,  2003
  • Cal Poly Humboldt, BA, 1989
  • Permaculture
  • Community creation
  • Nature immersion practices
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Stephen Zavestoski received his BA from the University of Notre Dame, and his MA and PhD from Washington State University.

He teaches courses in the area of Environmental Sociology. Dr. Zavestoski's research areas include environmental sociology, social movements, sociology of health and illness, and urban sustainability. He has published more than 40 articles and book chapters and co–edited Social Movements in Health (2005, Blackwell) and Contested Illnesses: Citizens, Science, and Health...

  • PhD, Washington State University
  • MA, Washington State University
  • BA, University of Notre Dame

Part-Time Faculty

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Kimberly Carfore is an adjunct professor of environmental studies and theology and religious studies. Her research interests include wilderness, dualism, ecofeminism, philosophy, and representing the voice of the Earth. Professor Carfore is the author of “Ecopsychology without Nature-Culture Dualism” (2014), “Doing Theology with Snakes: Face-to-Face with the Wholly Other” (2018), and co-author of “Planetary Love: Ecofeminist Perspectives on Globalization” (2012).

  • California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), PhD in Philosophy & Religion: Ecology, Spirituality & Religion, 2019
  • California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), MA in Philosophy & Religion...
  • Ecofeminism
  • Wilderness
  • Religion & Ecology
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Novella Carpenter is the author of Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer and The Essential Urban Farmer. She attended UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, where she studied with Michael Pollan. She lives in Oakland where she runs GhostTown Farm, a 1/10 of an acre homestead with an orchard, honey bees, chickens, and lots of vegetables.

  • UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism

Sam Mickey is an adjunct professor in the Theology and Religious Studies department at the University of San Francisco. He has also taught at Dominican University of California, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and the California Institute of Integral Studies, and he has worked for the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale. His research and teaching interests include environmental ethics, religion and ecology, and integral ecology.

  • California Institute of Integral Studies, PhD in Philosophy and Religion, 2012
  • University of North Texas, MA in Interdisciplinary Studies, 2006
  • University of North Texas, BA in Philosophy and...