Faculty

Full-Time Faculty


Calla Schmidt

Department Chair
(415) 422-4460

Calla Schmidt received a PhD in Earth Science from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research spans physical hydrology and biogeochemistry and aims to understand the connection between hydrology and the biogeochemical cycling of nutrients. She has done research on nutrient cycling during groundwater recharge, nitrogen pollution in highway runoff and presently she is working on a project investigating the transfer of nutrients discharged by wastewater treatment plants into the base...

Education:

PhD, Earth Science, University of California, Santa Cruz

Tracy Benning

Associate Professor
(415) 422-5445

Professor Benning received her PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder in Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology. Her research interests include landscape ecology, urban ecology and resource conservation and management. Her most recent research focuses on remote sensing and GIS technologies in the study of tropical rainforest dynamics in Hawaii and riparian corridors in southern African savannas.

Education:

PhD, University of Colorado

John Callaway

Professor
(415) 422-5702

John Callaway received his PhD in Oceanography and Coastal Sciences from Louisiana State University in 1994. Prior to his position at USF, John was the Associate Director of the Pacific Estuarine Research Laboratory (PERL) at San Diego State University. At USF, Professor teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in introductory environmental science, applied ecology, wetlands, and restoration ecology. His research expertise is in wetland restoration, specifically wetland plant ecology and...

Education:

PhD, Louisiana State University, 1994

Expertise:

Wetland restoration, Wetland plant ecology and sediment dynamics

Deneb Karentz

Professor
(415) 422-2831

Professor Karentz is a marine biologist with expertise in plankton ecology and ultraviolet photobiology. Her work has focused on investigating the ecological implications of Antarctic ozone depletion, specifically identifying strategies for protection from UV exposure and understanding mechanisms for repair of UV–induced damage. She has over 30 years of field experience in Antarctica. In addition to research, Deneb mentors early-career scientists through the US National Science Foundation (NSF...

Education:

PhD, University of Rhode Island, MS, Oregon State University

William Karney

Professor
(415) 422-5842

William Karney received his BA from Haverford College and his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles. Prior to his position at USF he did postdoctoral work at the University of Washington and the University of California, Berkeley. At USF, William teaches organic chemistry and environmental chemistry. His research, performed in collaboration with Professor Claire Castro, involves the use of computational chemistry to understand the structures, energetics, and...

Education:

University of California, Los Angeles, PhD in Chemistry, 1994, Haverford College, BA in Chemistry, 1986

Amalia Kokkinaki

Assistant Professor
(415) 422-4117

An assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Science since 2016, Dr. Amalia Kokkinaki holds a PhD degree from the University of Toronto in Canada and joined USF after completing her postdoctoral research at Stanford University. She is an environmental engineer with expertise in groundwater flow, fate and transport of contaminants, and biological treatment of organic pollutants. Her research is in the nexus of mathematical and statistical modeling of the physical, chemical and...

Education:

University of Toronto, PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2013, University of Toronto, MASc, Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2007, Technical University of Crete, BS and MS, Environmental Engineering, 2005

Expertise:

Groundwater flow and transport, Contaminant hydrogeology, Environmental chemistry and microbiology, Statistical modeling and data assimilation, Bayesian inverse modeling

John Lendvay

Associate Professor
(415) 422-5730

John M. (Jack) Lendvay received his MSE and PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan and is a licensed Civil Engineer with the State of California. His undergraduate studies were completed at Hiram College where he learned the value of a liberal arts education and received his BA in Chemistry. Dr. Lendvay's research interests focus primarily on the relationships between land use and water quality in coastal streams. He is currently working with colleagues and...

Education:

PhD, University of Michigan

Allison Luengen

Associate Professor
(415) 422-4332

Allison Luengen received her MS in Marine Sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). She then completed her PhD in Environmental Toxicology, also at UCSC. Following her PhD, she moved to the East Coast for postdoctoral research with Dr. Nicholas Fisher in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University. As a postdoc, Professor Luengen worked with radioisotopes to look at how methylmercury bioavailability to phytoplankton was affected by dissolved...

Education:

PhD, Environmental Toxicology, University of California, Santa Cruz, MS, Marine Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz

Thomas MacDonald

Associate Professor
(415) 422-5895

Tom MacDonald received his PhD from Stanford University. Professor MacDonald's research focuses on designing computer simulations of problems of pollution migration and using the results to engineer systems to contain pollutants and prevent further spreading. He has also published his research on the neural network application for bioremediation. Recently he has co-authored papers dealing with environmental risk and the precautionary principle.

Education:

PhD, Stanford University

AJ Purdy

Assistant Professor
(415) 422-6553

Dr. Purdy’s research leverages satellite observations, models, and geospatial analysis to study hydrology, water resources, ecosystems, and the environment from farm fields and watersheds to global scales. Before arriving at USF, Dr. Purdy was a postdoctoral scholar at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. His roles included supporting the validation state-of-the art satellite observations with on-ground observations, developing open-source software to ease the use of NASA data to support water...

Education:

UC Irvine, PhD in Earth System Science 2018, CSU Monterey Bay, MS in Watershed Science and Policy 2012, University of San Diego, BS/BA in Industrial and Systems Engineering 2008

April Randle

Assistant Professor
(415) 422-6619

April M. Randle’s research is broadly focused on how ecological factors shape the behavioral and morphological traits of species and influence species' distributions and interactions. She has conducted research on a range of taxa including: tropical trees (forest restoration), primates (foraging behavior), temperate flora (plant ecology, mating system evolution, plant-pollinator interactions), marine mammals (population size estimation of large cetaceans), tropical freshwater fish (adaptations...

Education:

B.S. The Evergreen State College, 1994, MSc. University of Florida, 2001, PhD. University of Pittsburgh, 2009

David Saah

Professor & Director of Geospatial Analysis Lab
(415) 422-4316

Dr. Saah has been broadly trained as an environmental scientist with expertise in a number of areas including: landscape ecology, ecosystem ecology, hydrology, geomorphology, ecosystem modeling, natural hazard modeling, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS) and geospatial analysis. He has used these skills to conduct research primarily at the landscape level in a variety of systems. Dr. Saah has participated in research projects throughout the United States and Internationally....

Expertise:

Ecosystem ecology, Landscape ecology, Hydrology, Geomorphology, Ecosystem modeling, Natural hazard modeling, Remote sensing, Geographic information systems (GIS) , Geospatial analysis

Stephanie Siehr

Professor
(415) 422-5986

Professor Siehr works on energy–based solutions to multiple environmental problems–from local air pollution to global climate change–combining engineering with tools from political economy and organizational analysis. With a geographical focus on China, Japan, and the US, her research and teaching examine energy and carbon saving strategies; emissions inventories; city climate action; environmental and energy policy analysis; urban sustainability, international cooperation; and environmental...

Education:

PhD, MS, Environmental Engineering and Policy, Stanford University , SB, Chemical Engineering, MIT

Part-Time Faculty


Emeriti Faculty


Raymond James Brown

Professor

Raymond James (Jim) Brown joined the USF faculty in fall 1970 as an Assistant Professor in the Biology Department. Over his 37 years at USF, Jim taught General Biology, Organic Evolution, Comparative Anatomy, Vertebrate Embryology, and California Wildlife. Later in his career, he directed the Graduate Environmental Management Program and helped establish the Environmental Science Department. He was the first chair of the department and taught Environmental Science and Environmental Monitoring....