Environment Initiative Executive Director
Clayton R. Hess Professor of Law
Adell L. Amos holds the Clayton R. Hess Professorship at the University of Oregon School of Law and serves as the Executive Director of the UO’s Environment Initiative. She teaches regularly in the nationally ranked Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program, including courses in Water Law, Federal Administrative Law, Environmental Conflict Resolution, and Oregon Water Law and Policy. Her teaching and scholarship have been recognized by the UO Fund for Faculty Excellence and the Hollis Teaching Awards. Her most recent research focuses on the integration of law and policy into hydrologic and socioeconomic modeling for the Willamette River Basin through a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary effort funded by the NOAA and the National Science Foundation.
Professor Amos earned her B.A in 1995 from Drury College and her J.D. in 1998 from the University of Oregon (Coif). She is a member of the Missouri bar, admitted in 1999. After law school, Amos clerked on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for The Honorable Procter Hug, Jr. (then Chief Judge). Amos first joined the faculty in 2005 after practicing environmental and natural resources law with the U.S. Department of Interior. In 2008, Amos returned to Washington DC to serve in the Obama Administration as the Deputy Solicitor for Land and Water Resources at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Amos returned to the UO School of Law in 2011 as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Amos’ research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy, Nature Sustainability, as well as many law reviews and journals. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Hewlett Foundation’s Open Rivers Fund. In recognition of her work on water law and policy, she served as a Distinguished Visiting Professor in Environmental Law at Vermont Law School and has been a frequent keynote speaker and panelist for a wide range of organizations including the National Judicial College, Washington University, American Water Resources Association, the Oregon Legislative Caucus, the Federal District Court Conference, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, and the Wingspread Foundation. Her work has received funding from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Commerce – NOAA Fisheries, Natural Resources Defense Council, the NorthLight Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of the Interior – Bureau of Land Management, Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, among others.
Associate Professor, English
Kirby Brown is an Associate Professor of Native American Literatures in the Department of English, the Director of Native American and Indigenous Studies, and an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation. His book, Stoking the Fire: Nationhood in Cherokee Writing, 1907-1970, examines how four Cherokee writers variously remembered, imagined, and enacted Cherokee nationhood in the period between Oklahoma statehood in 1907 and tribal reorganization in the early 1970s. It was awarded an Andrew W. Mellon grant in 2018, earned the Thomas J. Lyons Award for best monograph in Western American Literary Studies by the Western Literature Association in 2019, and received Honorable Mention for the MLA Prize for Studies in Native American Literatures, Cultures, and Languages by the Modern Language Association in 2020.
Associate Professor, Law
Environment Initiative Senior Faculty Fellow
Greg Dotson is an Associate Professor of Law and a faculty member of the Environmental and Natural Resources (ENR) Law Center at the University of Oregon School of Law. Dotson teaches Environmental Law, Climate Change Law and Policy, and the Environmental Policy Practicum. In his role with the ENR Law Center, Dotson serves as the faculty advisor for the Energy Law and Policy Project. Dotson earned an undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oregon School of Law.
After serving as the lead energy and environmental policy staffer for U.S. Representative Henry A. Waxman from 1996 to 2014, Dotson was invited back to Congress in 2021 as the Democratic Chief Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. As Chief Counsel, Dotson has pioneered legislation including the Build Back Better Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. He continues to influence the Senate to take direct and swift action on the climate crisis and other environmental issues, all while connecting Oregon Law students to his policy work and empowering them to make sustainable change.
Stephanie LeMenager is the Barbara and Carlisle Moore Distinguished Professor in English and American Literature, and Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon.
Her work on climate change and the humanities has been featured in The New York Times, ClimateWire, Science Friday, NPR, the CBC, and other public venues. Her publications include the books Living Oil: Petroleum Culture in the American Century, which defines the 20th-century United States as the era of petromodernity, Manifest and Other Destinies, a monograph about the alternatives to Manifest Destiny that might have developed in the US West, Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century, a co-authored essay collection for scholars, and Teaching Climate Change in the Humanities, a co-authored collection for teachers interested in bringing climate change into humanities classrooms. LeMenager's four-volume collection of the best scholarly articles in Literature and Environment, co-edited with Professor Teresa Shewry, came out in May 2020.
She is currently finishing two book projects, on fictionality in the era of climate change and the public lands.
Associate Director, Environmental Studies Program
Environment Initiative Director of Academic Programs
Erin E. Moore is a professor in the Department of Architecture and in the Environmental Studies Program. Moore works in teaching, research and design practice on the environmental context of building construction and on the ways that buildings shape and reflect cultural constructions of nature. She uses her architecture practice FLOAT architectural research and design as a testing ground for designing with explicit intentions for the ecological context of buildings. Recent work explores the architectural space of fossil fuel consumption, biogenic carbon sequestration, and climate change.
In the face of serious global challenges, Moore believes that it is critical to develop aggressive, creative innovators who can connect the power of design with good science and rigorous ethical thinking. In her own teaching, Moore works to bring together processes of design and innovation with the science of sustainability in collaborations with chemists, ecologists, and biologists.
Moore is a graduate of the University of California-Berkeley (Master of Architecture) and of Smith College (BA, American Studies) and is a registered architect in Oregon and Arizona.
Philip H. Knight Chair and Professor, Journalism and Communication, Psychology
Philip H. Knight Chair Ellen Peters is a Professor in the School of Journalism and Communication and the Psychology Department at the University of Oregon. She is also Director of both the Center for Science Communication Research and the Cognitive and Affective Influences in Decision making (CAIDe) Lab at the University of Oregon. After earning undergraduate degrees in Chemical Engineering and Marketing from the University of Pennsylvania, Peters earned a Ph.D. and Master’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Oregon.
Peters is an academic expert in decision making and the science of science communication. Her research is primarily focused on how people judge and decide and how evidence-based communication can boost comprehension and improve decisions in health, financial, and environmental contexts. Recently, the CAIDe Lab, under Peters, has created studies examining individuals’ changing perception of Coronavirus, the dehumanization of immigrants among different demographic groups, and the effectiveness of tobacco warning labels.
Peters has received the NIH Merit Award for “exceptional advances in integrating cognitive, affective, and social processes into cancer control research.” Additionally, the European Association for Decision Making honored Peters with the Jane Beattie Scientific Recognition Award for her innovative contributions to decision research.
Professor, Earth Sciences
Coming to the University of Oregon in 2000, Josh Roering is currently professor and head of the Department of Earth Science. Since 2004, he has been a member of the Environmental Studies Program Executive Committee. His research addresses landscape evolution and erosional processes, such as landslides, weathering and soil formation, and the movement of water across the Earth's surface. His recent work emphasizes quantifying how perturbations such as extreme rainfall, fire, earthquakes, and land management practices, including timber harvesting, influence landscapes, the potential for geologic hazards, and the sustainability of soil function. Roering was elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and his research grants from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and US Geological Survey have supported the activities of his research lab.
In addition to departmental courses on Environmental Geology, Hillslope Geomorphology, and Data Analysis for Earth and Environmental Science, Roering has twice co-taught a linked block of courses entitled "Oregon Aboard" along with UO faculty members Bitty Roy (Biology) and Matt Dennis (History). A cohort of 20 students enrolled in the four linked courses, which included joint lectures, linked lab/studio activities, and weekly field trips as well as a 10-day field expedition in Eastern Oregon. The students were required to engage in transdisciplinary investigation, writing, and analysis of Oregon's natural and cultural history and future. In addition, Roering advises environmental organizations, such as Cascadia Wild and the Center for Biological Diversity, regarding topics related to land management policy in Western Oregon.
Vice Provost and University Librarian
In 2018, Alicia Salaz joined the University of Oregon as Vice Provost and University Librarian. Prior to taking on these important roles with the University of Oregon, Salaz acted as a senior librarian and the Associate Dean for Research and Academic Services at Carnegie Mellon University Libraries. She also served on the Carnegie Mellon provost’s committee to establish the first-ever Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Currently, Salaz oversees five libraries located across the University of Oregon’s Eugene and Portland campuses and within the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology.
Salaz earned an undergraduate degree from Portland State University and a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Washington. She then earned a Doctor of Education degree with an emphasis on higher education from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom.
Associate Professor, Environmental Studies
Lucas Silva is an interdisciplinary environmental scientist who focuses on soil-plant-atmosphere interactions as a way to understand socioecological systems. His projects combine theory and experimentation to accelerate climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts in natural and human-engineered landscapes.
Silva encourages strong collaboration across disciplines to solve challenges for sustainability including new approaches for improving carbon sequestration, drought stress adaptation, and wildfire risk mitigation.
Assistant Professor, Journalism and Communication
Hollie Smith is an applied social scientist whose work focuses on communication dimensions of science and environmental issues. Beginning in Fall 2021, she will serve as the Associate Director for the Center for Science Communication Research.
Smith’s research has looked at communication and media dynamics on issues of wildfire, federal forest policy, water contamination, climate change, and alternative energy transitions. Since coming to the UO in 2018, her work has largely focused on natural hazards in the Pacific Northwest, including wildfires, smoke, and earthquakes. She has previously served as an Associate Editor for Environmental Communication and a board member for the International Environmental Communication Association. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, United States Geological Survey, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
Prior to joining the Center for Science Communication Research, Smith was an Assistant Professor at the University of Rhode Island with a joint appointment in the Harrington School of Communication and Media and the Department of Marine Affairs.
Assistant Professor, Education
Sarah Stapleton is an Assistant Professor in Education Studies at the University of Oregon. She earned a PhD in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education from Michigan State University and an EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Sarah is credentialed to teach secondary chemical and biological sciences and has taught middle and high school general science, chemistry, and environmental science in public schools in West Africa and in California.
At the UO, she teaches courses on food and schools, teaching for climate activism, elementary and secondary science teaching methods, and participatory research. Sarah also advises master’s and doctoral students in the UO Environmental Studies program.
In her research, Sarah uses critical and participatory methodologies to investigate social and environmental inequities. She has published papers about climate justice, food and schools, school food activism, participatory research with teachers, students and the more-than-human world, and race and environmental education.
Professor, Earth Science
Doug Toomey is a Professor in the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Oregon. He is the Director of the Oregon Hazards Lab (OHAZ) and the Principal Investigator for the Oregon components of ALERTWildfire, ShakeAlert, and Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. He pioneered the use of ocean bottom seismology to explore tectonic plate boundaries and has led scientific expeditions in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Mediterranean oceans, the Galápagos Archipelago, and the Oman ophiolite. Doug received the Paul G. Silver Award for Outstanding Scientific Service from the American Geophysical Union for his leadership of the Cascadia Initiative, which executed 25 research cruises over 5 years to explore the Cascadia subduction zone and provided nearly 100 students and early career scientists invaluable, sea-going research experiences.
His OHAZ team uses science, technology, and community engagement to understand, detect, and mitigate multi-hazards within the Pacific Northwest. With national partners, OHAZ is developing the most advanced ecosystem observing platform in the nation to (1) provide physical, life, and social scientists with curated, open-access data that are the cornerstones of scientific discovery; (2) deliver actionable and equitable information to the public, emergency managers, lifeline infrastructure providers, Tribal governments, and decision makers; and (3) simultaneously foster convergent research and build a disaster-resilient society.
Mary Christina Wood is a Philip H. Knight Professor of Law at the University of Oregon and the Faculty Director of the law school's nationally acclaimed Environmental and Natural Resources Law Center. She is an award-winning professor and the co-author of leading textbooks on public trust law and natural resources law. Her book, Nature's Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age (Cambridge University Press), sets forth a new paradigm of global ecological responsibility. She originated the legal approach called Atmospheric Trust Litigation, now being used in cases brought on behalf of youth throughout the world, seeking to hold governments accountable to reduce carbon pollution within their jurisdictions.
Wood has developed a corresponding approach called Atmospheric Recovery Litigation, which would hold fossil fuel companies responsible for funding an Atmospheric Recovery Plan to draw down excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere using natural climate solutions.
Professor Wood is a frequent speaker on climate issues and has received national and international attention for her sovereign trust approach to global climate policy.