Government & Justice Studies


Connection to Sustainability: Understanding the role of government in addressing environmental issues; Focus on political institutions and policy arrangements for addressing environmental controversies and sustainability challenges (e.g. climate change, energy, natural resource use, air and water quality).

Teaching: Environmental Politics; Advanced Environmental Politics; Comparative/International Environmental Policy; Public Policy Analysis & Program Evaluation; Readings & Research in Environmental Politics: Special Topic - N.C. Environment

Research: Participation in voluntary and regulatory programs for offsetting GHG through forest management; Renewable energy policies in the EU; Institutional mechanisms for private land conservation (land trusts, conservation easements); Climate change adaptation and risk perceptions among N.C. local government officials. Funding obtained from the Clabough Foundation and N.C. Sustainable Forestry Initiative for research and outreach related to carbon offsets from forest management.

Student Engagement and Outreach Activities: Students are engaged in faculty-led research under all projects listed under research activities. Examples: MA thesis focused on motivations for and barriers to participation in carbon offset programs; Student service-learning projects that address the needs of HCCOG and local non-profits; Collaborative student-faculty work has been presented at academic conferences and published in academic journals; Faculty serve on the boards/committees of local non-profit organizations (e.g. New River Conservancy). Service-learning designated classes aimed at meeting agency needs. Students are engaged in interdisciplinary collaborative research related to forest carbon offsets, and regularly attend meetings of the Appalachian Carbon Research Group.