Mitchell Thomashow

Mitchell Thomashow is a writer, educator, and former college executive who has devoted his career to implementing innovative environmental studies programs and curricula. From 2006 to 2011 he was President of Unity College, Maine, and from 1976 to 2006 he was Chair of the Environmental Studies Department at Antioch University New England. He is the author of Ecological Identity, Bringing the Biosphere Home, and The Nine Elements of a Sustainable Campus, all published by The MIT Press.

  • The Nine Elements of a Sustainable Campus

    The Nine Elements of a Sustainable Campus

    Mitchell Thomashow

    A former college president offers a framework for sustainability on campus, describing initiatives that range from renewable energy to a revamped curriculum to sustainable investment.

    Colleges and universities offer our best hope for raising awareness about the climate crisis and the other environmental threats. But most college and university administrations need guidance on the path to sustainability. In The Nine Elements of a Sustainable Campus, Mitchell Thomashow, a former college president, provides just that. Drawing on his experiences at Unity College in Maine, he identifies nine elements for a sustainability agenda: energy, food, and materials (aspects of infrastructure); governance, investment, and wellness (aspects of community); and curriculum, interpretation, and aesthetics (aspects of learning). He then describes how Unity put these elements into practice. Connecting his experiences to broader concerns, Thomashow links the campus to the planet, reminding us that local efforts, taken together, can have a global impact.

    • Hardcover $30.95 £24.00
    • Paperback $22.95 £17.99
  • Bringing the Biosphere Home

    Bringing the Biosphere Home

    Learning to Perceive Global Environmental Change

    Mitchell Thomashow

    A guide for understanding the ecological and existential aspects of global environmental change.

    This book shows how to make global environmental problems more tangible, so that they become an integral part of everyday awareness. At its core is a simple assumption: that the best way to learn to perceive the biosphere is to pay close attention to our immediate surroundings. Through local natural history observations, imagination and memory, and spiritual contemplation, we develop a place-based environmental view that can be expanded to encompass the biosphere. Interweaving global change science, personal narrative, and commentary on a wide range of scientific and literary works, the book explores both the ecological and existential aspects of urgent issues such as the loss of biodiversity and global climate change. Written in a warm, engaging style, Bringing the Biosphere Home considers the perceptual connections between the local and global, how the ecological news of the community is of interest to the world, and how the global movement of people, species, and weather systems affects the local community. It shows how global environmental change can become the province of numerous educational initiatives—from the classroom to the Internet, from community forums to international conferences, from the backyard to the biosphere. It explains important scientific concepts in clear, nontechnical language and provides dozens of ideas for learning how to practice biospheric perception.

    • Hardcover $45.00 £31.95
    • Paperback $24.00 £18.99
  • Ecological Identity

    Ecological Identity

    Becoming a Reflective Environmentalist

    Mitchell Thomashow

    Through theoretical discussion as well as hands-on participatory learning approaches, Thomashow provides concerned citizens, teachers, and students with the tools needed to become reflective environmentalists.

    Mitchell Thomashow, a preeminent educator, shows how environmental studies can be taught from different perspective, one that is deeply informed by personal reflection. Through theoretical discussion as well as hands-on participatory learning approaches, Thomashow provides concerned citizens, teachers, and students with the tools needed to become reflective environmentalists. What do I know about the place where I live? Where do things come from? How do I connect to the earth? What is my purpose as a human being? These are the questions that Thomashow identifies as being at the heart of environmental education. Developing a profound sense of oneself in relationship to natural and social ecosystems is necessary grounding for the difficult work of environmental advocacy. In this book he provides a clear and accessible guide to the learning experiences that accompany the construction of an "ecological identity": using the direct experience of nature as a framework for personal decisions, professional choices, political action, and spiritual inquiry. Ecological Identity covers the different types of environmental thought and activism (using John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, and Rachel Carson as environmental archetypes, but branching out into ecofeminism and bioregionalism), issues of personal property and consumption, political identity and citizenship, and integrating ecological identity work into environmental studies programs. Each chapter has accompanying learning activities such as the Sense of Place Map, a Community Network Map, and the Political Genogram, most of which can be carried out on an individual basis. Although people from diverse backgrounds become environmental activists and enroll in environmental studies programs, they are rarely encouraged to examine their own history, motivations, and aspirations. Thomashow's approach is to reveal the depth of personal experience that underlies contemporary environmentalism and to explore, interpret, and nurture the learning spaces made possible when people are moved to contemplate their experience of nature.

    • Hardcover $45.00
    • Paperback $28.00 £22.00

Contributor

  • Sustainability in Higher Education

    Sustainability in Higher Education

    Stories and Strategies for Transformation

    Peggy F. Barlett and Geoffrey W. Chase

    Campus leaders describe how community colleges, publicly funded universities, and private liberal arts colleges across America are integrating sustainability into curriculum, policies, and programs.

    In colleges and universities across the United States, students, faculty, and staff are forging new paths to sustainability. From private liberal arts colleges to major research institutions to community colleges, sustainability concerns are being integrated into curricula, policies, and programs. New divisions, degree programs, and courses of study cross traditional disciplinary boundaries; Sustainability Councils become part of campus governance; and new sustainability issues link to historic social and educational missions. In this book, leaders from twenty-four colleges and universities offer their stories of institutional and personal transformation.

    These stories document both the power of leadership—whether by college presidents, faculty, staff, or student activists—and the potential for institutions to redefine themselves. Chapters recount, among other things, how inclusive campus governance helped mobilize students at the University of South Carolina; how a course at the Menominee Nation's tribal college linked sustainability and traditional knowledge; how the president of Furman University convinced a conservative campus community to make sustainability a strategic priority; how students at San Diego State University built sustainability into future governance while financing a LEED platinum-certified student center; and how sustainability transformed pedagogy in a lecture class at Penn State. As this book makes clear, there are many paths to sustainability in higher education. These stories offer a snapshot of what has been accomplished and a roadmap to what is possible.

    Colleges and Universities Covered Arizona State University • Central College, Iowa • College of the Menominee Nation, Wisconsin • Curriculum for the Bio-region Project, Pacific Northwest • Drury University, Missouri • Emory University, Georgia • Florida A&M University • Furman University, South Carolina • Green Mountain College, Vermont • Kap'olani Community College, Honolulu, Hawaii • Pennsylvania State University •San Diego State University • Santa Clara University, California • Slippery Rock State University, Pennsylvania • Spelman College, Georgia • Unity College, Maine • University of Hawaii–Manoa • University of Michigan • University of South Carolina • University of South Florida • University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh • Warren Wilson College, North Carolina • Yale University

    • Hardcover $54.00 £37.95
    • Paperback $29.95 £24.00
  • Gaia in Turmoil

    Gaia in Turmoil

    Climate Change, Biodepletion, and Earth Ethics in an Age of Crisis

    Eileen Crist and H. Bruce Rinker

    Essays link Gaian science to such global environmental quandaries as climate change and biodiversity destruction, providing perspectives from science, philosophy, politics, and technology.

    Gaian theory, which holds that Earth's physical and biological processes are inextricably bound to form a self-regulating system, is more relevant than ever in light of increasing concerns about global climate change. The Gaian paradigm of Earth as a living system, first articulated by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis in the 1970s, has inspired a burgeoning body of researchers working across disciplines that range from physics and biology to philosophy and politics. Gaia in Turmoil reflects this disciplinary richness and intellectual diversity, with contributions (including essays by both Lovelock and Margulis) that approach the topic from a wide variety of perspectives, discussing not only Gaian science but also global environmental problems and Gaian ethics and education.

    Contributors focus first on the science of Gaia, considering such topics as the workings of the biosphere, the planet's water supply, and evolution; then discuss Gaian perspectives on global environmental change, including biodiversity destruction and global warming; and finally explore the influence of Gaia on environmental policy, ethics, politics, technology, economics, and education. Gaia in Turmoil breaks new ground by focusing on global ecological problems from the perspectives of Gaian science and knowledge, focusing especially on the challenges of climate change and biodiversity destruction.

    Contributors David Abram, Donald Aitken, Connie Barlow, J. Baird Callicott, Bruce Clarke, Eileen Crist, Tim Foresman, Stephan Harding, Barbara Harwood, Tim Lenton, Eugene Linden, Karen Litfin, James Lovelock, Lynn Margulis, Bill McKibben, Martin Ogle, H. Bruce Rinker, Mitchell Thomashow, Tyler Volk, Hywel Williams

    • Hardcover $54.00
    • Paperback $27.00 £21.00