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Faculty Bios

The outstanding faculty in the Master of Environmental Studies program brings a combination of world-class academic research skills and real world experiences across many sectors to the classroom. Our faculty members are deeply invested in mentoring and guiding students to finding the best uses for their experience and education, both at Penn and in their careers beyond graduation. Students work closely with these faculty and fellow researchers on independent study and capstone research projects. Read on to learn more.

  • Director, Professional Masters Programs in Earth and Environmental Science

    Dr. Yvette Bordeaux received a BS in Biology-Geology from the University of Rochester and MS and PhD in Geology from the University of Pennsylvania. Yvette was the Associate Director for Undergraduate Programs in Earth & Environmental Science at Penn from 1998-2008, and has been Director for the Professional Masters Programs (Master of Environmental Studies and Master of Science in Applied Geosciences) since 2007. She received the Provost’s Award for exceptional teaching, the LPS Distinguished Teaching Award, and the UPCEA Mid-Atlantic Chapter Alexander Charters Outstanding Continuing Educator Award.

    Yvette studies marine organisms that live on the shells of other organisms known, as epibionts. Her work examines organisms >400 million years old as a way of determining water quality, ocean circulation patterns and climate history of regions throughout the world. 

  • Land Steward at Longwood Gardens

    Tom Brightman is the Land Steward at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA, where he helps maintain more than 700 acres of forest, meadow, wetlands and agricultural lands. At Longwood, he worked on the design and construction of both the Route 52 and the Meadow Garden ecological design and restoration projects. He is also involved in land stewardship activities, strategic planning, teaching, sustainability initiatives and community collaborations.

    Previously Tom was the Conservation Easement Manager for the Brandywine Conservancy in Chadds Ford, PA. There, he helped oversee 30,000 acres of privately conserved lands, working with landowners to accomplish quality environmental outcomes.

    Tom is a member of the Board of Directors of the Red Clay Valley Association and the Land Health Institute’s Advisory Board. Tom holds a BA in American Civilization and a Master of Environmental Studies, both from the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Lecturer, Master of Environmental Studies

    Dr. Arun Deb has more than 50 years experience in teaching, research and consultancy in water and wastewater management, and has conducted research projects for the National Science Foundation and Water Research Foundation. He has developed water supply management plans for cities around the world, including a World Bank funded project in which he developed a master plan for the city of Calcutta, India. He has published and presented more than 200 papers in various journals and conferences around the world. Throughout his career, Arun has received many awards for his lifelong work in water and wastewater management, including those from the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Water Works Association and the American Academy of Engineering.

    Arun worked as Vice President of Weston Solutions for 30 years. Upon retirement, he started his volunteer activities with a goal to helping people of developing countries by providing them safe drinking water and good sanitation. Currently, he is serving on the Board of the Global Water Alliance of Philadelphia and working as a volunteer to supply potable water to underprivileged people in developing countries.

    Arun received a degree in civil engineering from Calcutta University, India, did graduate study at the University of Wisconsin, and earned a PhD from Calcutta University. He taught graduate and undergraduate courses in environmental engineering at Calcutta University, University College of London and at University of Notre Dame.

  • Lecturer, Master of Environmental Studies

    Dr. Nancy English holds a BS in Pharmacy from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia and a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania. She retired in 2011 from the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) as Director of Sustainability Communication and Reporting. Over a 30-year career at GSK she was responsible for managing a worldwide system to collect company data, analyze and report the results to company management and to the public. She directed the collection, evaluation and communication of data on all aspects of the company’s impact on sustainability from the health and safety of staff to the carbon and water footprint and life-cycle impact of company products and operations.

  • Director, Office of Monitoring & Assessment, Environmental Assessment & Innovation Division, USEPA Region 3

    John Forren has more than 35 years of federal service experience, which includes stints with the US Army, US Forest Service, US Army Corps of Engineers and the US Environmental Protection Agency. He continues to augment his years of experience in environmental impact assessment as director of an office in the federal government that includes the Mid-Atlantic Oceans program, the Freshwater Biology program, the Wetlands Science program and the Scientific Dive Unit. Over his career, John has authored numerous environmental assessments and environmental impact statements. His experiences include co-developing and delivering an international train-the-trainers course on environmental impact assessment in Poland and Russia.

    John is a licensed pilot and active scuba instructor. He is also active in his community, having served 19 years as a volunteer firefighter and currently serving as an associate member of his local environmental commission, as commander of his local Post of the American Legion and as a volunteer scuba diver at Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ. John holds a Bachelor and Master of Science degree from West Virginia University.

  • Vice President, Government Affairs & Global Partnerships, GE Water & Process Technologies

    Jon Freedman is based in Washington, D.C., where he leads global partnerships and government affairs for GE’s water business. Previously, he was the project leader responsible for developing GE’s global environmental sustainability initiative, now called “ecomagination.” Jon joined GE in 2001 and then helped GE create a global water business by leading the acquisition of an NYSE-listed global water company. He serves on the advisory board of The Wharton School’s Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership.

    Jon holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia, a law degree from William & Mary and an MBA in finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Environmental Sustainability Coordinator and Senior Facilities Planner, Office of the University Architect, University of Pennsylvania

    Daniel Garofalo was named the University of Pennsylvania’s first Environmental Sustainability Coordinator in 2008 and is now the Environmental Sustainability Director charged with leading Penn’s commitment to reducing the university’s carbon footprint and improving its environmental performance. Daniel is also an architect with more than 20 years of experience in architecture, planning and construction, is active in numerous volunteer and civic organizations. He was also the founder of the Community Design Collaborative, Philadelphia’s pro-bono design center. As Penn’s representative, he was a founding board member and is past chair of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council.

    Daniel served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi from 1992 to 1994, and in 2005 took a three-month leave of absence to work with other Peace Corps volunteers on post-tsunami reconstruction along the south coast of Sri Lanka. He recently completed the Hazel House, a private LEED Platinum House in West Philadelphia. Daniel has degrees in architecture from the University of Virginia and the University of Pennsylvania, and a master's degree in Government Administration from Penn’s Fels Institute of Government.

  • University of Pennsylvania
    Professor, Department Chair, Earth & Environmental Science

    Reto Gieré received his PhD in Earth Sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich and his Venia Legendi at the University of Basel. He has extensive international research and teaching experience through his posts at the University of British Columbia (Canada), the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington D.C., the University of Siena (Italy), the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation in Sydney, Purdue University in Indiana and the University of Freiburg in Germany. He is an editor for Journal of Petrology and Chief Editor for European Journal of Mineralogy, and is a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America and the Geological Society of London. His research interests lie in the fields of mineralogy, petrology, environmental geochemistry, and health impacts of earth materials.

  • Lecturer & Advisor, Master of Environmental Studies

    Dr. Hagan is the Graduate Student Advisor in the Sustainability concentration and a Lecturer, teaching courses in Industrial Ecology, Water Sustainability, Life Cycle Assessment, Sustainable Goods, Comparative Environmental Regulation, and Corporate Sustainability Management & Communication.

    Jim retired from the UK-based pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in 2010 as the Vice President of Sustainability & Environment.   At GSK, Jim was responsible for setting the direction for sustainability at GSK and the provision of environment, health and safety governance and support to all operations worldwide. Prior to joining GSK in 1983, Jim worked in the chemical industry and the US Environmental Protection Agency on environmental issues in the areas of research, design and construction.

    Jim holds a BS in chemical engineering, MS degrees in Environmental Health Engineering and Management Sciences, and a PhD in Environmental Engineering with a minor in Environmental Planning and Management. He is a registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania, as well as being board certified in Environmental Engineering by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers.

    Jim is also the President at Sustainability and Industrial Ecology Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm dedicated to supporting industry in a wide range of environmental services from contaminated land and groundwater remediation to finding cost savings by exploring and implementing efficient process and sustainable resource alternatives.

  • Professor Emeritus, Penn City and Regional Planning

    John Keene received his BA from Yale University, a JD from Harvard University and an MCP from the University of Pennsylvania. His teaching and research interests focus on environmental planning and law, legal and policy issues relating to brownfield remediation, and management of urban growth. He is on the Faculty Advisory Committee of the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership at Penn.

    John has advised local governments on the legal aspects of environmental and farmland protection, and is currently working on a study of the constitutional issues that arise when a local government seeks to regulate architectural design.

  • Director of Bird Conservation, Willistown Conservation Trust

    Lisa Kiziuk, Director of Bird Conservation at the Willistown Conservation Trust (WCT), is a federally licensed bird bander. She manages the Rushton Woods Bird Banding Station, which includes a migratory passerine program, a MAPS program and a Northern Saw-whet Owl program. In addition to her education initiatives at WCT, Lisa frequently serves as a guest lecturer for local universities, garden clubs and non-profit organizations. Lisa has a Master of Environmental Studies from Penn and was presented with the Rosalie Edge Conservation Award by the Delaware Valley Ornithological Club in 2011 for her work in bird conservation.

  • Lecturer, Master of Environmental Studies

    Michael Kulik’s 37-year career with the federal government included 27 years with the US Environmental Protection Agency, where he held a variety of management positions including Director of the Office of Public Affairs; Deputy Director of the Office of State and Congressional Relations; Deputy Director of Enforcement, Compliance and Environmental Justice; Deputy Director of the Environmental Services Division; and Director of the Office of Environmental Innovation. While at EPA, Michael taught courses in a variety of topics in environmental management. He was a member of the faculty for EPA’s international training program, through which he developed and facilitated courses in solid waste management and risk assessment and communication in Poland, Russia and South Africa. Michael is also currently the Director of the Public Policy Program at Franklin and Marshall College, where he teaches in the Department of Earth and Environment. His areas of specialty include environmental policy, watershed protection, food and agriculture policy, and public health and environmental health issues including asthma, lead poisoning and tobacco addiction. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Villanova University and a Master of Science from Saint Joseph’s University.

  • Lecturer & Advisor, Master of Environmental Studies

    Stanley Laskowski has been a senior executive, leader, teacher, scientist, advisor and mentor during his career in environmental protection. At Penn, he develops and teaches environmental management and policy courses and advises students and professors in many departments, including environmental science, business and law. His areas of special interest include US and global environmental management, environmental policy and issues related to the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals for water and sanitation.

    Stanley has been and continues to be, active in support of various not-for-profit organizations. Along with other environmental leaders, he founded the Philadelphia Global Water Alliance, a regional organization dedicated to help provide basic water and sanitation services to everyone in the world in 2006. He is a board member of the Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership. This business-oriented group facilitates cutting-edge research and provides training for the business and environmental leaders of tomorrow. He is also a member of the Stroud Water Research Center board and the Advisory Committee of the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center.

  • US Environmental Protection Agency – Region 3, Regional Judicial Officer/Presiding Officer

    Joseph Lisa has more than 23 years of experience working as an environmental attorney in both the public and private sectors. For the past 18 years, Joseph has worked for the US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 3, focusing primarily on enforcement of federal environmental laws. His work has involved complex civil and criminal enforcement counsels. In connection with his legal counseling work for the EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, Joseph was appointed as a Special Assistant US Attorney for the US Attorney’s Offices for the District of Delaware and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. During his tenure with EPA’s Region 3 Office of Regional Counsel, Joseph has served as a Senior Assistant Regional Counsel, Regional Criminal Enforcement Counsel and the Acting Associate Regional Counsel for Criminal Enforcement. Currently, Joseph is the Regional Judicial and Presiding Officer for all administrative enforcement matters initiated by the region. In this position, he is responsible for, among other things, serving as the hearing officer for various administrative enforcement actions filed by the region and for ratifying settlements of administrative cases.

    Joseph received his Master of Law in Environmental Law and JD degrees from the George Washington University Law School, and a BA from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

  • President, Global Water Strategies

    Francesca McCann has been at the forefront of water strategy, project development and investment for over a decade. In 2008, Francesca founded Global Water Strategies, an investment, strategy and policy advisory firm for corporate water strategy, water investments, public-private partnerships (PPPs), water reuse and the energy-water nexus. Francesca covered the water sector for Wall Street for seven years, where she built a niche research product for institutional investors. She also served as CEO of Abengoa Water USA, where she led the team to the successful contracting of a $3.4 billion project in San Antonio, TX, a first of its kind public-private partnership in the US.

    Francesca is a respected thought-leader and has been featured in print and on television including the New York Times, Business Week, Barron’s, Bloomberg and MSNBC. She frequently speaks at prominent water conferences in the US and abroad.

    Francesca speaks four languages and has lived in Asia, Latin America and Europe. Her professional career includes a political appointment at the US Department of Energy and Latin American trade policy at the US Chamber of Commerce. She holds a BA in International Political-Economy from Colorado College and an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School with a concentration in International Management and Finance.

  • Lecturer, Master of Environmental Studies Program

    Gary Survis is a seasoned marketing and green business executive. Gary leads Syncsort's global Big Data integration marketing team. Before joining Syncsort, Gary was Founder and "Chief Buzz Officer" at Practical Digital Marketing. Prior to that, he was COO of Geoscape Solar, a firm specializing in residential, commercial and non-profit solar projects. An additional green business of Gary’s was Go Green Displays, where he was Founder and Managing Partner. This company delivered practical green solutions for face-to-face marketing (meetings, conferences, trade shows and events). Gary has been featured in multiple publications including, Knowledge@Wharton and Exhibitor magazine. He has spoken to organizations including the Wharton Energy Club, FMC's Earth Day celebration, Sustainable Brands and NJ WasteWise.

    Gary holds a Bachelor of Science from Wharton and an MBA in marketing from NYU Stern School. He is also serving as the Learning Director, and faculty member, for Wharton's Executive Education program in Business Sustainability Leadership. As a Senior Fellow in Wharton's Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL), Gary has participated in multiple IGEL-sponsored conferences including Careers in Sustainability, Building Energy Efficiency and Wharton Globalization Trend Lab. He has been the moderator of IGEL's Annual Conferences on The Nexus of Energy, Food & Water and Sustainability in the Age of Big Data.

  • Professor of Landscape Architecture; Co-director, Cartographic Modeling Laboratory

    Dr. Dana Tomlin holds a BSLA from the University of Virginia, an MLA from Harvard and a PhD from Yale. Dana serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His work focuses on the development and application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). As designer of the Map Analysis Package GIS, author of GIS and Cartographic Modeling (ESRI Press 2012), originator of the Map Algebra language embodied in most of today’s raster (image-based) GIS software and a member of the GIS Hall of Fame, Dana is recognized as a leading contributor to this field. He is also a recipient of the Perkins, Lindback and Student Choice awards for distinguished teaching.


  • Lecturer & Advisor, Master of Environmental Studies

    Dr. Sarah Willig teaches Wetlands, Field Study of Puerto Rico's Ecology and Regional Field Ecology in the Master of Environmental Studies program with the aim of getting students into the field to better understand ecosystem processes and patterns. She also advises students concentrating in Environmental Biology, Resource Management, and Environmental Education and Advocacy, and finds great satisfaction in helping students achieve academic and professional goals. Sarah has her AB in Geology from Princeton University and a PhD in Geology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Walk-In Wednesday

Walk-In Wednesday

Members of the MES program team are here to answer your questions face-to-face on the second Wednesday of each month.

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MES in the Community

MES in the Community

Read about Nidhi Krishen’s (MES ’15) switch from the binary word of software engineering to the pursuit of her lifelong interest in environmental protection.

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