Mark Abbott     

Mark Abbott

Department Chair and Professor
Paleoclimatology, Geology & Planetary Science
• BS Biology University of Colorado, Boulder
• MS Geology University of Colorado, Boulder – Department of Geological Sciences and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research
• PhD Geology University of Minnesota - Department of Geology and Geophysics the Limnological Research Center
• Postdoc University of Massachusetts, Amherst - Department of Geosciences and the Climate System Research Center
• Started at Pitt in September of 2011
I have done much of my research at interdisciplinary centers working in collaboration with geologists, biologists, archeologists and chemists. I am a stratigrapher who uses lake sediments to investigate geochemical, biogeochemical and stable isotopic signatures of climate change and human history. Much of my work is focused on drought and glacial history in the Americas with the greater goal of documenting the long-term spatial and temporal patterns of climate change.



Drew Armstrong

Drew Armstrong

Associate Professor and Director of Architectural Studies
Department of History of Art and Architecture

The impact of human activity on the environment was driven home to me as a child during the 1973 energy crisis. In high school, I landed my first architecture job working for a Toronto firm specializing in passive solar heating (1985-89); as an architecture student at the University of Toronto, I spent a summer in Copenhagen (1990) where I enjoyed commuting to work every day on dedicated bike lanes. In graduate school, I worked for the University of Toronto architect (1992-93) and was exposed to the complexity of campus planning and the early use of computer applications in design. The origins of formal architecture education was the basis of my PhD at Columbia University where I studied the French Royal Academy of Architecture, one of the principal European institutions that contributed to defining architecture as a liberal profession. As director of Architectural Studies at Pitt since 2006, I have worked to professionalize the program, developing tracks in design and historic preservation. By 2015, we will have studio space to accommodate 80 desks and a five-semester sequence of studio courses. The impact of these changes may be gauged by our students’ success: in the past seven years, over 60 have gone on to graduate programs in design and preservation at 43 different universities in the United States and Canada. Most recently, I was appointed to serve a three-year term (2014-17) on the Board of Directors of the Society of Architectural Historians.


Daniel Bain

Daniel Bain 

Assistant Professor
Hydrology, Metal biogeochemistry

Eric Beckman

   Eric Beckman 

Bevier Professor of Engineering
Co-Director, Mascaro Center

Eric Beckman received his BS in chemical engineering from MIT in 1980, and a PhD in polymer science from the University of Massachusetts in 1988. Dr. Beckman assumed his faculty position at the University of Pittsburgh in 1989, was promoted to associate professor in 1994, and full professor in 1997. He received a Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation in 1992, and the Presidential Green Chemistry Award in 2002. He previously served as Associate Dean for Research for the School of Engineering and Chairman of Chemical Engineering. In 2003, Dr. Beckman co-founded the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, a school of engineering institute that examines the design of more sustainable infrastructure. In 2005, he co-founded Cohera Medical Inc. to commercialize surgical adhesive technology developed at the University. Dr. Beckman took an entrepreneurial leave of absence from the University in 2007-2009 to help move the products to market. Dr. Beckman’s research group examines the use of molecular design to solve problems in green product formulation and in the design of materials for use in tissue engineering. He has published over 175 papers and has received more than 40 US patents.


Melissa Bilec

Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Assistant Director, Mascaro Center

Dr. Bilec is an assistant professor in the Swanson School of Engineering’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Bilec’s research program focuses on sustainable healthcare, the built environment, and life cycle assessment. She is interested in improving the overall environmental performance of buildings while connecting the occupants in a more thoughtful manner. She is the Principal Investigator in a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional research project, NSF EFRI-Barriers, Understanding, Integration – Life cycle Development (BUILD). She has worked in the sustainable engineering arena since 2004. As the assistant director of education outreach in the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, Pitt’s center for green design, she translates research to community outreach programs and develops sustainable engineering programs for K-12 education.



Walter Carson

Associate Professor
Plant Community Ecology

Dr. Carson received his Ph. D. in 1993 with Richard Root at Cornell University, performed his postdoctoral studies with David Tilman at the University of Minnesota and Steve Hubbell at Princeton University, and joined the Department in 1994.


John Camillus

John Camillus

Donald R Beall Professor of Strategic Management
Organizations and Entrepreneurship

John C. Camillus has been on the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh's Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business since 1977. He has held the Donald R. Beall Endowed Chair in Strategic Management since 1991. In addition to teaching in the MBA and doctoral programs, Camillus has been extensively involved in designing and offering executive education programs for practicing managers in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh, he was Professor of Management at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
Camillus served as Associate Dean - the chief operating officer and chief academic officer of the Katz School-from 1982 to 1990. He also served as Executive Associate Dean in 2007 and 2008.
His research on strategic planning and management control has been funded by diverse organizations including the National Science Foundation, the Touche-Ross Foundation, the Copeland Fund, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, the American Productivity and Quality Center, the University Research Council and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. He has published extensively in professional journals (including Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, Long Range Planning, Management Science, European Management Journal, Academy of Management Journal, and Academy of Management Review). He has also served on editorial boards, authored three books, and coauthored a fourth.
Camillus has served as a consultant to over 80 organizations, including Fortune 500 companies in manufacturing, chemical and energy industries, professional service firms, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations in the arts, museum, education, professional membership, economic development, foundation, religion, and health arenas.
Camillus has been elected to the Sigma Xi scientific research society and the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society, and has been cited three times by the Foundation for Administrative Research for "contributions to corporate and organizational planning."
He is a Trustee of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh and serves on the boards of several other organizations including the Andy Warhol Museum and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. His public service has been recognized by the Senate of Pennsylvania and he received the Chancellor's Distinguished Public Service Award in 2006. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India's premier business school in 2011.
Camillus has received numerous awards in recognition of teaching excellence, including the Best Teacher Award at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and the University-wide Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Pittsburgh.

William Chase

Professor of History
Director, Urban Studies Program

My journey to concerns about sustainability, particularly urban sustainability, is more circuitous than most. As a historian, I have long studied cities. My first book was on Moscow in the first post-revolutionary decade. It focused on the interdependence of urban infrastructures, the built environment, public health, and work on working people in the midst of crisis and efforts to restore urban life. With the collapse of the USSR, I helped to head the international effort to make accessible to the world the holdings of Soviet-era archives, which in turn led me to write on various topics based on materials from those formerly secret archives. While that allure deflected my urban focus (although living in Moscow for much of the 1990s drove home how fragile urban life is), I consistently taught courses on cities and the effects that political and cultural ideologies have on urbanites’ lives. Most recently, I have taught about the history and evolution of urban design and the interactions between the built environment and those who live in it. As the Director of Urban Studies, I have focused much energy on enriching our International Urbanism concentration (so that more Pitt students get to live and study abroad) and finding ways to make it possible for our majors to immerse themselves in urban life in ways that allow them to understand the daily realities of those who live in neighborhoods. I prize immersion learning. We tell our majors that understanding cities and urban neighborhoods requires appreciating the myriad realities that affect people’s lives in their neighborhoods: housing and the built environment, economic realities, safety, public transport, public health, environmental realities, and economic and racial segregation. The best academic training can only prepare students so much; the lived experience is where theory meets reality. My hope is that my service on the Sustainability Steering Committee, with its inter-disciplinary members, can help to make such experiential learning possible for Pitt students.


Jane Clougherty

Assistant Professor in Environmental and Occupational Health
Graduate School of Public Health

Jane E. Clougherty MSc ScD is an Assistant Professor and Director of Exposure Science at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. She trained at the Harvard School of Public Health, and worked on the New York City Community Air Survey (NYCCAS) at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, before joining the faculty at Pittsburgh in 2010. As an interdisciplinary Environmental Health Scientist, Dr. Clougherty’s research focuses on methods for improving fine-scale air pollution exposure assessment across urban communities, and on understanding the role of chronic social stressors in modifying population susceptibility to pollution. Her current EPA STAR grant is focused on intra-urban variation in multiple social stressors across NYC, and modification of air pollution effects on childhood asthma hospitalizations. In Pittsburgh, she is implementing a city-wide urban monitoring campaign for metals constituents of fine particles and, in the downtown core, examining spatial variation in organic constituents, with funding from Allegheny County health Department. Finally, Dr. Clougherty is Co-PI of an NIH R01 using GIS-based information on social and environmental exposures, to examine variation in efficacy of clinical interventions for asthma across 16 US cities. Dr Clougherty is on the Board of the International Society for Exposure Science (ISES), is a member of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE), received a City of Pittsburgh Proclamation for efforts to monitor and improve air quality in Allegheny County in 2012, and received the Sally Liu Outstanding New Researcher Award from the International Society for Exposure Science (ISES) in 2012.

Cynthia Danford

Assistant Professor
School of Nursing

Cindy Danford is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing Department of Health Promotion and Development at the University of Pittsburgh. She received a B.S. in nursing from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, a MSN from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, and a PhD from University of California, San Francisco. Prior to joining the faculty in 2012, she completed a research fellowship at University of Michigan. Her program of research focuses on health promotion and illness prevention, using a family-centered approach to help families with young children adopt and sustain healthy eating and activity behaviors. Her research with event history calendars has become valuable in assessing eating and activity behaviors in the context of the family environment. She is a pediatric nurse practitioner with extensive experience conducting research with parents and young children. Her past work in Russia has contributed to her passion for addressing environmental influences on behavior.



Sabina Deitrick

Associate Professor, GSPIA
Director, Urban and Regional Analysis Program
University Center for Social and Urban Research

Sabina Deitrick is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and Director of Urban and Regional Analysis program at the University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research focuses on issues of transition and transformation in post-industrial cities and regions. She is an Associate Editor of Economic Development Quarterly, on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Urban Affairs, and on the Governing Board of the Urban Affairs Association, serving as local host committee chair of the 2012 UAA conference in Pittsburgh. Professor Deitrick helped to develop the Pittsburgh Neighborhood and Community Information System (PNCIS), housed at UCSUR since 2007 and currently serves as PI on several PNCIS projects aimed at neighborhood revitalization in the Pittsburgh region. She received her BA and MA from the University of Pennsylvania and PhD in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley.


Emily M. Elliott

Assistant Professor
Department of Geology and Planetary Science

Dr. Emily M. Elliott is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology & Planetary Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research program examines the tight coupling between human activities and reactive nitrogen distributions in atmosphere, terrestrial and aquatic systems at multiple spatial scales using stable isotope geochemistry. Dr. Elliott is the Director of the Regional Stable Isotope Laboratory for Earth and Environmental Science Research. Prior to joining the Pitt faculty, she received her PhD at Johns Hopkins University (Geography & Environmental Engineering) and was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the U.S. Geological Survey, Water Resources Division in California.


Steve Finkel

Department Chair and Daniel H. Wallace Professor
Political Science

Steven E. Finkel is Department Char and Daniel Wallace Professor of Political Science at the University of Pittsburgh. His areas of expertise include comparative political behavior, public opinion, democratization, and quantitative methods. Since 1997, he has conducted evaluations of the effectiveness of US and other international donors' civic education, civil society, decentralization and countering violent extremism programs in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. He has also pioneered the use of survey research as an aid to peace negotiations in conflict settings such as Sri Lanka and Kosovo. He is the author of Causal Analysis with Panel Data (Sage Publications, 1995) as well as numerous articles on political participation, voting behavior, and civic education in new and established democracies. Between 2004 and 2007, he conducted the first macro-comparative evaluation of the impact of all USAID democracy assistance programs on democratic development in recipient countries (published in World Politics, 2007). He holds a PhD in political science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and has taught previously at the University of Virginia, Arizona State University, and the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany.


Shanti Gamper-Rabindran

Assistant Professor
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

Research: (1) Empirical evaluation of the effectiveness of environmental policy instruments esp. in the chemical industry (self-regulation, regulation, voluntary programs, information disclosure); (2) benefits and gentrification effects from Superfund cleanup;(3) environmental impact of development policy (e.g. NAFTA on the environment, impact of piped water provision on infant mortality in Brazil).
Courses (Masters-level): Global Environmental Policy, Global Energy Policy, Global Health Policy, Development Economics, Macroeconomics and the Global Economy Fields: Environmental Economics, Regulatory Economics, Applied Econometrics Education: Ph.D. Economics MIT, M.Sc. Environmental Management Oxford, BA Economics and Environmental Science & Public Policy Harvard, BA Jurisprudence, Oxford Research Grants: ~$500,000 from NSF, NIH, EPA Papers published in Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Journal of Regulatory Economics, Journal of Development Economics, Ecological Economics, Economic Development and Cultural Change, American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, Economics of Education Review Sustainability courses at UPitt (Masters-level): Global Environmental Policy, Global Energy Policy, Global Health Policy, Development Economics




Vikas Khanna

Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Swanson School of Engineering

Vikas Khanna is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Dr. Khanna received his PhD from the Ohio State University in Chemical Engineering. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of sustainability science and engineering, industrial ecology, and complex systems. His doctoral work focused on the environmental evaluation of emerging nanotechnologies and multiscale modeling for environmentally conscious design of chemical processes. While in graduate school, he also completed a science and technology policy fellowship at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC. His current research focuses on the development of life cycle oriented methods for assessing environmental sustainability of advanced biofuels and supply chains and network theory approaches for understanding resilience in engineered and large-scale systems. His research is funded by the Department of Energy, US Department of Agriculture, and the National Science Foundation.



Ron Magnuson

Clinical Assistant Professor of Business Administration

In 2014 Ron Magnuson was appointed to the faculty at Pitt Business as a Clinical Assistant Professor. His primary responsibility is coordinating and teaching the MBA Management Simulation course. In addition he also teaches HR and Ethics courses. Prior to his faculty appointment Ron served as the Director of Administration for seven years at Pitt Business where is was responsible for the Human Resources, Finance, Information Technology, Marketing/Communications, Faculty Operations, Facilities and Office Support functions at the school. After receiving a BS in Electrical Engineering from Bucknell University and an MBA from Mount Saint Mary’s University, Ron worked in the electric utility industry for 29 years. He served in a variety of roles including Executive Director of Human Resources and Vice President of Customer Affairs at Allegheny Energy. While at Allegheny Energy Ron served on a variety of boards such as the Westmoreland County Smart Growth Partnership, Energy Association of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Economy League as well as the University Of Pittsburgh Board Of Trustees.



Daniel Mosse

Professor and Chair
Computer Science

Daniel Mossé is Professor and Chair of the Computer Science Department at the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests include fault‐tolerant and real‐time systems, as well as networking. The current major thrust of his research is power management issues, real‐time systems, and networks (wireless and security). Power management in mobile and server systems includes software management of existing hardware, such as slowing down processors, using memory efficiently, dynamically reconfiguring networks. Typically funded by NSF, DOE and DARPA, his projects combine theoretical results and actual implementations. He bridges the gap between the operating systems and networking research fields. He received a BS in Mathematics from the University of Brasilia in 1986, and MS and PhD degrees in Computer Science from the University of Maryland in 1990 and 1993, respectively. Dr. Mosse received a Provost's Innovation in Education Grant/Award in 2007 for redesigning the Introductory Programming course for non-majors. He received the Tina and David Bellet Teaching Excellence Award in 2006 (one of two among over 500 faculty members in the School of Arts and Sciences) Dr. Mosse has served on PCs and as PC chair for most major IEEE‐ and ACM‐sponsored real‐time conferences.


Laura Schaefer

Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Deputy Director, Mascaro Center

Laura Schaefer is a Bicentennial Board of Visitors Faculty Fellow and a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department at the University of Pittsburgh. She is Deputy Director of the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation and Associate Director of the Center for Energy. She received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (1995) and a B.A. in English (1995) from Rice University, and her M.S. (1997) and Ph.D. (2000) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Schaefer’s research centers on the analysis, design and optimization of energy systems, with an emphasis on improving energy efficiency and diversification for increased sustainability. To that end, Dr. Schaefer’s research approach has been to examine energy systems both from a fundamentals viewpoint and in a societal/environmental context. These systems include absorption cycles, fuel cells, two-phase microchannel flow, multijunction solar cells, hydrokinetics, and thermoacoustics. Dr. Schaefer’s research has received over $11 million in funding by organizations such as NSF, AFOSR, ASHRAE, PITA, and NCIIA. Dr. Schaefer is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Editor-in-Chief of the Elsevier journal Sustainable Energy Technologies and Assessments, and Past Chair of the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME.


Tracy Soska, MSW, LSW

Assistant Professor
Chair of the Community Organization and Social Administration Program
Director of Continuing Education
School of Social Work

Dr. Soska has also co-directed the University’s Community Outreach Partnership Center - since 2000 - and has coordinated the Social Work-sponsored Civic Engagement Living-Learning Community since 2006. His is on the advisory board of the new Pitt Serves Office for student community engagement and service learning, He received the Chancellor’s Faculty Public Service Award in 2000, as well as the University Senate’s Service Award in 2008. In addition to serving as a past national chair of the Association for Community Organization and Social Administration, he has served as an Editor of its Journal of Community Practice since 2008. He is co-editor of the book, University-Community Partnership: Universities in Civic Engagement and has written and presented extensively on community engagement and service learning. Prior to joining the faculty in 1993, Soska was a nonprofit executive for over 15 years leading such initiatives as the Westinghouse Valley Human Services Center and the Mon Valley Providers Council during Pittsburgh’s industrial decline, the Urban League of Pittsburgh’s Youth Employment System and Ex-Offender Programs, and the Pittsburgh Neighborhood Alliance and its city-wide crime prevention program. Soska has served in many community leadership roles and boards, including the Collegiate YMCA, the Allegheny County Homeless Advisory Board, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jefferson Awards Committee. A graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh’s first class, he has led LP’s annual community session for nearly 30 years.


Randy Walsh

Associate Professor
Dr. Randall P. Walsh is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Pittsburgh and a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research. Prior to joining the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh he was on the faculty of the University of Colorado. He received a B.S. Summa Cum Laude from the University of New Hampshire and a Ph.D. in Economics from Duke University. He has been an active researcher in the areas of environmental and urban economics for over 15 years, focusing on issues related to environmental quality, income, race, and neighborhood choice. He currently serves as Co-Editor of the journal Economic Inquiry. His research on environmental quality and the demographic composition of neighborhoods has been supported by both the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Walsh’s broader service has included participation in EPA sponsored workshops on Regulating Hazardous Air Pollutants and Incorporating Environmental Justice Concerns into E.P.A. Rulemaking. He currently serves on the EPA Science Advisory Board’s Environmental Justice Technical Guidance Panel. He also served on the Allegheny County Health Department’s Air Toxics Committee. Dr. Walsh is currently a member of the Academic Advisory Committee for the University of Pittsburgh’s Center on Race and Social Problems and sits on the University of Pittsburgh’s Urban Studies Faculty Advisory Committee.


Jeremy Weber

Assistant Professor
Energy and Environment
 Jeremy Weber is an Assistant Professor whose teaching and research relate to the Energy and Environment Major. After graduating summa cum laude in International Political Economy from Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, Jeremy spent a year in rural Peru researching the workings of coffee grower cooperatives with the support of the Fulbright program. He then began his graduate studies and in 2010 earned his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. After working on short-term project for the World Bank, Weber joined the USDA Economic Research Service in August of 2010. While based in Washington Weber taught as an adjunct faculty member for the Master’s Program in Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins University. 

Weber has published more than a dozen articles in journals such as Energy Economics, Resource and Energy Economics, World Development, Land Economics, and the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. Two of his recent articles focus on important issues related to the shale gas boom: “A Decade of Natural Gas Development: The Makings of a Resource Curse?” and “The Effects of a Natural Gas Boom on Employment and Income in Colorado, Texas and Wyoming.” While at the USDA, Weber and two of his colleagues also produced a dataset on “U.S. County-level Oil and Gas Production, 2000-2011."

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