Rob Buchanan | The New School for Public Engagement
  • Faculty

    Rob Buchanan

    Assistant Professor, Writing

    Rob Buchanan

    I’m a lifelong magazine feature writer with an interest in travel, adventure, and alternative sports. I started at Sports Illustrated in 1981, worked for Rolling Stone, Details, and a host of other magazines, and am now a contributing editor at Outside and a regular contributor at Men’s Journal. I write a lot about sailing, climbing and mountaineering, environmental politics, and the effects of tourism and development.

    At Eugene Lang College, I teach journalism and writing and am the faculty advisor to the New School Free Press, a biweekly student newspaper distributed on campus and around the Village. I also help manage Lang Outdoors, a set of courses that takes students off campus and out into the “urban environment.” In my own Lang Outdoors course, the students build 26-foot Whitehall gigs—replicas of 19th-century rowing boats that were the water taxis of their day—and use them to explore the harbor and the estuary. Old-school environmentalists sometimes decry “recreationals” for getting in the way of serious conservation, but I’m convinced that active use is the key to genuine stewardship.

    Courses Taught

    Fall 2010
    LLSW 3025 A Intermediate Journalism: Metro Section
    LWEL 2003 A Lang on the Hudson
    UENV 2411 A The Harbor and the Hudson
    LLSW 4990 D Independent Senior Project

    Research Interests

     The environmental history and restoration of New York Harbor and the Hudson
    Coastal development, public access and local and national land-use policy
    Waterfront park design and recreational policy

    Professional Affiliations

    Creator of, a website about the remaining sandy beaches of the Upper Harbor.
    Founding member of the Village Community Boathouse on Pier 40, which offers free community rowing programs and is home to the boats that Lang students build in “Lang on the Hudson”.

    Awards and Honors

     Lowell Thomas Award, Society of American Travel Journalists, 2006
    The 1st annual Nike Earthwrite Award for Environmental Journalism, 1995