Faculty Experts Involved in The New School’s Proposed Climate Solutions Hub on Governors Island Available for Comment on Issues of Environmental Justice and Climate Adaptation

New York, October 27, 2022—The recent news of the disappearance of snow crabs in Alaska and the addition of emperor penguins to the endangered species list has highlighted the urgency of finding new and innovative ways to combat climate change. As a leader in the field of climate adaptation and mitigation, and environmental justice, The New School has faculty experts available for comment on the effects of climate change and adaptation on New York City. These experts are leading The New School’s partnership with The City University of New York (CUNY) in New York City Coastal Climate Center (NYC3) consortium that has been selected by the Trust for Governors Island as one of three finalists in the competition to create a center for climate solutions on Governors Island.

Faculty members can speak on a range of issues including: climate change, environmental racism and the environmental justice movement, green infrastructure, ecodesign, urban ecology, healthy building materials, and resource management.

Joel Towers, NYC3 Team Co-lead, is a Professor of Architecture and Sustainable Design and Co-Director of the Tishman Environment and Design Center, the university’s hub for climate and environmental justice research and practice, with a specific focus on critical, participatory action-based research produced in collaboration with frontline, grassroots and community-based organizations and coalitions. He is a member of the leadership team for the fourth New York City Panel on Climate Change, which is charged with providing authoritative, actionable information on future climate change and its potential impacts to support City decision-making.
Areas of expertise
: Sustainable design, Urban design, Climate change

Bhawani Venkataraman, NYC3 Team Co-Lead, is an Associate Professor of Chemistry. Her research focuses on effective communication strategies for explaining basic scientific research to non-scientists on issues such as water quality, air pollution and climate change. She has written several articles that investigate the challenges to ensuring access to safe drinking water and raise awareness of the delicate balance of earth’s atmosphere that allows life to be sustained on earth.
Areas of expertise: Air pollution, Water quality, Climate change, Scientific communication

Lucille Tenazas, Henry Wolf Professor in the School of Art, Media and Technology, is the founder and principal of Tenazas Design, a communication graphics and design firm with projects in the cultural, educational, and nonprofit sector. She was awarded the National Design Award in Communications Design by the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in 2002 and is considered one of America’s leading design innovators.
Areas of expertise
: Graphic design, interface design, Publication design

Alexandra Chasin, Associate Professor of Literary Studies, founded and served as artistic director of Writing On It All, a writing project open to the public that was housed in a space on Governors Island from 2013 to 2018. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2019 and is the author of multiple works of fiction and nonfiction. Currently she holds a residency at New York Live Arts.
Areas of expertise
: Community arts program development

John Clinton, Associate Professor, was the founding chair of the university’s graduate program in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management. From 2020-2021, he co-developed and led the course “New York City Colloquium: Remaking NYC”, an investigation of the city’s process of recovery and reevaluation in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and ways New York could be remade into a more equitable, sustainable, and livable place.
Areas of expertise
: Sustainability management, Environmental policy, Urban redevelopment

Simone Douglas, Professor of Photography, works across photography, video and installation, and has curated numerous exhibitions. She was project director and curator for “Picture Sydney: landmarks of a new generation at the Australian Museum”, a Getty Conservation Institute Initiative, and her works have been exhibited internationally at, and are held in, collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney; and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Additional exhibitions include at the Photographers Gallery, London; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; and the Australian Centre for Photography, Sydney.
Areas of expertise
: Project design, Curation

Sujatha Jesudason, Professor of Professional Practice in Management and founder of the Social Movements + Innovation Lab, has worked as an activist, organizer, and scholar for over 25 years in a range of social justice movements. Her work focuses on innovative approaches to social justice and start-up nonprofit leadership and management and building curriculum and programs to support leaders to reimagine social movement tactics and strategies.
Areas of expertise
: Community building, Nonprofit leadership and management, Social justice

Timon McPhearson, Associate Professor of Urban Ecology and Director of the Urban Systems Lab, studies the ecology in, of, and for cities to advance resilience, sustainability, and justice. He co-leads the U.S. National Science Foundation “Urban Resilience to Extreme Weather Related Events” Sustainability Research Network in the US and Latin America.
Areas of expertise
: Urban resilience, Social-ecological-technological systems, Green infrastructure



Founded in 1919, The New School was established to advance academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. A century later, The New School remains at the forefront of innovation in higher education, inspiring approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students to challenge the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The university welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and public programs that encourage open discourse and social engagement. Through our online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.


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Media Contacts:

The New School
Merrie Snead
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