Faculty Experts at The New School Available for Comment on Earth day, green infrastructure, ethical consumerism, sustainable design, Environmental racism, Climate Change and migration

Faculty members at the New York City university can discuss the history and purpose of this recognition, environmental racism, sustainable design, green infrastructure, effects of climate change on global pandemics


New York, April 4, 2023—Faculty experts at The New School, a progressive New York City university with academic programs in environmental studies, sustainable design, sustainable fashion, healthy materials, sustainability management, urban resilience, climate migration and more are available for comment on Earth Day.

Faculty members can speak on a range of issues including: history and purpose of Earth Day; Climate Change, Global pandemics; Environmental racism and the Environmental Justice movement; Sustainable fashion and textile design; Green infrastructure; Ecodesign, Urban ecology, Healthy building materials, Resource management, Ethical consumer products.

The faculty members are:


Joel Towers, Director of the Tishman Environment and Design Center and Professor of Architecture and Sustainable Design, 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

Timon McPhearson, Associate Professor of Urban Ecology & 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

David Bergman, Assistant Professor, has a unique background blending architecture and ecodesign with environmental economics and policy. This has led him down a road starting in architecture and expanding into teaching and writing on a range of topics in sustainability. Areas of expertise: Ecodesign, Sustainability

Alison Mears, AIA, LEED AP is an architect, Associate Professor of Architecture, and Director and Co-Founder of Healthy Materials Lab. Mears focuses her research on design strategies that disrupt the building supply chain to incorporate human health as criteria for evaluating building products. Areas of expertise: Sustainable communities, Sustainable economies, Urban design, Architecture, Community engagement and innovation


Willi Semmler, Arnhold Professor of International Cooperation and Development, leads the Economics of Climate Change project at the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis. Areas of expertise: Economics of climate change

Raz Godelnik, Assistant Professor of Strategic Design and Management, explores sustainable business models and how companies can respond effectively to the climate crisis. Areas of expertise: Corporate sustainability, Climate change, Strategic design, Sharing economy, Platform coops, Refugee crisis


Adrienne Perovich, Assistant Director at the Tishman Environment and Design Center, expertise is in the wide-ranging effects of climate change, including the increase in global pandemics, and the effect on minority and directly impacted communities. Areas of expertise: Climate Change, Environmental justice, Waste incineration, Effects of climate change on global pandemics

Mia White, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, is an expert in the intersection of environmental studies, critical urban studies, Black studies, political ecology, social movements, and community development. Areas of Expertise: Environmental justice; Race and natural resource management; Sustainable community and resource development

Leonardo Figueroa Helland, Associate Professor of Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management, studies study how indigenous knowledges combine with various transformative approaches to address environmental challenges, climate crises and social injustices. Areas of Expertise: Political ecology, Global studies, Complex ecologism, World-systems ecology, Ecofeminism

Rafi Youatt Associate Professor of Politics, his work asks how intersections between international politics and ecological practices help us think differently about issues of governance, power, and sovereign territoriality. Areas of expertise: Environmental political theory, International relations, Mobilities

Romy Opperman, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Philosophy, her research bridges Africana, continental, decolonial, environmental, and feminist philosophy to foreground issues of racism and colonialism for environmental ethics and justice. Areas of expertise: Gender, race, and ecology, Black feminism

Saudi Garcia, Mellon Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Anthropology, is an ethnographic researcher and social transformation practitioner who researches racial capitalism and ecological crisis, with a focus on Caribbean people’s relationships to land, ecology and environmental health in the midst of the climate crisis. Areas of expertise: Racial capitalism, Environmental health, Water scarcity


Otto von Busch, Associate Professor of Integrated Design, researches the emergence of a new hacktivist designer role in fashion, cultivating "fashion-abilities" amongst users. Areas of Expertise: Sustainable fashion reform

Patricia Beirne, MFA Studio Director and faculty in the School of Design Strategies, her work spans exhibition design, environmental design, information design and product. Areas of expertise: Ethical consumer products, Environmental issues of the commodity chain


Bhawani Venkataraman, Associate Professor of Chemistry, researches effective communication strategies for explaining basic scientific research to students and non-scientists on issues such as water quality, air pollution and climate change. Areas of expertise: Air pollution, Water quality, Climate change, Scientific communication

Alexandra Delano, Associate Professor of Global Studies, research focuses on diaspora policies, the transnational relationships between states and migrants, migration in the Central America-Mexico-US corridor, sanctuary, and the politics of memory in relation to borders, violence and migration. Areas of expertise: Migration, Border violence, Global studies

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 more than 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
646 909-4684
[email protected]


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