Research

Luther offers many opportunities for students to engage in research with faculty in Environmental Studies. In areas ranging from history and policy to ecology and climate science, Luther students gain firsthand experience researching pressing environmental issues. Supported by the Dean's Office and by grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and other organizations, dozens of environmental studies majors have spent a summer doing intensive research. For more information on applying for summer research, contact the program director.

A sampling of recent summer research projects completed by environmental studies students:

  • Soil carbon storage on agricultural and natural lands (Ryan Rogers '22 and Matt Staver '20, with Dr. Laura Peterson, environmental studies and chemistry)
  • Examination of drug-resistant bacteria in Decorah's springs, streams, and rivers. (Max Eness '20 with Dr. Eric Baack, biology)
  • Resilience of NE Iowa communities in the face of flooding (Halina Pyzdroski '18 with Dr. Rachel Brummel, environmental studies and political science; Dr. Carly Foster, political science; and Dr. Jon Jensen, environmental studies and philosophy)

Luther faculty who research topics related to environmental studies:

Anita Carrasco (Anthropology)
Eric Baack (Biology)
Jodi Enos-Berlage (Biology)
Kirk Larsen (Biology)
Beth Lynch (Biology)
Molly McNicoll (Biology)
Dawn Reding (Biology)
Brad Chamberlain (Chemistry)
Laura Peterson (Chemistry and Environmental Studies)
Steve Holland (Economics and Business)
David Faldet (English)
Andrew Hageman (English)
Richard Bernatz (Mathematics)
Jon Jensen (Philosophy and Environmental Studies)
Rachel Brummel (Political Science and Environmental Studies)
James Martin-Schramm (Religion)


Recent publications (*denotes Luther student co-authors)

Peterson, L. C., Lawrence, K. T., Herbert, T. D., Caballero‐Gill, R., Wilson, J., *Huska, K., Miller, H., Kelly, C., Seidenstien, J., *Hovey, D., & *Holte, L. (2020). Plio‐Pleistocene Hemispheric (A)Symmetries in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere Midlatitudes. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology35(3): e2019PA003720.

Brummel, B.  2016. Mobilizing place: examining mobility, identity, and boundary in the politics of Asian carp. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 6:765-769.

Carrasco, A.  2016. A biography of water in Atacama, Chile: two indigenous community responses to the extractive encroachments of mining. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 21:130-150.

Herbert TD, Lawrence KT, Tzanova A., Peterson LC, Caballero-Gill R, Kelly CS.  2016. Late Miocene global cooling and the rise of modern ecosystems. Nature Geoscience 9: 843-847.