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Center for the Environment

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Our Affiliated Faculty

Faculty are essential to every fact of the Center.  They work with students, campus staff and administrators and community partners to fulfill the mission of the Center.  What follows is a compilation of the faculty, their environmental interests with embedded links if you want to learn more.


Bryan BannonBannon

Dr. Bannon is Director of the Environmental Studies and Sustainability Program and Associate Professor of Philosophy.  He draws primarily from phenomenological, feminist and existential sources to write about issues in environmental philosophy. These have included essays on the interplay between ethical and aesthetic values in the natural world; the metaphysics of nature, e.g., what are ecosystems?; and how specific dispositions and ethical ideals impact the human relationship to the natural world.

His book “From Mastery to Mystery” (Ohio University Press, 2014) examines the normative value of different conceptions of nature, arguing for a thoroughgoing process view of the natural world. From such a view, the interesting question we must ask about nature is not how best to preserve it, but how best to influence the ecological systems in which we are always already involved. Bannon is currently working on two projects. The first, “Re-experiencing the Land Ethic,” examines the continuing impact of Aldo Leopold’s work from the perspective of phenomenology. In part, this amounts to reevaluating what it means for an ecological system to have integrity, stability and beauty. Click here to learn more.


Cynthia CarlsonCarlson

Cyndy is a Civil/Environmental/Water-Resources Engineer, who worked for over 10  years in consulting for local communities and distant countries.  She brings that experience to Merrimack - encouraging students to work across disciplines and outside of the usual confines of the “course” or “classroom.”  Her students regularly work with real clients, with students in other courses, and with students of different class-year or major.  Students have designed wastewater treatment scheme for a school in India, and measured water quality in Harold Parker State Forest.  Working with new “types” of learning, people, issues, and problems encourages students (and Dr. Carlson herself!) to be able to think in new ways - a crucial skill for a successful career and for a robust future.  Her own research investigates improvements to stormwater quality and to community walkability.  She also loves insects, wastewater, Mendel Pond, ukuleles, walking, and statistical analysis of datasets. Click here to learn more.


Michael CorcoranCorcoran

Dr. Corcoran is engaged in the Campus Kitchens Project (CKP).  CKP is a nationally recognized leader in student-driven community service and environmental stewardship. Merrimack College was awarded a grant to bring CKP to campus. Through CKP, student volunteers are recovering healthy food from local establishments including schools and universities, and delivering this food to the local community.  Food waste is a symptomatic response to an inefficient food system. In some major establishments, 60-90% of healthy-perishable food is thrown out and not consumed.  With the assistance of the CKP organization, Merrimack is working to build a vibrant civic engagement experience by which students recover food, prepare it, and serve it to local soup kitchens. Our graduate and undergraduate fellows have not only served as volunteers, but have used the CKP system to study the impact that food recovery has had on the diets of individuals being served at these soup kitchens. We also endeavor to expand CKPs outreach by developing a nutrition education program for children and families as it’s been well established that a healthier diet is also a more environmentally friendly diet. Click here to learn more.


Dave MacLarenMacLaren

Dr. MacLaren has two environmentally-centered research foci: (1) Investigating the effects of environmentally realistic herbicide and pharmaceutical exposure on hormone concentrations, reproductive and aggressive behavior in fish; and (2) Behavior, ecology, and conservation of marine mammals in the Gulf of Maine.  In Spring 2009 he established a partnership in research and education with the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation (, a non-profit organization dedicated to marine mammal research, conservation, and education centered in Portsmouth, NH. Click here to learn more.


Azam NooriNoori

My research focuses on environmental biology and plant toxicology by studying plant physiological and molecular responses to environmental pollutants such as nanoparticles, heavy metals, and organic contaminants (e.g., petroleum) to better understand their toxicity level on crops and to determine the plants’ potential in phytoremediation projects. Currently, I am studying the impact of silver nanoparticles on plant physiological and molecular responses by focusing on their defense responses and the mechanisms by which plants take up and translocate silver nanoparticles. Nanoparticles are particles smaller than 100 nm that are widely used in the areas of industry, medicine, and agriculture.  This study involves undergraduates who are trained to use multiple instruments, such as the spectrophotometer, MS-Spec, ICP-MS, Confocal Microscope, PCR, and Q-PCR. Click here to learn more.


RichJessica Rich

She is an Assistant Professor in Communication and Media and joint faculty in Environmental Studies and Sustainability. Her research interests include power/resistance in the workplace, eco-cultural studies, and just transitions to green economies. Specifically, she studies how workers, communities, and nature interact in conflicts over oil and gas development in the United States. Courses taught at Merrimack College include Communication and Nonprofit Organizing, Environmental Communication, Gender and Communication, and Persuasion and Social Influence. Before joining Merrimack College, Professor Rich was a postdoctoral research associate with the Cooperative Institute for Environmental Science at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She received her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Click here to learn more.


Stephen ThebergeTheberge

Dr. Theberge teaches all levels of chemistry (General, Analytical, Environmental, Forensic). He conducts research in several areas of analytical chemistry that involve analysis of geochemical processes and environmental pollutants and tracers by a variety of analytical techniques. Current projects include: method improvement of the analysis of arson accelerants, detection of ppb level personal care products and pharmaceuticals (PCPPs) from the wastewater stream, and measurement of soluble inorganic N and P from a local eutrophic watershed.  Click here to learn more.