Esme Murdock  is a doctoral student in the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University. She received her BA in Philosophy from Barnard College of Columbia University in 2010. Her research interests focus on environmental justice, ethics, social and political thought, and feminism. Her current work focuses on the absence of the environmental in political reconciliation theory and the absence of the political within the field of ecological restoration. She aims to investigate why the environmental and the political are not, importantly, considered co-constitutive. She believes in the serious implications environments have on conceptions of identity and political efficacy/recognition as well as the maintenance of an authentic and healthy being in the world.

Dr. Samantha Noll is an Assistant Professor in The School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs (PPPA) at Washington State University and is affiliated with the Functional Genomics Initiative.  Her research made contributions to the fields of bioethics, environmental philosophy, and philosophy of science. In particular, she’s published widely on topics such as how values impact food systems, food justice and food sovereignty movements, and the application of biotechnology. As she’s an avid gardener and nature lover, she is no stranger to getting her hands dirty. Read more on Noll’s academic site, here!

Zachary Piso graduated from MSU in 2017 and is currently engaged in postdoctoral research in the university’s Department of Community Sustainability. His current research projects explore how values structure social scientific explanations of environmental problems. Drawing on insights from a plurality of traditions on values in science, he investigates the scientific practices and self-understandings of researchers in the field of social-ecological systems science. The central claim of these projects is that the values that pragmatically structure inquiry into a community’s norms are values regarding who we are as a community, and that the legitimation of these values requires new deliberative techniques for recognizing and authorizing the pertinent value judgments.

Ian Werkheiser is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and an Affiliated Faculty Member in the Environmental Studies Program. His research is currently focused on how communities of resistance address environmental harms and hazards, particularly around food, while also dealing with social and political oppression or marginalization. He is particularly interested in the ways that UTRGV can become an anchor institution in the Valley and benefit those communities of resistance. A recent graduate from Michigan State University, his dissertation focused on the areas of social epistemology, environmental justice, and food sovereignty. It argued that the presence of community epistemic capacities is a necessary requirement of meaningful political participation, particularly in issues around food and environmental justice.