Julia Gibson is a doctoral student in the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University. She received her BA in Philosophy and Russian Studies from William Smith College in 2009. Before obtaining her MA in Philosophy from the University of Colorado in 2013, she spent two years at the international salmon conservation organization Wild Salmon Center. Following the completion of her MA, Julia worked as a Collective Manager and Produce Team Member at a community-owned grocery store in Portland, OR. She envisions her research taking shape where the boundaries between feminist, political, and environmental philosophy grow pleasantly and productively murky. Julia’s current work focuses on developing an ecodependent model of political community aimed at combating interspecies injustice.
Monica List is a doctoral student in the Department of Philosophy, also pursuing graduate specializations in Ecological Food and Farming Systems, and Animal Studies. She earned a Veterinary Medicine degree in 2000, and a Master’s Degree in Bioethics in 2011, both from the National University of Costa Rica. From 2000 to 2005, she was a veterinary resident at the Zoo Ave Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Alajuela, Costa Rica, where her work primarily focused on the rehabilitation and reintroduction of small primates. From 2006 to 2010, she worked as Regional Veterinary Programs Manager for the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), implementing companion animal welfare and tertiary animal welfare education programs in Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. She currently serves as an academic advisor for the Bioethics, Humanities, and Society Specialization at MSU. Her research focuses on animal ethics, animal welfare, the ethics of food and agriculture, and environmental bioethics. CV
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.
Samantha Noll is a doctoral student in philosophy with a focus in environmental philosophy, philosophy of agriculture, and social/political philosophy. She is also pursuing the gender, justice, and environmental change (GJEC) specialization in addition to the development ethics specialization. She received her bachelor’s degree from West Chester University in philosophy with minors in anthropology and ethnic studies. Her research interests include understanding how embodied knowledge or “know how” influences our relationships with the land and with nonhuman others. Samantha’s work also focuses on the ethics of agriculture and food systems. She was active in community supported agriculture projects in Pennsylvania, New York, and Michigan. She dislikes writing in the third person but makes sacrifices for academia. For more information, see her website.
Sophia Pavlos is a doctoral student in the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University. She received her MA in Philosophy from Loyola Marymount University in 2011, where she also became a community organizer in the greater Los Angeles region. Her experience as an activist showed her the integral relationship between theory and action, which continues to be the main focus of her philosophical studies. She aims to use feminist theory to engage with issues of oppression and marginalization, especially centering around gender, labor and communication. Sophia is currently working with the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition, as well as assisting the Climate and Traditional Knowledges Workgroup with the development of the Guidelines for Considering Traditional Knowledges in Climate Change Initiatives.
Zach Piso is a doctoral student in the Department of Philosophy with a specialization in Environmental Philosophy & Ethics. He received his BA in Environmental Studies from Allegheny College in December 2010 before spending a year working in sustainable urban development. Research interests include pragmatism, philosophy of environmental science, social-ecological systems research, sustainability ethics, and environmental education. He is the MSU research assistant for the NSF-Ethics Education for Science & Engineering project “”Values and Policy in Interdisciplinary Environmental Science: A Dialogue-based Framework for Ethics Education,” which is developing and evaluating ethics modules for graduate-level environmental science and policy programs. He is also composing a multi-sited ethnography based on the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies’ “Workshop on Coastal-Fog-as-a-System” to provide a STS narrative of interdisciplinary environmental research. Over the 2013 Summer he is leading the NSF-supported Long-term Ecological Research project, “Recognizing Value Pluralism among Ecosystem Services Experts and Public Stakeholders,” at MSU’s Kellogg Biological Station.
Jared L Talley is a doctoral student in the Department of Philosophy at Michigan State University with a focus in environmental philosophy and ethics. He received a BA in Philosophy from Boise State University in 2014 and an MPA in Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management from Boise State University in 2016. His research interests are in the philosophy of environmental management, concentrating on the roles of science and community engagement in environmental policy and management. To this end, he is focused on better understanding how diverse communities construct relationships to their environments, how policy programs interpret and manage for these relationships, and how the nature of the ecological sciences provides opportunity and obstacles for environmental management. His free time is spent on rivers, in mountains, and losing himself in science fiction movies.
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.
At MSU, he coordinated the Food Justice and Sovereignty Work Group for MSU’s Center for Regional Food Systems, and worked as a Graduate Assistant for the Sustainable Michigan Endowed Projects, a Kellogg-funded foundation devoted to promoting research into sustainability in Michigan. Ian has engaged in research into sustainability values and practices of small-scale, direct-marketing farmers in Michigan through the Kellogg Biological Station’s NSF-Supported Long-Term Ecological Research, and is currently working to build similar connections in his new home.
While a graduate student, he worked with two colleagues (Zachary Piso and Samantha Noll) to co-create Food Justice and Peace, a transdisciplinary conference on food justice. At UTRGV he worked with his new colleagues to organize The Pan American Collaboration for Ethics in the Professions’ 7th Annual Bioethics Conference, “Beyond Reform: Reimagining American Healthcare.” He has also worked on organizing several major non-academic conferences, including Everybody Eats: Cultivating Food Democracy, a community-based conference on Michigan food issues; and the Michigan Environmental Justice Statewide Summit, which brought together stakeholders, policy makers, academics, and activists from around Michigan and beyond to work on developing collective capacity across society, research, and policy to address issues of food democracy and environmental justice.