Dr. Tih-fen Ting

CPAA Summer 2008 Alumni Newsletter
by Amy Karlicker

Dr. Tih-Fen TingTih-Fen Ting is an associate professor of environmental studies at UIS. She is co-chair of the environmental studies department and currently teaches environmental and natural sciences, and ecosystem management.

Dr. Ting is continuing her PhD research on Chinese population, in which she looks at population/environment interactions. “Human population is a big issue because of the impact we have on the environment,” she said. “We change the environment tremendously to meet our needs.”

She is also working on a collaborative long-term research project with husband Terry Bodenhorn, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. This project — which considers national politics and industrialization of the late 20th century, as well as human population dynamics — examines the environmental history of and ecological changes in a major river in northern Taiwan.

Her scholarship at UIS includes “greening” UIS through research, grant writing and collaboration with other units. She has worked with students to conduct waste audits, which have resulted in money to implement changes on campus. Further, she has worked with the UIS landscapers and grounds crews to restore the prairie on the south side of campus. She also advises graduate students who want to apply environmental theory to the UIS campus “laboratory” or to the Emiqon Preserve.

Her newest project is a collaborative with Dr. Yang Zhang, former director of the GIS lab at UIS. They are studying the impacts of sea level rises on human populations in the Gulf Coastal areas. They will use GIS to study both environmental events and population characteristics. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Ting and Zhang recognized an environmental justice issue with the types of populations located in the low-lying Gulf Coastal areas; their work will help identify areas and populations of concern to prevent human disaster resulting from environmental catastrophe.