Meet the Faculty
Dr. Mario Cardozo
Visiting Assistant Professor
Phone (217) 206-7805
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Mario received his PhD in geography from The University of Texas at Austin in 2013. He also has degrees from the National University of Asuncion (forestry engineering) and the University of Memphis (geography). His doctoral research focused on exploring the influences of regional markets and government policies—particularly agrarian credits and conservation initiatives—on the sustainability and economic viability of smallholder livelihoods in the Peruvian Amazon. This research drew on an extensive interview campaign with smallholders and government officials, complemented by GIS analyses of market accessibility and the mapping of land cover change employing satellite imagery. Some results of Mario’s dissertation have been published in the journal Geoforum, with more articles in preparation for Globalizations and the Journal of Latin American Geography. Mario’s current research interests also include developing methodologies for the study of smallholders’ income specialization and for the mapping of spatial and temporal livelihood patterns in order to inform environmental management.
Dr. Andrew Predmore
Phone (217) 206-7895
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Andrew received his PhD from the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech. Before joining the Department of Environmental Studies at UIS, Andrew conducted postdoctoral research at Virginia Tech geared towards determining which factors—public controversy, planning team leadership, interdisciplinary team work styles, or public involvement values and techniques—most commonly predict success in planning efforts on federal lands. Results from this work are being used to improve environmental planning efforts across the national forest system. In addition to his work on federal public lands, Andrew is interested in relating public involvement, environmental values, and environment discourse to planning outcomes. Results from his research have been published in Society and Natural Resources, the Journal of Forestry, the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, and Environmental Impact Assessment Review.
Andrew’s passion for natural resource issues stem from his own love of outdoor recreation, and when he is not working he can be found playing tennis, taking his kids to Washington Park, or occasionally backpacking. Although Andrew has mostly lived and worked in the southeastern U.S., he is excited to learn about sustainability issues in Illinois, as well as those directly linked to the UIS campus and the Springfield area.
Dr. Dennis Ruez, Jr.
Director of Graduate Admissions
Phone: (217) 206-8425
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Dennis received his Ph.D. in geological sciences from The University of Texas at Austin in 2007 and joins UIS after spending three years teaching at Auburn University. Dennis is a vertebrate paleontologist with research interests in the relationship of past climate change and fossil mammal communities. This includes the rigorous testing of paleoecological models and developing new quantifiable methods of examining past environmental change. To this end, Dennis has done field work throughout the US – coast to coast, and border to border. His work is published both in regional journals and international ones (including Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Journal of Human Evolution, and Journal of Paleontology).
Dr. Megan Styles
Phone (217) 206-8580
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Megan received her Ph.D. in Environmental Anthropology at the University of Washington in 2011. She also holds an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Washington and a B.A. in Anthropology and Environmental Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. Megan’s research focuses on issues of sustainable development and social justice in Africa and the United States. Her Ph.D. research investigated the social and ecological effects of cut flower (mainly rose) farming along the shores of Kenya’s Lake Naivasha. Before joining the faculty at UIS, Megan completed a teaching post-doc in the University of Washington’s Program on the Environment. She also worked as an environmental educator in high school classrooms in Knoxville, TN, and conducted research on fishing dependent communities at NOAA Fisheries. Megan’s research was recently published in an edited volume entitled The Ecotourism-Extraction Nexus: Political Economies and Rural Realities of (un)Comfortable Bedfellows. She is passionate about teaching, mentoring students, and conducting research that will lead to a more just and sustainable future.
Dr. Tih-Fen Ting
Phone: (217) 206-7876
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Areas of Interest: Resource ecology and conservation, population-environment interactions, ecosystem management, and sustainability studies.
Tih-Fen Ting received her Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan in 2003. She has a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Wildlife.
Her work before Michigan focused mainly on the ecology, behavior, and demography of various avian species (including northern spotted owls). At Michigan, as a doctoral student, Professor Ting began an interdisciplinary exploration on issues regarding interactions between human populations and the environment. Her dissertation focused on how resource accessibility affects individual reproductive decision-making in China. She also participates in a collaborative project on public health and environmental integrity along the Danshui River ecosystem in northern Taiwan. At UIS, Professor Ting has been active in campus sustainability initiatives.
In 2002, Professor Ting was selected as a LIFE fellow in the International Max Planck Research School. She has published her work in journals including Population and Environment, Science of the Total Environment, and Environmental Justice. Read more at Inside UIS.
Professors from the natural and social sciences and the humanities often lend their expertise to broaden the educational experiences of our students. Below is a partial list of those faculty members.
Associate Professor, Chemistry
Microbial and aquatic ecology
Associate Professor, Biology
Edward Hawes, Malcolm Levin, John Munkirs, Charles Schweighauser, William Warren, Roy Wehrle.
The department brings in individuals from the surrounding community, and worldwide, whose professional expertise in a particular subject allows students to broaden their educational experience.
Wynne Coplea, Matt Evans, Deanna Glosser, Stephen Janasie, Tom Heavisides, Roger Kanerva, Malcolm McCallum, Tom Miskelly, Mehdi Nassirpour, Erinn Nicley, Jennifer Perry, Mohammed Shahidullah, Jennifer Scanlan, John Sherrill, Darlene Snyder, Chris Widga, Chris Young.