The cross-campus Sustainability Strategy Working Group (SSWG) was formed under the direction of the Provost in the fall of 2022 to help develop a unifying vision of sustainability research, education, and engagement for UMass.  This working group includes more than 30 faculty and staff from across all nine academic colleges, with UMass Libraries and the Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (CAFE) also represented.  The working group is transdisciplinary in nature and collaborative in practice.  SSWG is building on the previous work of earlier sustainability working groups related to academics.

SSWG Charge

  • Define the process for bringing the broad range of sustainability activities under the School of Earth & Sustainability umbrella.​
  • Develop a unified vision for sustainability research, education, and engagement.
  • Lead a cross-campus engagement process for broad input.
  • Develop a roadmap for implementation.​
  • Delineate our Areas of Excellence, engaging with the various research centers and institutes.
  • Survey existing and emerging academic programs and initiatives, and propose new programs.

SSWG Members

This working group includes broad representation from all nine colleges at UMass Amherst.  The following are the current members of SSWG:

College of Education 

Ysaaca Axelrod, Teacher Education & Curriculum Studies

Denise Ives, Teacher Education & Curriculum Studies

College of Engineering 

Eleni Christofa, Civil & Environmental Engineering 

John Tobiason, Civil & Environmental Eng.

College of Humanities & Fine Arts 

Malcolm Sen, English (co-chair)

Michael Cottom, Theater 

Meg Vickery, History of Art and Architecture 

Ray Mann, Architecture 

Marjorie Rubright, English 

Dee Boyle-Clapp, Arts Extension Service

College of Information & Computer Sciences 

Fran Berman, Public Interest Technology 

Tom Bernardin, Information & Computer Sciences and Center for Data Science

College of Natural Sciences 

Scott Auerbach, Chemistry and the UMass iCons Program 

Rob DeConto, School of Earth & Sustainability, Geosciences (co-chair)

Paige Warren, School of Earth & Sustainability, Env. Conservation 

Klaus Nusslein, School of Earth & Sustainability, Microbiology 

Dan Cooley, School of Earth & Sustainability, Stockbridge School of Agriculture 

Lena Fletcher, School of Earth & Sustainability, Env. Conservation 

Britt Crow-Miller, School of Earth & Sustainability, Env. Conservation and Geosciences 

David Boutt, School of Earth & Sustainability, Geosciences

College of Nursing 

Jess Dillard-Wright 

Raeann LeBlanc

College of Social & Behavioral Sciences 

Michael Ash, Economics 

Camille Barchers, School of Earth & Sustainability, Landscape Arch and Regional Planning 

Thad Miller, School of Public Policy (co-chair)

Marta Vicarelli, School of Public Policy, Economics  

Jamie Mullins, Resource Economics

Isenberg School of Management  

Bogdan Prokopovych, Management

School of Public Health & Health Sciences (SPHHS) 

Alexander “Sasha” Suvorov, Environmental Health Sciences

UMass Extension 

Dwayne Breger, Clean Energy Extension & School of Earth & Sustainability, Env. Conservation

UMass Libraries 

Annie Sollinger, Libraries

For More Information

If you would like to learn more about the working group and how to get involved, please get in touch with Darci Connor Maresca at