Faculty Mentors and Program Staff

As an interdisciplinary program, students interact with faculty from a variety of departments and colleges within the University of Massachusetts Amherst. And our dedicated staff help students navigate the program to achieve their goals. Here’s just a few of our key people.



Alison Bates

Graduate Program Director, MS Sustainability Science
Department of Environmental Conservation
Dr. Bates is primarily interested in social and environmental factors that promote or inhibit renewable energy development. Specifically, she uses qualitative and quantitative tools to address limits of offshore wind energy, such a GIS to understand ocean use patterns within a marine spatial planning framework, and survey research to understand social acceptance of ocean energy developments. Ongoing projects include spatial conflict with commercial fisheries and offshore wind, and analysis of how coastal communities are affected by nearby energy developments. Before pursuing her Ph.D. in Marine Studies, Dr. Bates worked for several years with the Southern California Mountains Foundation, promoting conservation and stewardship on public lands. Read more >

Mark Hamin

Graduate Program Director, Master of Regional Planning
Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning
Special research interests include: influence of the life sciences on development of the planning field; urban infrastructural and ecological history; social/cultural perspectives on environmental risk, security, and 'quality of life' in cities;long-term trends in technologically transformed metropolitan-regional food systems; and mentoring in relation to pedagogy. Read more >

Curt Griffin

Head of Department of Environmental Conservation

Curt's teaching and research interests are in biodiversity conservation, wetland wildlife ecology and management, and integrated natural resources management issues. Although his research program addresses both applied and basic ecological questions, it focuses primarily on the conservation of biological diversity and providing a strong science base for management decisions. Thus, his overall research program is very applied and is largely driven by the resource conservation needs of local, state and federal agencies, NGOs, and international organizations. He also has a strong commitment to and involvement in development of local, state, national, and international policies relating to wetlands protection, endangered species management, and conservation of biological diversity.

You can view the list of faculty in the Graduate School Bulletin here and in the UMass School of Earth & Sustainability (SES) here.


Darci Maresca

Assistant Director of the School of Earth & Sustainability

My primary role at UMass Amherst is working within the School of Earth & Sustainability to bring together the diverse academic programs and research related to earth, sustainability and environmental sciences. This work often intersects with the MS3 Program. I interact with students to provide guidance with regards to graduate program planning and career development.


Toni Cunningham

MS Sustainability Science Program Administrator
Toni moved from Ireland to Portland, Oregon in 2005 where she worked in IT as a System Administrator. In 2012 she moved to Amherst to be closer to family.  Her work for the MS3 program includes handling prospective applicant queries, admissions logistics, website content management, documentation, events and communications.
We attract highly motivated students from across New England, the United States, and around the globe. Meet our current students >