New SEAS Faculty

Welcome New Faculty

Four faculty members with expertise in landscape architecture, environmental justice, and sustainable systems have joined SEAS.

Lisa DuRussel and Runzi Wang have joined us as assistant professors of landscape architecture. As a practicing landscape architect and educator, Professor DuRussel draws from 15 years of professional design experience where she has led the design and implementation of award-winning projects that innovate on ecological design. Her practice, Site Science, places focus on research-based design and implementation strategies that integrate deep ecological design principles into functional and experiential landscapes. Professor DuRussel earned two degrees from SEAS: an MLA and a BS in resource ecology and environmental policy. Dr. Wang is a transdisciplinary researcher who studies change in natural and urban environments across space and over time, with the objective to drive positive change with ecological planning and design strategies. Combining technologies such as big data, machine learning, remote sensing, and spatial statistics, her primary research explores how land cover change and urban development influence stream water quality and stormwater quality at the watershed basis, together with a variety of environmental, climatic, and sociocultural factors.

Kyle Whyte is the new George Willis Pack Professor in the Environmental Justice program. Dr. Whyte comes to us from Michigan State University, where he held the Timnick Chair in the Humanities and was a professor of philosophy and community sustainability. He also was a faculty member in the Environmental Philosophy and Ethics graduate concentration and served as a faculty affiliate of the American Indian Studies and Environmental Science and Policy programs. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Dr. Whyte focuses his work on climate and environmental justice and Indigenous environmental studies. His research, teaching, training, and activism address moral and political issues concerning climate policy and Indigenous peoples and the ethics of cooperative relationships between Indigenous peoples and climate science organizations. His work has recently extended to cover issues related to Indigenous food sovereignty and Indigenous critiques of concepts of the anthropocene.  

Parth Vaishnav has joined SEAS as an assistant professor of sustainable systems. Prior to joining SEAS, Dr. Vaishnav was an assistant research professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, where he also served as the associate director of the Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making. His research focuses on understanding how new technologies can be deployed to solve society’s problems, particularly in the areas of energy and the environment. Dr. Vaishnav also brings experience in environmental justice, and we’re excited that he will bring additional environmental justice linkages into the Sustainable Systems specialization.