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Human-Environment Systems group establishes new home in the School of the Environment

The Boise State Human-Environment Systems Group faculty and students posting on campus in the fall

Boise State’s new School of the Environment welcomes five professors from the Human-Environment Systems group as its initial cohort of full-time affiliated faculty.

The School of the Environment transforms cutting-edge teaching, experiential learning and scholarly excellence into community engaged action through a unique combination of student training and faculty scholarship, focusing on solutions to environmental challenges and working with community partners to implement those solutions.

“The Human-Environment Systems faculty’s expertise, enthusiasm and team-based approach to their scholarship, teaching, and service will be an incredibly valuable addition to the school as we begin to welcome other faculty and programs in the new year,” Kevin Feris, director of the school said. “I couldn’t be more pleased to begin the build out of the school with such a collaborative, energetic and collegial group.”

The faculty group engages in transdisciplinary, solutions-oriented research that aims to understand how human behavior, values and attitudes interact with changes in the environment. The faculty members include Jodi Brandt, Megan Cattau, Vicken Hillis, Kelly Hopping and Matt Williamson who collaborate closely with many community partners in Idaho on projects ranging from understanding shepherding behaviors in the fight against invasive species to developing models that assess farmland disappearance. But their work also extends to partnerships with collaborators around the country and the world.

Human-Evnvironment Systems Group graduate students work on interdisciplinary teams to develop skills in human-environment systems science and approaches, and are pursuing degrees and certificates from Boise State graduate programs in Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior; Geosciences; Public Policy and Administration; Drone Operations and more. They receive extensive experience in the field and training for a variety of careers in environmental management and research fields.

Initially created with support from a National Science Foundation Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research grant, the Human-Environment Systems has been located in the College of Innovation and Design since its inception.

“I can’t be more proud of what the faculty and students have accomplished while in CI+D and I am so excited to see them join the COAS community and begin this next chapter in the School of the Environment,” One of the inaugural directors of the Human-Environment Systems group and now Dean of the College of Innovation and Design Shawn Benner said.

“I am absolutely thrilled that HES faculty and students are joining the College of Arts and Sciences,” Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Leslie Durham said. “Since the program’s inception, I’ve been deeply impressed by the ways this group works and the impact they have, and I can’t wait to see how existing partnerships deepen and new collaborations emerge once they are fully integrated into the School of the Environment.”