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Columbia Campus    
2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin 
  Jul 13, 2024
2018-2019 Graduate Studies Bulletin [Archived Catalog]

Environment and Sustainability Program

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Gwendelyn Geidel, Director
Jay Pinckney, Graduate Director


The Environment and Sustainability Program (formerly the School of the Environment) within the School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment, has multidisciplinary teaching, research, and outreach programs which are focused on present and future environmental concerns. These programs promote efficient, environmentally safe use of both natural and man-made resources; safeguard the health of humans and other species; and promote public policy, planning, management, and business as avenues for improvement of the environment. Special interests are: environmentally safe use of natural resources; sustainable development; geohazards; assessment and use or mitigation of hazardous, or environmentally sensitive, man-made materials or processes; use and protection of hydrologic systems, marine systems, and the coastal zone; and preservation and protection of ecologically sensitive or specially designated areas. The program draws on interdisciplinary strengths of its associated faculty in various departments and institutes of the University as well as on collaborative arrangements with other universities, public agencies, and the private sector.

The Program offers the Master of Earth and Environmental Resources Management (M.E.E.R.M.) degree and the J.D./M.E.E.R.M. dual degree, which are administered by a coordinating committee to assist students in developing programs of study with the school’s associated faculty. Collaborative projects with the public and private sectors are encouraged.


Applicants must meet all requirements of The Graduate School for admission and be accepted by the Environment and Sustainability Program. Attention will be given not only to the applicant’s academic record but also to relevant scientific and administrative experience.

  1. A signed and dated application, with all requested information supplied.
  2. Official transcripts showing all college-level course work attempted and the award of the baccalaureate or higher degree by an accredited college or university. A GPA of 3.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale is preferred. Official transcripts verifying all previous college-level course work are required for the University’s records. To be considered official, transcripts must be sent directly from the institution to The Graduate School or delivered in a sealed envelope bearing a registrar’s stamp.
  3. Two letters of recommendation.
  4. A satisfactory score on the GRE, taken within five years of applying. LSAT and GMAT scores will also be accepted. Applications for the GRE and the GMAT can be obtained from The Graduate School or from the Educational Testing Service, Box 955, Princeton, NJ 08540. Applicants from western states should write the Educational Testing Service, 1947 Center Street, Berkeley, CA 94704.
  5. International applicants whose native language is not English are also required to submit a satisfactory score on the TOEFL or the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam. The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 80 (Internet-based). The minimum acceptable overall band score on the IELTS Intl. Academic Course Type 2 exam is 6.5.
  6. In addition to The Graduate School’s admission requirements, the Environment and Sustainability Program requires a 1-2 page letter of intent, making clear to us why you wish to study with us. This can be emailed directly to:
  7. Resume

Requests for further information should be addressed to: Graduate Director, Earth and Environmental Resources Management Program, Environment and Sustainability Program, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208; e-mail,

Faculty from Other Departments

The following Environment and Sustainability Program faculty have appointments in other departments and are listed below by these affiliations.

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Anthropology
Joanna L. Casey, Ph.D., University of Toronto, 1993
Kenneth G. Kelly, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1995
Thomas L. Leatherman, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1987
Gail E. Wagner, Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis, 1987

Department of Art
David W. Voros, M.F.A., Indiana University, 1994

Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences
Dennis M. Allen, Ph.D., Lehigh University, 1978
Wendy B. Allen, M.Ed., University of South Carolina, 1980
James T. Morris, Ph.D., Yale University, 1979

Department of Biological Sciences
Jill Anderson, Ph.D., Cornell University, 2009
Ronald H. Benner, Ph.D., University of Georgia, 1984
Carol L. Boggs, Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin, 1979
Erin Connolly, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 1997
Berten E. Ely III, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1973
Bob Friedman, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 2002
Austin L. Hughes, Ph.D., Indiana University, 1984
Lazlo Marton, Ph.D., Jozsef Attila University, 1976
James T. Morris, Ph.D., Yale University, 1979
Timothy A. Mousseau, Ph.D., McGill University, 1988
John B. Nelson, Ph.D., Florida State University
Sean Place, Ph.D., University of California Santa Barbara, 2005
Jay L. Pinckney, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1992
Joseph M. Quattro, Ph.D., Rutgers University, 1991
Tammi Richardson,  Ph.D., Dalhousie University (Canada) 1996
Roger H. Sawyer, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, 1970
Sarah A. Woodin, Ph.D., University of Washington, 1972

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
John Ferry, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1996
Scott R. Goode, Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1974
Timothy J. Shaw, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 1988

Earth Sciences and Resource Institute

Robin (Buz) Kloot, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 2005
John M. Shafer, Ph.D., Colorado State University, 1979
Michael Waddell, M.S., University of South Carolina, 1982

Department of English
James Barilla, Ph.D., University of California, Davis
Paula R. Feldman, Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1974
Christy Friend, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1997

Department of Geography
Jessica Barnes, Ph.D., Columbia University, 2010
Gregory J. Carbone, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1990
Edward R. Carr, Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 2002; Ph.D., Syracuse University, 2001
Susan L. Cutter, Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1976
Kirstin Dow, Ph.D., Clark University, 1996
Jean T. Ellis, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 2006
William L. Graf, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1974
April Hiscox, Ph.D., University of Connecticut, 2006
Michael E. Hodgson, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1987
L. Allan James, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1988
John R. Jensen, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1976
David Kneas, Ph.D. Candidate, Yale University
John Kupfer, Ph.D., University of Iowa, 1995
Jerry T. Mitchell, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1998
Cary J. Mock, Ph.D., University of Oregon, 1994

Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences
Claudia Benitez-Nelson, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1999
Subrahmanyam Bulusu, Ph.D., Satellite Oceanography, National Oceanography Center (formerly Southampton Oceanography Center), University of Southampton, England, 1998
Gwendelyn Geidel, Ph.D., J.D., University of South Carolina, 1982, 1989
Venkat Lakshmi, Ph.D., Princeton University, 1995
Robert C. Thunell, Ph.D., University of Rhode Island, 1978
Raymond Torres, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1997
George Voulgaris, Ph.D., University of Southhampton, UK, 1992
Scott M. White, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2001
Alicia Wilson, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 1999
Alexander E. Yankovsky, Ph.D., Physical-Mathematical Sciences/Geophysics, Marine Hydrophysical Inst., Sevastopol, USSR (now Ukraine), 1991

Department of History
Emily Brock, Ph.D., Princeton University, 2004
Ann Johnson, Ph.D., Princeton University, 2000
Thomas M. Lekan, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1999
Robert R. Weyeneth, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1984

Department of Mathematics
Douglas B. Meade, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University, 1989
Hong Wang, Ph.D., University of Wyoming, 1992

Department of Political Science
Mark E. Tompkins, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1981
David P. Whiteman, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, 1980
Laura Woliver, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1986

Department of Religious Studies
Kevin Lewis, Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1980

Department of Statistics
Don Edwards, Ph.D., Ohio State University, 1981

Environmental Systems Research

Jeremy Cothran, Programer/Developer, The Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine & Coastal Sciences
Dan Ramage, Programmer/Developer, Environment and Sustainability Program

SC Lowcountry Center for Humans and Nature

Bruce C. Coull, Ph.D., Lehigh University, 1968

Congaree National Park
David C. Shelley, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 2007
Theresa A. Thom, Ph.D., University of Georgia, 2005

College of Education

Stephen Thompson, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, 2002

USC’s Collaborative Research and Program Development
Heidi Mills, Ed.D., Indiana University, 1986

College of Engineering and Computing

Department of Chemical Engineering
Michael D. Amiridis, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 1991
Francis A. Gadala-Maria, Ph.D., Stanford University, 1979
Michael A. Matthews, Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 1986
Branko N. Popov, Ph.D., University of Zagreb, 1972
James A. Ritter, Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo, 1989
John W. Weidner, Ph.D., North Carolina State University, 1991

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
M. Hanif Chaudhry, Ph.D., University of British Columbia, 1970
Jasim Imran, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1997
Anthony S. McAnally, Ph.D., Auburn University, 1989
Michael E. Meadows, Ph.D., University of Tennessee, 1976
Charles A. Pierce, Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1998
Richard P. Ray, Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1983

Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Michael N. Huhns, Ph.D., University of Southern California, 1975

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Abdel E. Bayoumi, Ph.D., North Carolina State University, 1982
Jamil A. Khan, Ph.D., Clemson University, 1988
Jeffrey H. Morehouse, Ph.D., Auburn University, 1976
Walter H. Peters, Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1978

School of Law

Joshua Eagle, J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1990
David Linnan, J.D., University of Chicago Law School, 1979

Moore School of Business

Jason Murray, Ph.D., University of California, San Diego, 2007
Kathleen M. Whitcomb, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1989
Douglas F. Woodward, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1986

School of Medicine

Department of Cell and Developmental Biology and Anatomy
Charles A. Blake, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1972

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Alvin Fox, Ph.D., University of Leeds, 1976

Arnold School of Public Health

Center for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities
Sonya Jones, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, 2002

Department of Environmental Health Sciences
G. Thomas Chandler, Ph.D., Louisiana State University, 1986
Alan W. Decho, Ph.D., Louisiana State University, 1987
Charles E. Feigley, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, 1978
Dwayne E. Porter, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1995
Sarah E. Rothenberg, D.Env., University of California, 2007

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
James R. Hebert, Sc.D., Harvard University, 1984

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Elaine M. Frank, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1988

Environmental Genomics Core Facility
W. Joe Jones, Ph.D., University of California, 2001

USC Aiken

Department of Biology and Geology
Andrew R. Dyer, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 1996
Sarah Michele Harmon, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 2003
William A. Pirkle, Ph.D., University of North Carolina, 1972
Harry E. Shealy Jr., Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1972
Garriet W. Smith, Ph.D., Clemson University, 1981

USC Beaufort

Department of Biology
Joseph L. Staton, Ph.D., University of Louisiana, 1992

USC Sumter

Division of Science, Mathematics, and Engineering
Pearl R. Fernandes, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1993

Earth and Environmental Resources Management

MEERM Graduate Committee
Jill Anderson
L. Allan James
Dwayne Porter
Jenny Pournelle
Joseph Quattro
Mark E. Tompkins
Scott White

Programs and Courses



    Environmental Studies

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