Conference Organizers

Christopher Cokinos is an Associate Professor of English and Affiliated Faculty with the Institute of the Environment, where he is the lead mentor for the Carson Scholar program. He is active with science-communication efforts on campus, including coordinating with College of Science Associate Dean Chris Impey. Cokinos spearheaded the first campus-wide science-communication summit three years ago. He teaches creative writing and history of science fiction courses. Winner of an N.S.F. Antarctic Visiting Artists and Writers Grant, Cokinos is the author of three books of literary nonfiction, poetry volumes and co-editor of an award-winning hybrid field guide/anthology. He has published articles, essays, poems, reviews and critical work in the Los Angeles Times, Pacific Standard, Orion, Extrapolation and Poetry.

Helmuth Trischler is Head of Research at the Deutsches Museum, Munich, Professor of Modern History and the History of Technology at Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, and Director of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society. He researches innovation cultures in international comparison; science, technology and European integration; transport history; and environmental history. He conceptualized the world’s first major exhibition on the Anthropocene which was held at the Deutsches Museum from 2014-2016. The author of 37 books and edited volumes, some hundred articles, and the co-editor of a number of book series, Trischler’s recent books include Welcome to the Anthropocene: The Earth in Our Hands (2015, ed. with Nina Möllers and Christian Schwägerl).

Margaret Evans is an Assistant Research Professor in the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research and the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She earned her B. A. in biology from Reed College in 1993, then her Ph. D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona in 2003. She has worked for The Nature Conservancy and the Forest Service and has held fellowships at Yale University and at the National Museum of Natural History and Ecole Normal Superieure in Paris. She focuses on tree-ring and forest inventory data to better anticipate how forests in western North America will respond to climate change. Her research has been published in the journals Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Ecology Letters, Ecological Monographs, the New Phytologist, the American Naturalist, and Evolution, among others. She has a lifelong love of contemporary dance, training and performing as well as a passion for high-quality popular science writing, which she uses generously in the classroom.

Andrea K. Gerlak holds a joint appointment at the University of Arizona as an Associate Professor in the School of Geography and Development and as an Associate Research Professor at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy. Her research agenda examines the causes of—and innovative solutions to—some of our world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Broadly speaking, she works on how we can better design institutions to promote adaptive, flexible policies to improve human and ecosystem well-being and produce fair and equitable decisions. She looks for avenues for cooperation and collaboration in resource management, and how institutional design shapes decision-making processes, influences how problems get framed, and whose knowledge matters. Gerlak has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles on environmental policy and governance.

University Distinguished Professor of Astronomy and College of Science Associate Dean Chris Impey has been working on ways to improve science communication to broad audiences by UA faculty and students. For faculty, this is part of a service obligation and increasingly required to address “broader impacts” requirements for federal grants. For graduate students, science communication skills are highly valued by employers and play into an increasing set of career paths for STEM professionals. Impey’s efforts have led to a new graduate certificate in science communication and as PI he submitted an NSF proposal to build on this with new courses, microcredentials, and a set of professional development opportunities. Impey has also been pursuing scholarship in science communication and giving presentations on the need for public engagement about science to groups around the country.

Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Arizona, where she teaches contemporary literature and literary theory. She holds a B.A. in Literature from Duke University and a Ph.D. in Rhetoric with an emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality from the University of California, Berkeley. Trained as an interdisciplinary cultural theorist, Srinivasan has published in journals of comparative literature, south Asian studies, media studies, Asian/American Studies, women’s studies and urban studies. Her current book project is a study of the literary and critical discourses on an emergent, global India in the “Asian” 21st century. Recent publications include work on South Asian Anglophone icons and literatures, museum exhibits, digital archives, anticolonial rhetorics and an experiment in cross-generational dialogue. Srinivasan is on the Academic Council of the South Asian American Digital Archive and is a contributor to the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature.

Joela Jacobs is an Assistant Professor of German Studies at the University of Arizona. Her research focuses on the intersections of German literature and film with environmental humanities, animal studies, cultural environmentalism and history of science. She has published a dozen articles in journals and edited volumes since 2012 on topics such as biopolitics, animal epistemology, critical plant studies and monstrosity. She is working on a book called Animal, Vegetal, Marginal: Being (Non)Human in German Modernist Grotesques, which examines a preoccupation with non-human forms of life in modernist literature. She recently edited a four-part special issue of Humanities on “Animal Narratology” and last year she founded the Literary and Cultural Plant Studies Network.

Scott Selisker’s research and teaching focus on post-WWII U.S. literature, with emphases on science and technology studies and the digital humanities. He received his Ph.D. in English at the University of Virginia in 2010, was an ACLS New Faculty Fellow and is an Assistant Professor of English at Arizona. His first book, Human Programming: Brainwashing, Automatons, and American Unfreedom, was published in August 2016 by the University of Minnesota Press. It explores how ideas about freedom and unfreedom, democracy and its enemies, have been exchanged among literature, film, psychology, cybernetics, political theory and news media in the U.S., from World War II to the War on Terror.

Lee Medovoi is a Professor and Head of the Department of English at the University of Arizona. He was the founding director of the Portland Center for Public Humanities and is a former member of the PMLA editorial board.  He is the author of Rebels: Youth and the Cold War Origins of Identity (Duke 2005), and has published numerous articles in such journals as Cultural Critique, Minnesota Review, Screen, Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies, Mediations, New Formations, American Literary History and Social Text. A founding board member for the Cultural Studies Association, he was the principal investigator for a collaborative, three-year Mellon Foundation research grant through the Consortium of Humanities Center and Institutes on the topic of “Religion, Secularism, and Political Belonging in a Global Age.” Lee is currently at work on two books.

Andrea Westermann specializes in the history of earth sciences, environmental history and the history of material culture. She studied at the Albrecht-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, the Universitat de Barcelona, and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; did her PhD at Bielefeld University; and worked at the history and humanities departments of ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich. She was a visiting scholar at the Science Studies Program at UC San Diego and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.

Jeroen Oomen is trained in philosophy, sociology and political science, with a particular interest in questions of equality and fairness, environment and climate change. He is a doctoral candidate at the RCC and is an Early Stage Researcher of the European Union-sponsored International Training Network "Environmental Humanities in a Concerned Europe" (ENHANCE). He was a visiting fellow at Harvard last year and is studying the sociotechnical development of climate engineering, focusing on case studies in Germany and the U.S.


Tony Colella is a PhD candidate in the University of Arizona's School of Geography and Development. His research focuses upon making university bioscience more equitable for LGBTQ+ students, and his teaching in English and physical geography emphasizes experiential and group learning. He is also a photographer and writer, and he earned an MFA in creative writing, also from the University of Arizona. He co-hosts the podcast The Imaginaries, which releases biweekly and is all about modern science fiction and fantasy.

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences