Tania M. Schusler, PhD

Adjunct Faculty, ES PhD Program
Department of Environmental Studies

AUNE Contact Information

Highest Degree

PhD Natural Resource Policy and Managment, Cornell University

Other Degrees & Credentials

MS Natural Resource Policy and Management, Cornell University
BS Forestry, University of Illinois

Areas of Expertise

stakeholder engagement, community education, youth participation, sustainability, community-based conservation


Throughout my career I have worked at the interface of people and environment. I conceive of environment broadly to include natural and built environments and their biophysical and social dimensions. Habitat destruction and climate change are obvious environmental issues and, in my view, so are racism and poverty. I am especially interested in how community development can simultaneously foster community well-being, social justice, economic vitality, and environmental protection.

The continuing thread throughout my work is citizen participation. The messy, complex arenas of participation and democracy fascinate me and provide the focus of my research around the core question: How can participation contribute to environmentally sustainable and socially just communities? Inquiry about participation in environmental decision-making raises a host of intriguing issues related to social learning, public deliberation, capacity, collaboration, policy, institutional structures, and knowledge construction. I am especially interested in how these dimensions interplay in practice and how environmental scientists, managers, policy-makers, and educators can improve processes for citizen participation in environmental management.