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Environmental Studies

Shaun Golding '01 Returns to Bowdoin to Teach Environmental Studies and Sociology Courses

Posted April 18, 2013

            Shaun Golding is a Visiting Professor in the Sociology and Anthropology Department for the 2012-2013 academic year. This past fall he taught Environmental Sociology and Migration, Work, and Inequality in the Global Economy. He currently teaches Introduction to Sociology and Tractors, Chainsaws, Windmills, and Cul-de-Sacs: Natural Resource-based Development in Our Backyard. A little over a decade ago, he was a Bowdoin student taking Environmental Sociology classes. Shaun is a member of Bowdoin’s graduating class of 2001. As an involved student, he was a member of the Residential Life staff and the sailing team, and majored in Environmental Studies and Sociology. However, his interest in the environment began long before he arrived to Bowdoin.

            Shaun credits his childhood in Vermont and his love of travelling for his interest in the environment: “Living in Vermont and travelling made it a natural fit for me to want to preserve the world’s natural beauty”.  His interest in the environment made Bowdoin a natural fit for him. Some of his favorite memories are of sitting on the quad and taking in the scenery. When not on the quad, he enjoyed Professor Jill Pearlman’s classes and studying in five countries on IHP’s Global Ecology program. In addition to majoring in Sociology and Environmental Studies, Shaun worked with the Environmental Studies program exploring other ES program facilities, and conducted research to help plan the current ES Program space in Adams Hall.

            After graduating in 2001, Shaun went to work for The Earthwatch Institute in Massachusetts. His time there cemented his desire to go to graduate school. He decided to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he studied Community and Environmental Sociology. His master’s thesis focused on community responses to land use planning. With a dissertation examining gentrification and inequality in rural housing markets, Shaun received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

            Now back at Bowdoin, Shaun sees environmental problems differently. “Now that I’m teaching environmental sociology, it’s hard to ignore that things are much more urgent and there’s much better scientific evidence that there are problems that need to get addressed immediately.” In addition to changes in the environment, Shaun has also noticed changes at Bowdoin.  “Environmental initiatives have strengthened and are reflected in recycling initiatives, commitment to sourcing local food, and dorm contests.”

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 “Now that I’m teaching environmental sociology, it’s hard to ignore that things are much more urgent and there’s much better scientific evidence that there are problems that need to get addressed immediately.”

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