Professor of Earth and Environmental Science
Professor Roof's teaching and research focus on environmental issues such as climate change, pollution, and land conservation. He and his students travel frequently to Death Valley and the southwest for climate change field research. Professor Roof also coordinates a climate change research program in the High Arctic for undergraduate students called the "Svalbard REU." He consciously integrates the scientific, political, and social aspects of environmental problems in his classes and projects. He teaches and supervises projects in geology, climate change, resource conservation, land use planning, geographic information systems, environmental chemistry, and the evolution of scientific thought.
Environmental Earth Science: In this course we will investigate how the natural world operates and examine how society interacts with Earth. Class discussions and weekly projects will introduce the major concepts and techniques of earth science, environmental sciences, and resource management, providing grounding in the geosciences and forming a basis for the interdisciplinary study of environmental topics. This course will emphasize a hands-on, field- and lab-oriented approach to earth and environmental science in which students will learn to observe, pose questions, build hypotheses, and develop answers. Through local field trips, we will explore the history of our planet, and earth-shaping processes such as continental drift, glaciations, and river erosion. By learning how our planet evolves, we can then evaluate the current state of Earth and solutions to environmental ills.
Hampshire College is committed to becoming more sustainable in all ways. In 2018, Hampshire earned a "Gold" rating in the "Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System" (STARS), which is a program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). This prestigious rating recognizes the College's sustainability achievements across academics, operations, social justice, and more. Students in this course will start by examining Hampshire's 2018 STARS submission and identifying our current strengths and weaknesses. We will then investigate the school's sustainability practices and explore new ways for the college to enhance its sustainability, from increasing community well-being to decreasing carbon emissions. Students will research, develop, and evaluate their chosen sustainability initiatives and work with College staff, faculty, and administrators toward the implementation of these initiatives. This experience will help students rise to the challenge of developing truly sustainable practices and implementing them effectively in organizations and institutions.