Experts and assets from a variety of departments and programs form the interdisciplinary foundation of the Watershed Institute, helping to facilitate a wide range of projects and special research. Various capactities within the Institute are served by the faculty below on a per-project basis.
Ruth J. Cronje
Associate Professor of English
725 Hibbard Hall (715) 836-5384
"[I am] particularly interested in urban sustainability initiatives including creating wildlife habitats and growing food on residential properties in cities and suburbs as a way to promote biodiversity, food-shed responsibility." Dr. Cronje’s environmental involvement includes coteaching Environmental Conservation and Action at UW—Eau Claire, a class that coincides with the Pedal Paddle Pollution Tour of the Chippewa River. See more...
Paula K. Kleintjes Neff
Professor of Biology
Phillips 337 (715) 836-5284
"Take time to immerse yourself in the splendor of nature and while you’re at it, do the same for a child." Dr. Kleintjes Neff teaches Conservation of the Environment, Conservation Biology, General Entomology and numerous field courses at UW—Eau Claire. Her primary interests include working with students, conducting research in insect ecology and conservation and encouraging society to lessen their reliance on pesticides. See more...
Library 2134D (715) 836-3789
"Watershed provides a place for people concerned about awareness of the interconnections between the natural environment and humanity." Ms. Kieffer is an active member of the community and serves on the Bolton Refuge House Board of Directors. She teaches Ecofeminism: Women and Environmental Justice as part of the Women's Studies program at UW-Eau Claire. See more...
Environmental Adventure Center Staff
Hilltop 14 (715) 836-3616
Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Hibbard 630 (715) 836-2993
"I currently teach a course called ‘Sacred Earth’ that addresses environmental issues from religious and spiritual angles; I hope it serves to promote ecological awareness." Dr. Lowe teaches Philosophy and Religious Studies at UW—Eau Claire. He also taught co-taught "Religion and the Environment" at the University of North Dakota. He is the author and coauthor of several printed works... See more...
J. Brian Mahoney
Professor of Geology
Phillips 149 (715) 836-4952
"I offer significant geologic and environmental experience, and I am deeply committed to collaborative, interdisciplinary teaching, particularly experiential activities." Dr. Mahoney teaches Societal Issues in the Earth Sciences, one of the interdisciplinary courses in the Department of Geology and UW—Eau Claire. He is also the coordinator of the TIES program, which gives students the opportunity to study abroad in a variety of different countries. See more...
Associate Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies
Hibbard 612 (715) 836-2975
Dr. McAleer specializes in ethical theory and the history of ethics, and teaches Environmental Ethics at UW—Eau Claire. His professional presentations include "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Environmental Virtue Ethics." Dr. McAleer's publications include "Four Solutions to the Alleged Incompleteness of Virtue Ethics" in the Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy... See more...
Director of Service Learning
Human S&S 205 (715) 836-4649
Associate Professor of Sociology
Schneider 428 (715) 836-3168
"The common thrust of my work, especially teaching and research, centers on the interaction between natural and social systems, and their impact on natural and social communities." Dr. Niazi’s areas of expertise are Environmental Security, Environmental Sociology, Sociology of Nationalism and Ethnicity, and Sociology of Social Change. He teaches Environmental Sociology and Sociology of the Middle East as part of the Sociology program. See more...
Professor of Chemistry
Phillips 451 (715) 855-8562
"I was first introduced to Wisconsin’s unique and storied conservation history while reading Leopold’s ‘Sand County Almanac’ in a Religion course at Middlebury College. I never imagined that 20 years later I would be working to preserve that legacy." Dr. Phillips is a Professor of Chemistry, who teaches General, Physical, and Environmental Chemistry, and has established a vibrant externally funded undergraduate research program... See more...
Garry Leonard Running
Professor of Geography & Anthropology
Phillips 253 (715) 836-2731
"[My colleagues and I] have…now mapped terraces in the LCRV, investigated channel change in the river, and have contributed to or initiated a variety of other interdisciplinary research, public outreach, and recreational activities." Dr. Running teaches Geography, Geoarchaeology, Soils and the Environment, and Conservation of the Environment (among others) for the Department of Geography and Anthropology at UW—Eau Claire. See more...
Professor of Biology
Phillips 353 (715) 836-2543
"As a vegetation ecologist, I’m primarily interested in understanding the relative influences of multiple factors on plant community assembly and how this affects ecosystem functioning." Dr. Weiher teaches Ecology and Evolution, Vegetation Ecology, and Limnology for the Department of Biology at UW—Eau Claire. His publications include "Advances, Challenges, and a Developing Synthesis of Ecological Community Assembly Theory"... See more...
Senior Research Specialist in Biology
Phillips 360 (715) 836-3190
"My environmental ethic was shaped by a college internship with The Nature Conservancy and colored by a career with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources." Dr. Merten has taught Ecology & Evolution, Aquatic Ecology, Conservation of the Environment, and Invertebrate Zoology in the Biology Department, along with a field courses in the Bahamas, the Grand Canyon, and the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness. See more...
How To Become an Affiliate
Application to the Affiliate Program in the UW-Eau Claire Watershed Institute is open to all interested faculty and staff. Applications for affiliation will be reviewed by the WICES Program Coordinator in consultation with the WICES Steering Committee. Download the Affiliate Invitation in PDF format.