Faculty Profile

Michael Beevers

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies (2011)

Contact Information

beeversm@dickinson.edu

Kaufman Building Room 106
717.254.8036

Bio

His interests include environmental policy, global environmental politics, environmental security, development, globalization, peacebuilding and African Politics. His current research examines environmental and natural resource governance in war-torn societies - with a particular focus on forests, diamonds and minerals in Liberia and Sierra Leone. He has worked as a research associate at Princeton University and as a consultant for the United Nations Environment Programme and World Resources Institute. He was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger.

Education

  • B.S., Western Illinois University, 1993
  • M.S., M.P.A., University of Washington, 2004
  • Ph.D., University of Maryland, 2011

2016-2017 Academic Year

Fall 2016

INST 290 Environment, Conflict & Peace
Cross-listed with ENST 311-01. What are the links between the environment, violent conflict and peace? This class examine the relationship between the environment and security. As such, the course examines four interrelated themes. First, we will discuss the emergence of the concept of environmental security and whether conventional notions of security are equipped to deal with environmental issues. Second, we will explore violent conflict -- a powerful driver of insecurity for nations, communities and individuals. We will examine and critique environmentally-induced conflicts which have been the subject of much interest and speculation in recent years. Specifically, we will scrutinize resource scarcity, resource abundance and political ecology approaches for explaining these events. Third, we will ask whether the environment and natural resources may actually be a catalyst for peace and peacebuilding. And fourth, we will examine the connection between climatic changes, security and violent conflict.

ENST 311 Environment, Conflict & Peace
Cross-listed with INST 290-05. What are the links between the environment, violent conflict and peace? This class examine the relationship between the environment and security. As such, the course examines four interrelated themes. First, we will discuss the emergence of the concept of environmental security and whether conventional notions of security are equipped to deal with environmental issues. Second, we will explore violent conflict -- a powerful driver of insecurity for nations, communities and individuals. We will examine and critique environmentally-induced conflicts which have been the subject of much interest and speculation in recent years. Specifically, we will scrutinize resource scarcity, resource abundance and political ecology approaches for explaining these events. Third, we will ask whether the environment and natural resources may actually be a catalyst for peace and peacebuilding. And fourth, we will examine the connection between climatic changes, security and violent conflict.

ENST 330 Environmental Policy
This course examines the effect of environmental policies on environmental quality, human health and/or the use of natural resources at local, national and international levels. It considers the ways scientific knowledge, economic incentives and social values merge to determine how environmental problems and solutions are defined, how risks are assessed and how and why decisions are made. The course examines a range of tools, processes and patterns inherent in public policy responses and covers issues ranging from air and water pollution and toxic and solid waste management to energy use, climate change and biodiversity protection. A combination of lectures, case studies, and field trips will be used. Prerequisite: 131 and 132 or 130, or permission of instructor.

Spring 2017

INST 290 Global Environmental Politics
Cross-listed with ENST 371-01. Global environmental politics seeks to understand how the global environment is being changed by humanity and how states, organizations, individuals, communities, societies, movements and corporations are responding to planetary environmental issues. In this course, we discuss the causes of global environmental problems and how solutions have been conceptualized and put into practice over the last several decades. We examine trends in global environmental governance, and focus on the role of the sovereign state and global organizations in designing, implementing and enforcing effective international environmental agreements and regimes. We study the growing role in global environmental politics of ‘global civil society’ and multinational corporations. Finally, we consider the major tensions and controversies that characterize global environmental politics such as the impact of economics and trade, sustainable development, and the role of knowledge, power and science. This course engages with a broad range of materials from the global environmental politics literature and endeavors to represent different methodological and conceptual approaches. The course is not organized around environmental ‘issue areas’ but rather focuses on the underlying dynamics of power, authority, interests, legitimacy and ideas that ultimately shape environmental debates. We focus on how theory informs policy making and learn to recognize the constraints and opportunities available for addressing environmental challenges in a changing world. The course will incorporate lectures and seminar discussions as well as possible field trip and guest speakers.

ENST 311 Special Topics in Env Studies
An interdisciplinary course on special environmental studies topics to be offered on the basis of faculty interest, need, and demand. Recent topics have included loss of biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, forests, air pollution, and climate change. No laboratory. Prerequisite: Dependent upon topic or permission of the instructor.

ENST 371 Global Environmental Politics
Cross-listed with INST 290-03.

ENST 406 Understand Hum Place in Nature
This senior seminar course explores in-depth the complex interactions between humans and the natural world through multiple and overlapping disciplines and viewpoints. We will reflect on what we mean by the environment and nature, and explore how these powerful concepts and understandings have evolved and been given significance through science, religion, philosophy, history, ethics, culture, politics, race and gender. The course engages critically with topics that lie at the heart of current environmental debates, and provides for understanding on issues ranging from wilderness and species protection and rainforest "destruction" to social justice, policy, planning and the commodification of the natural world. This course is designed to help us (re)evaluate our place is nature, comprehend the search for sustainability and guide our future endeavors. It is required for environmental studies and science students and highly recommended for those in all disciplines with an interest in living sustainability.