faculty of environmental studies

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Innovative research is at the heart of the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES). Our inception in 1968 as Canada’s first Faculty of Environmental Studies launched a new kind of scholarship committed to interdisciplinary research with practical applications.

Our Researchers

Meet our faculty and discover their research interests and how they match with your academic interests.

Our Publications

FES faculty author and edit scholarly books, policy papers and research reports that are printed by some of the world’s best publishers. For journal articles, see individual profiles.

Our Projects

From environmental crisis to environmental practice, from local planning to international development, from native issues to gender issues on health and environmental science – from almost anywhere on the spectrum of environmental thought to almost any topic on environmental policy – you will find research in FES.

FES lays groundwork for Sustainable Energy Initiative

FES Professors Mark Winfield and José Etcheverry lead new initiative that solidifies FES as the preeminent place in Ontario for research and education on renewable energy.

SSHRC Major Collaborative Research Initiative (MCRI) on Global Suburbanism

Roger Keil, professor at the Faculty of Environmental Studies and director of the City Institute at York University, is one of the York recipients of the SSHRC Major Collaborative Research Initiative (MCRI) that examines in close lens global suburbanism. He is working with 44 researchers at 29 universities and 16 partners in 12 countries to better understand the challenges that suburbanization poses in a globalizing world. FES professors, Ute Lehrer, Liette Gilbert and Stefan Kipfer are co-researchers in the initiative.

Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Sustainability and Culture

Catriona Sandilands was awarded a CRC in Sustainability and Culture in 2003 that was renewed in 2009 for another five years. Essentially, the research aims to develop an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability and culture – investigating relations between environmental literature and environmental politics.

Las Nubes Project for Neotropical Conservation and Research

Las Nubes – which means "the clouds" – is a Costa Rican rainforest donated to FES in 1998 by Dr. Woody Fisher. To help protect the rainforest, FES worked with Costa Rica’s Tropical Science Centre to create the Dr. Woody Fisher Fund for Neotropical Conservation, which supports research at Las Nubes and the surrounding region in areas such as tropical deforestation, sustainable development and biodiversity. Felipe Montoya-Greenheck is currently the director of the Las Nubes Project.

Student research

Student research exemplifies the interdisciplinary nature of FES and consist of major papers, portfolios or projects as well as theses or dissertations.  To appreciate the endless possibilities for student research in FES, examine some of these works below.

York research centres and institutes

York is home to 28 research centres and institutes. FES faculty members are associated with the following research centres and institutes: 

Research services for faculty and students

Visiting Scholars

FES offers a limited number of visiting scholar opportunities for predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers.  These positions are intended to support advanced and interdisciplinary research and writing on any environmental topics.  Visiting scholars are welcome to participate in the supportive, interdisciplinary community of scholars at FES and York, and will have opportunities to present their research.  There is no stipend attached to visiting scholar positions so applicants must be self-funded.  Visiting scholars are not entitled to any individual supervision.