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Associate or Full Professor - Environmental Justice, Law, and Policy

Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
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Closing date
Mar 16, 2024

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Environmental justice, Policy
Job Type
Faculty, Associate Professor
Organization Type

Associate or Full Professor - Environmental Justice, Law, and Policy


Cohort Hire: Advancing Environmental Justice

Focus: Environmental Justice, Law, and Policy

Department of Natural Resources and the Environment



Ithaca, NY, USA. The academic home for this position is the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences housed on the Ithaca campus of Cornell University. 


The Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at Cornell University is enthusiastically seeking a distinguished scholar for a Tenure-track Associate or Full Professor position focusing on Environmental Justice, Law, and Policy. Our new colleague will join a Cohort Faculty Hire in Advancing Environmental Justice.


Context: The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Roadmap to 2050 is Centering Environmental Justice to Achieve Climate and Sustainability Goals through the Pursuit of Just Technological Futures via a cohort of hires within five Transdisciplinary Moonshots – opportunities for the College to collaborate on future-focused, cross-disciplinary scientific breakthroughs and to align research, education, and extension programs for greater impact and stronger connectivity. The Moonshot areas build upon core strengths in CALS, spanning the agricultural, environmental, life, and social sciences, with the goal of recruiting 27 faculty into the College over the next three years.


Opportunity: The Advancing Environmental Justice cohort of scholars will examine the legacy and contemporary dynamics of environmental (in)justice in achieving climate and sustainability outcomes by incorporating more inclusive and equitable technological knowledge. This cohort is focused on environmental justice and just technological futures meaning moving beyond mere concrete technological objects and including knowledge practices, procedures, and indigenous or local knowledge systems. Thereby, examining how they are applied to the construction, legitimization, and enforcement of social categories toward structurally marginalized diverse populations, such as ethnic, indigenous, racial, and gendered communities. In addition to this advertised hire, the Advancing Environmental Justice cohort includes new junior faculty positions in Urban Eco-evolutionary Biology (Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), Environmental Justice in Global Development (Dept. of Global Development), and Communication and Environmental Justice (Dept. of Communication) within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).


The Department of Natural Resources and the Environment recognizes the need to address these complex challenges and is honored to engage in a search for a colleague who is committed to developing inclusive mentorship strategies and transdisciplinary leadership with an outstanding record of service and an innovative research and teaching program in environmental justice. This role includes a potential leadership appointment in the development and envisioning of a new program dedicated to Environmental Justice and Just Futures, with the ability to advance focused grants and initiatives across CALS. If you are a dedicated environmental justice scholar looking to make a lasting impact where research drives advocacy, we encourage you to apply and be part of our dynamic team at Cornell University.



This position has an effort split of 50% teaching and 50% research.


Teaching (50%) - The successful candidate is expected to contribute to existing core courses or develop new classes within the cross-college Environment and Sustainability Major. The faculty member is also responsible for mentoring and guiding students across Cornell University, nurturing their growth in the field of environmental justice, law, and policy. It is expected that partial teaching relief will be available for work towards the development of the broader environmental justice research program. The successful candidate will participate in the selection of as well as guide and support junior faculty members within the cohort, offering mentorship and fostering their professional development.


Research (50%) - Exceptional research scholarship is expected, as the successful candidate will lead an internationally recognized research program to leverage the legacy and contemporary dynamics of environmental justice in achieving climate and sustainability outcomes. The candidate is also expected to raise independent external research funding in addition to the internal financial resources committed to the cohort program and the Environmental Justice Center.


Department Affiliation: The successful candidate will be a tenure-line faculty member of the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and will be based in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment with possibility of affiliation with other units.


Qualifications: The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in any closely related field associated with a broad understanding of the sociocultural and ecological dimensions of environmental justice including but not limited to environmental anthropology, law, policy, sociology, and/or international development. The ideal candidate will have an internationally recognized research program and expertise in environmental policy, social justice, indigenous rights, and/or climate change impacts. They should also have a track record of and an exciting vision for institutional leadership on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The candidate’s scholarship should have empirically grounded and theoretically informed components with specific focus on the structural, institutional, and historical drivers of environmental injustices; the processes and mechanisms through which environmental injustices are perpetuated; and policy interventions and other sustainable responses that promote environmental justice. Outstanding research scholarship is expected, as is excellence in teaching, translation of knowledge, and inclusive advising and mentoring of students and junior faculty. Lastly, a strong commitment to and experience in developing transdisciplinary team-based research, training, and teaching is essential.


Applications and Starting Date: The anticipated starting date is January 2025 or as negotiated. Qualified applicants should submit 1) a cover letter ; 2) a Curriculum Vitae; 3) A two-page statement on teaching and mentoring philosophy that includes concrete examples of practice showing a proven commitment to innovative and equitable pedagogy; 4) a two-page statement of research accomplishments and interests within the context of knowledge frontiers in Environmental Justice and Just Futures; 5) a two-page statement elaborating upon any synergistic activities (past and present) directly related to the candidate’s vision and ability to play a leadership role in the cohort and Environmental Justice program; 6) a statement supporting diverse communities (this can be a stand-alone document (preferred) or the information can be embedded in other parts of the application materials) outlining how, through research, teaching, service, mentoring, extension, and/or outreach, the candidate has and will contribute to support Cornell’s historical mission of “any person … any study”; 7) Three related sample publications; and 8) names and contact information for three references (references will not be contacted without permission). Materials should be submitted online to:


Applications received by March 15, 2024 will be given full consideration. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


Reflections for Consideration: The root cause of the climate and environmental challenges before us is injustice: for people and the planet. The rights of nature are inseparable from human rights. To course correct for the future of the planet, we need to reconcile historical and present-day harms that result in disparities in sociocultural, economic, and health outcomes. Fortunately, there is a rising tide to meet these challenges head-on, often with innovative approaches and technologies. However, these processes often place justice as a secondary or tertiary consideration, if at all. The responses to these challenges are repeatedly designed by and for those in power with no participation of those who are being affected. These Moonshot cohort positions seek to disrupt how we collectively imagine and conceive of these approaches and technologies needed for environmentally just futures. Critical consideration of technology enhances research on sustainable transitions by prioritizing ethical and appropriate sustainable transitions. This moonshot seeks to repair relationships between people and their habitats by centering environmental justice as a fundamental component of achieving effective climate and sustainability solutions. Join us in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment and Cornell CALS to articulate and engage Environmentally Just Futures.


Inquiries may be directed to:

Search chair: Professor Karim-Aly S. Kassam

Department of Natural Resources and the Environment

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14850



CALS hiring range for position:

Associate Professor:  $97,500 - $148,500

Professor: $109,500 - $250,000


Cornell University offers a competitive salary and benefits package. Support for start-up costs will be available. Salary is commensurate with experience.


The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is a pioneer of purpose-driven science and Cornell University’s second largest college. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world-renowned research, education, and outreach. The questions we probe and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: We believe that achieving next-generation scientific breakthroughs requires an understanding of the world’s complex, interlocking systems. We believe that access to nutritious food and a healthy environment is a fundamental human right. We believe that ensuring a prosperous global future depends on the ability to support local people and communities everywhere. By working in and across multiple scientific areas, CALS can address challenges and opportunities of the greatest relevance, here in New York, across the nation, and around the world.


Cornell University seeks to meet the needs of dual career couples, has a Dual Career program, and is a member of the Upstate New York Higher Education Recruitment Consortium to assist with dual career searches including positions available in higher education in the upstate New York area.


Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League and Land-grant university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.


Cornell’s regional and global presence includes state-wide Cornell Cooperative Extension programs and offices in all counties and boroughs, global partnerships with institutions and communities engaged in life-changing research and education, the medical college’s campuses on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Doha, Qatar, and the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in the heart of New York City.


Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, and we do not tolerate discrimination based on any protected characteristic, including race, ethnic or national origin, citizenship and immigration status, color, sex/gender, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, age, creed, religion, actual or perceived disability (including persons associated with such a person), arrest and/or conviction record, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender expression and/or identity, an individual’s genetic information, domestic violence victim status, familial status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations in accordance with applicable law.


Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff to all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

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