Sustainability @ SNU
Environmental, Social, & Life Sciences
Build and challenge your science and sustainability skills and knowledge in a one-of-a-kind laboratory: The Tahoe Basin. Our location is a unique ecosystem, with an extensive research and stewardship presence. Whether your long-term goals are medicine, environmental research, or sustainable practice, there is no environment to learn-by-doing like the Tahoe Basin. Intern with organizations including the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (on campus), USFS, USGS, the Desert Research Institute, and medical and mental health practitioners. Labs and field courses range across northern Nevada and California.
Our students and faculty publish their work in scientific journals, continue their research in the field and land spots in top internship positions and graduate schools.
Learn about the Environmental, Social, & Life Sciences @ SNU
Meet Your Mentors
- BS, Biology, University of Michigan
- MS, Natural Resources, University of Michigan
- PhD, Ecology, University of California at Davis
Steve’s academic interests include conservation biology, the ecology of freshwater systems, the flora of the Sierra and Great Basin, mathematical and statistical reasoning, and photography. He teaches courses in statistics and mathematics, and is the math program chair. He also served as science department chair from 2001-2008.
Recently he has been involved with the SNC South Africa program, and has taught a conservation photography class there. The Instagram site for this course is @snc_conservation_photo. He serves as a board member for Mountain Area Preservation, a non-profit organization that promotes sensible development in the Tahoe/Truckee region.
Steve is an avid kayaker, mountain biker, hiker, and downhill skier. His favorite places to kayak are Lake Tahoe (of course), Mono Lake, and Tomales Bay. He has done a lot of hiking and backpacking on the John Muir Trail in the High Sierra and the White Mountains near Bishop, California. Steve most often skis at Diamond Peak in Incline Village because of the great powder days, trees, and the local vibe.
- BS, Microbiology, Arizona State University
- PhD, Immunology, University of California, Berkeley
Gollery is all about students. She was selected by her peers to receive the Anthony Chee Teaching Excellence Award at Houston Community College in 1994, the Distinguished Teaching Award at Sierra Nevada College in 2002, and the Distinguished Advising Award at SNC in 2012. Her central focus is the reform of foundational biology instruction away from lectures and memorization of an increasingly large body of content details to problem-based learning that promotes understanding and application of biology facts and concepts. In November 2012 she took a panel of SNC students to the International Science in Society Conference in Berkeley, CA, to present a workshop “Ask College Students about Inquiry-based Learning in Science”. Gollery has research experience in immunogenetics and human genetics. Microbiology continues to be her central research interest, as it is easily accessible to undergraduate students. Gollery has chaired the Department of Science and Technology at SNC since fall 2008.
For fun, Gollery enjoys natural history study while hiking, camping, and kayaking in the Eastern Sierra with her dog, husband, and children. The family also makes music together with the SNC college chorus and TOCCATA, a regional orchestra and chorus, in which Gollery plays flute and sings soprano.
Outdoor Leadership; Environmental & Social Sustainability
- BA, Sociology and Anthropology, Colgate University
- MA, Environment and Community, Humboldt State University
Brennan is a passionate writer, educator, and mountain guide. His writing and guiding work has brought him to all seven of the world’s continents. He finds inspiration backcountry skiing, but is just as inspired facilitating open, honest, and dynamic classroom spaces. Not only does Brennan travel extensively to ski and guide, but he also presents and attends conferences ranging from the Teacher for Social Justice Conference to the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference enhancing his knowledge base and experience in the current field of sustainability.
His writing reflects a diversity of travel and a pursuit of life-long learning. He has been published as a travel, music, adventure, ski, and activist writer both domestically and also abroad. His work can be found in online media, newspapers, and magazines, and his master’s degree research is available in book form.
Brennan teaches Wilderness Survival at Truckee Meadows Community College in addition to teaching in the Interdisciplinary Studies and Environmental Science programs at Sierra Nevada College. His continued mission at SNC is to inspire his students to become aware, critical, and well-rounded liberal arts students. He hopes to use his knowledge to inspire and inform his students during their time at Sierra Nevada College – and beyond.
- BA, New College of California, San Francisco
- MFA, University of California, Davis
Chris Lanier is an artist with a background in both traditional and digital media, and a demonstrated interest in hybrid forms, having worked in multimedia performance, digital animation, web production, and comics. His animation has screened at Sundance and won awards at several international festivals, including the Grand Prize for Internet Animation at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. His graphic novel “Combustion” was published by Fantagraphics Books, and his comics have appeared in a variety of venues, including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Reader, Nickelodeon Magazine, and the Indiana Review. He is also an essayist and critic whose art criticism has appeared in a variety of online and print publications, including The Believer, HiLobrow.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, Salon Magazine, the Bay Guardian, and the Comics Journal. Most recently, he curated the exhibit “The Art of Howl,” featuring concept and animation art from the film “Howl,” which featured James Franco as the beat poet Allen Ginsberg. He also did storyboarding for the film. He is currently the Associate Professor of Digital Art at Sierra Nevada College.
- BA, Zoology, B.S., Oceanography, University of Washington
- PhD, Limnology, Dartmouth College
Levitan has been with SNC since 1986. He has conducted research on Daphnia and Mysis in Lake Tahoe and is doing research at the University of Montana Biological Station at Flathead Lake involving the effects of changing lake levels on ecosystem dynamics. He teaches courses in environmental science, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Chuck has involved many students in active research and many of these projects have resulted in presentations at professional meetings.
- BA, Political Science, University of Vermont
- MS, Hydrology, University of Nevada, Reno
- PhD, Hydrology, University of Nevada, Reno
Andy Rost received his doctorate in hydrology at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he studied stream algae. He has been teaching undergraduate courses in fields ranging from earth, ecology, and environmental sciences. His teaching practices emphasize interdisciplinary perspectives and highlight immersive field experiences and the mentoring of undergraduate research projects.
After becoming the department chair, he has been able to secure external funding to support the department and continue to collaborate with researchers and educators within and beyond the SNC campus to improving undergraduate science education. Throughout these experiences Andy has stayed rooted in and inspired by the rivers, ranges, and landscapes that are central to his professional life. When he is not working, you are likely to find him in these wild places with his wife and three kids.
The areas of educational excellence at the Sierra Nevada College of Entrepreneurial Leadership are CREATIVITY (Studio Art, Creative Writing, & Communications), LEADERSHIP (Enterprise Creation and Management), and SUSTAINABILITY (the Environmental, Social, & Life Sciences).