Associate Professor and Director of Environmental Studies
Robert East is an Associate Professor and Director of the Environmental Studies Program, teaching courses in both the Environmental Studies and Environmental Science majors. He teaches a variety of courses covering interdisciplinary aspects of environmental studies, with areas of expertise in agroforestry, watershed management, and sustainable development. To his teaching and research, he brings six years’ experience working with the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, and twelve years of experience living and working within the Greater Horn of Africa.
While employed by the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station as a post-doctoral fellow, Dr. East was part of a team that developed one of the first rangeland early warning systems for the Greater Horn of Africa. He also worked as Assistant Project Leader with the Center for Semi-Arid Forest Resources at Texas A&M University with primary focus on developing silvopastoral systems for South Texas.
Dr. East had served for three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Western Kenya. He had worked in technical advisor/project leadership positions for the Governments of Kenya and Tanzania, and with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs for Denmark (DANIDA) and Sweden (SIDA). He had been a consultant on projects funded by the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, DANIDA, and USAID.
Dr. East is a co-Principal Investigator on a grant awarded from the Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment. His research includes comparing the environmental impacts of economic development in China and the United States, and the role of agroforestry in mitigating climate change vulnerability within East Africa. Dr. East was the founding chair of the College Sustainability Committee and is currently the faculty representative for the Morris K. Udall Scholarship, the faculty advisor for the College Green Club, and the coordinator for the Mazingira (“Environment”) Fund.