Debra Straussfogel, Ph.D.

Debra Straussfogel, Ph.D.

Principal Lecturer

Areas of Interest

  • Sustainability education
  • Sustainability literacy assessment;
  • Systems thinking and methodology for sustainability
  • Sustainable resource-based communities


  • Ph.D. : The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA,  Doctor of Philosophy degree in Geography conferred December, 1987.
  • M.S. : The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, Master of Science degree in Geography conferred August, 1983.
  • B.S. : The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology conferred May, 1979.

Teaching Responsibilities

  • NR 437 Principles of Sustainability

  • NR 753 Critical Issues in Sustainability - Sustainability as Abundance (capstone)

  • NR 754 Critical Issues in Sustainability - Sense of Place and Sustainability (capstone)

  • NR 784 Sustainable Living - Global Perspectives​

  • NR 785 Systems Thinking for Sustainable Solutions

  • NR 786 Leadership for Sustainability (capstone)

Research Interests

Beginning early as an undergraduate, questions regarding humanity’s place on, and interaction with, the planet sparked my interest.  The valued advice of a special mentor led me to pursue advanced degrees in Geography, a field defined by the integration of human, social, physical and environmental questions.  As a Geographer, I found the intellectual home to explore the large and synthetic questions that had always captured my interest and imagination.  My commitment to the study of human-environment interactions continues to evolve.

The broad subject area of my work has integrated resource geography and systems science with applications to issues of sustainable development in rural resource-based communities.  I seek interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches, and have utilized both quantitative methodologies and conceptual paradigms, such as world-systems theory and the bioregional perspective.

Selected Publications

  • 2009. Straussfogel, Debra and Caroline von Schilling. “Systems Theory.”  In Kitchin R and Thrift, N. (eds.), International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Vol. 11, pp. 151-158. Oxford: Elsevier.
  • 2006. Straussfogel, Debra. “At the Theoretical Interface of Climate Change and Resource Dependency: Example of the Vulnerability of Boreal Forest Livelihoods.” Mitigation and Adaptation for Climate Change, Vol. 11, no.4, pp. 911-931.
  • 2004. Halseth, Gregory; Straussfogel, Debra; Parsons, Sarah; and Wishart, Amy. “Regional Economic Shifts in BC: Speculation from Recent Demographic Evidence.” Canadian Journal of Regional Science/Revue canadienne des sciences régionales, Vol. XXVII, no. 3, pp. 317-352.
  • 2003. Straussfogel, Debra L., Theodore E. Howard, Sylvain Masse and Difei Zhang. “Transborder Interactions in the Sawmill Industry of Chaudière-Appalaches, Québec: A Survey Analysis.” Forestry Chronicle, Vol. 79, no. 5, pp. 936-947.
Debra Straussfogel
James Hall, Room 268
Durham, NH 03824