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Environment Magazine September/October 2008

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About Environment

Now in its 54th year of publication, Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development analyzes the problems, places, and people where environment and development come together, illuminating concerns from the local to the global. More readable than specialized journals and more timely than textbooks, Environment offers peer-reviewed articles and commentaries from researchers and practitioners who provide a broad range of international perspectives. This ISI-rated magazine also features in-depth reviews of major policy reports, conferences, and environmental education initiatives, as well as guides to the best Web sites, journal articles, and books.

Managing Editor
Margaret Benner Smidt

Executive Editors
Susan L. Cutter
Ralph Hamann
Myanna Lahsen
Alan H. McGowan
Timothy O'Riordan
Linxiu Zhang

Contributing Editors

Julian Agyeman
Xuemei Bai
Geoffrey D. Dabelko
Joel Darmstadter
Robert C. Harriss
Helen Ingram
Robert W. Kates
Barbara T. Richman
Noelle Eckley Selin
Lorrae VanKerkhoff
Henry J. Vaux Jr.
Bhawani Venkataraman
Thomas J. Wilbanks

Advertising Sales Representative
Sally Wright

Production Editor
Joanne Reider


Executive Editor Bios

Dr. Susan Cutter is a Carolina Distinguished Professor of Geography at the University of South Carolina and director of the Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute and the IRDR Center of Excellence on Vulnerability and Resilience Metrics.  She has authored or edited thirteen books, more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.  Dr. Cutter has mentored more than 40 masters and doctoral candidates while at the University of South Carolina.  Her research interests include the spatial aspects of disaster resilience and recovery.  She was a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers IPET team evaluating the social impacts of the New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana Hurricane Protection System in response to Hurricane Katrina, and was a juror for the Rebuild by Design competition for Hurricane Sandy reconstruction.

Dr. Cutter serves on many national advisory boards and committees including those of National Research Council (NRC), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Natural Hazards Center, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). She serves on many editorial boards including Weather, Climate, and Society, Natural Hazards, and International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.  She is also co-executive editor of Environment and is Editor-in-Chief for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia’s Natural Hazard Science

Dr. Cutter is an elected fellow of AAAS, past president of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) and past president of the Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA). She received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the AAG (2010) and an honorary doctorate from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (2015).


Alan H. McGowan is an associate professor in the Interdisciplinary Science Program at Eugene Lang College, The New School. He is interested in the social impact of science and technology, including environmental, environmental justice, and racial issues.
He is board chair of Student Pugwash USA; a board member of the Bermuda Biological Station for Research and the Metcalf Institute for Environmental Journalism; an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Society of Environmental Journalists, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Before retiring in July 2005,

Timothy O’Riordan was a professor of environmental sciences at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. He has promoted the cause of interdisciplinary research for sustainable development and led two international research projects on the transition to sustainability in the European Union (1995–1999). Editor of a number of books on the institutional aspects of global environmental change policy and practice, his current research interests are focused on global-local relations and their implications for the transition to sustainability in Europe.

He was elected Fellow of the Royal Academy in 1999 and continues to be an active member of the UK Sustainable Development Commission.


Myanna Lahsen is a Senior Associate Researcher in the Earth System Science Center of the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE). She obtained her formal education in Denmark, France, and the United States, where she was the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including a U.S. EPA ”STAR” fellowship and three postdoctoral fellowships, one at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research and two at Harvard University. She also was a Lecturer on Environmental Science and Public Policy at Harvard University before moving to Brazil in 2002.

Myanna’s research examines cultural and political dynamics bearing on understandings of climate change and sustainability and on associated policy processes, with special focus on Brazil and the United States. Much of her research seeks to identify and analyze often overlooked knowledge-related dynamics bearing on the possibility of societal transformations to sustainability.

Myanna has served on review and advisory panels at the U.S. National Science Foundation and as advisor to the United Nations on science-policy interface and global sustainability issues. She is advisor to Nature Climate Change and Executive Editor of WIREs Climate Change’s domain on the Social Status of Climate Change Knowledge. In 2014, she convened Future Earth’s Early Career Scientists Conference on Integrated Science in Vigoni, Italy, responsible for defining its 5-day scientific program on Ecosystem Health, Human Wellbeing and a Green Economy.


Linxiu Zhang is Professor and Deputy Director at the Center for Chinese Agricultural Policy (CCAP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). She is also the Managing Director of UNEP-IEMP based in Beijing ( She obtained her Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Reading in the U.K. For more than 30 years, her research has concentrated on policy relevant studies on rural development in China, particularly on poverty alleviation, environment and livelihood dynamics, rural labor market development, and rural public goods investment.

In recent years, her team has also been focusing on action research in areas of rural health, nutrition and education using rigorous impact assessments to determine effectiveness of relevant policies and interventions. She is the Co-Director of the Rural Education Action Project (REAP)  jointly with Stanford University and many other partners ( She has published more than190 papers both domestically and internationally.

She has presented more than 20 policy suggestions to Central government. She received numerous awards including an “Outstanding Young Scientist” award from NSFC in 2003 and “100 Talent” award from CAS in 2007. She won one of the “Ten Most Outstanding Women in Science” awards from CAS in 2013. She received the TWAS Celso-Furtado Prize in Social Sciences for 2013. In 2014, she received the “Fudan Management Excellence Award”(the most prestigious award in management science in China). She was also elected as TWAS fellow in the same year.


Ralph Hamann, formerly a contributing editor at Environment, is a Professor at the University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business, and he holds a Research Chair at the UCT African Climate and Development Initiative. His research and teaching is on business sustainability, social innovation, and cross-sector collaboration.

Among his other roles, Ralph is Academic Director of the Network for Business Sustainability (South Africa), which bridges research and practice in pursuit of better-informed and more ambitious business leadership. He cofounded and chairs the Southern Africa Food Lab, a multistakeholder initiative in support of food security. Much of Ralph’s tertiary training was in environmental science at UCT, and his Ph.D. is from the University of East Anglia.

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