Michael Maniates is Professor of Social Science and the founding Head of Environmental Studies at Yale-NUS College in Singapore. He holds a BS in Conservation and Resource Studies and an MA and PhD in Energy and Resources, all from the University of California at Berkeley. He was previously Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor of Environmental Science and Political Science at Allegheny College (1993 – 2013), and Senior Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies at Oberlin College (2011 – 2013), two nationally ranked U.S. liberal arts colleges. He joined Yale-NUS College in its inaugural year (2013) to guide the development of its program in environmental studies, the only explicitly interdisciplinary, trans-divisional program at this new liberal arts college, one of the first in Asia.
Since his days as a graduate student, Professor Maniates has worked with others to puzzle out how we might get to a future that works — a future that is environmentally sustainable, socially just, dynamic and innovative, and just plain beautiful. To that end, he writes and teaches about policy change for environmental sustainability, systems of sustainable consumption, social innovation for a low-growth/high-prosperity world, and teaching for turbulence. He has published, alone or with others, three books and dozens of academic articles, opinion pieces, book chapters, and review essays on environmental issues, and a textbook on global affairs. He is the recipient of teaching awards from Allegheny College and Oberlin College, and placed as a finalist for Yale-NUS College’s first ever award (2019) for excellence in teaching. He’s also ventured outside the halls of academe, co-founding two environmental organizations and serving on the boards of several others.
Professor Maniates is thrilled to be joining the Spring 2020 voyage. His first adventure with Semester at Sea was around the world in 2001, when he taught courses on South Asia based on his Fulbright-funded research in India. Since then he has sailed as a professor, academic dean, or head of global studies on five additional voyages. Some of the best teaching and learning of his career has been on the ship. He will be joined on this voyage by his wife Rebecca, who sailed in 2010 and 2014 as the ship librarian and assistant librarian respectively, and their two-year-old son Elliot, who will be getting his first taste of the joys and rewards of a semester at sea.