Monty Hempel

Professor, Hedco Chair
Environmental Studies

Monty Hempel


Ph.D. Claremont Graduate University, Government and Environmental Policy- Claremont, CA

M.A. Claremont Graduate University, International Environmental Policy- Claremont, CA

B.A. University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Ecology and Public Policy- Minneapolis, MN


Lewis Hall
P: 909.748.8589

Monty Hempel is Hedco Professor of Environmental Studies and Director of the Center for Environmental Studies at the University of Redlands. His teaching, research, and public service interests focus on environmental science and politics, with particular emphasis on issues of climate disruption, marine environmental protection, and international environmental governance. His professional work is strongly interdisciplinary and guided by the goal of pragmatic idealism. In addition to his teaching and research, Dr. Hempel is a documentary filmmaker, specializing in short and feature works about coral ecosystems, sustainability, wilderness preservation, and biodiversity. He is also the founding president of Blue Planet United, a small 501(c)(3) educational organization that produces environmental films and a quarterly news journal about human population, consumption, and sustainability (

Degrees held

  • Ph.D. Government – Environmental Policy (1983), Claremont Graduate University

    M.A. International Environmental Policy (1975), Claremont Graduate University

    B.A. Ecology and Public Policy (joint degree UWW, 1974), University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 



Previous Teaching Experience

Associate Professor (1994-1999) and Assistant Professor of Public Policy (joint administrative appointment, 1983-1994), Claremont Graduate University

Instructor of Environmental Studies (1980-1982), Pitzer College, California 

Visiting Instructor of Urban Studies (1978), Webb School, Claremont, California

Instructor of American Government (1976), Clatsop Community College, Bay City, Oregon

Professional Experience

Director, Center for Environmental Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Redlands

Director, Division of Technology, Environment, and Society, Claremont Graduate University Research Institute; member of the Institute's steering committee

Director, Institute for Applied Social and Policy Research (forerunner of CGU Research Institute), Claremont Graduate University

Associate Director, School of Politics and Economics (CPP), Claremont Graduate University. Administered Ph.D. program in Political Science and M.A. programs in I.R., Public Policy, Criminal Justice, Amer. Politics, and Political Philosophy

Director, Program in Public Policy, Claremont Graduate University.
Administered professional master's program, and led reorganization efforts to become part of a new Center for Politics and Policy

Coordinator, Pitzer College Energy Project, Claremont, California.
Advised students, organized seminars, supervised energy projects and internships

Senior Planner, Peterson, Menard and Associates, Claremont, California.
Prepared environmental impact reports, general and site-specific land use plans, and energy policy studies

Project Manager, Coastal Resource and Economic Study Team, Tillamook County, Oregon. Designed initial program and secured grants from the Federal Office of Coastal Zone Management. Coordinated activities of an interdisciplinary team of biologists, economists and land use planners

Director, Citizen Advisory Programs, Tillamook County and Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. Designed and coordinated five regional citizen involvement programs for improving public decisions about land use, environment, and economic development

Emergency Medical Technician, Fairview Hospitals, Minneapolis, MN

Background Highlights

Hempel served as the first (interim) president of the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS, 2008-2009) and as a past member of the executive committee of the national Council of Environmental Deans and Directors (CEDD). He currently serves as a senior fellow of the InterEvironment Institute, a senior advisor for Geoversity, and as editorial board member for the journals of Sustainability and Environmental Studies and Sciences.


Prior to his Redlands appointment in 1999, Hempel was a faculty member and administrator in the School of Politics and Economics at Claremont Graduate University, specializing in environmental policy. He directed the graduate program in Public Policy for twelve years, co-directed the Institute for Applied Social and Policy Research and served for six years as associate director of the School (Center for Politics and Policy).

In addition to his academic work, Hempel has developed and directed model citizen involvement programs for state and local government (1975-76), served as a regional project manager for the Oregon LCDC/Coastal Zone Management Program (1977-78) and was a candidate for the United States Congress from California's then 33rd district (1986). He has consulted on land-use planning, renewable energy development, and environmental protection in the United States and abroad, including service as a member of U.S. NGO environmental delegations to Brazil, China, Thailand, and Nepal. His international work includes presentations at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro (1992), the OECD Conference on Sustainable Urban Development in Berlin (1996) and the World Conservation Congress in Bangkok (2004). For the past 18 years, Hempel has led an annual three-week university expedition to Palau to study marine ecology and sustainable development. In spring 2007, he was a faculty member on Semester at Sea (University of Virginia).

Hempel's book publications include Environmental Governance: The Global Challenge (Island Press, 1996), Gandhi's Significance for Today: The Elusive Legacy (Macmillan, 1989, co-edited with John Hick) and Sustainable Communities: From Vision to Action (Hewlett Foundation/CGU, 1998). He has also written, filmed, and produced 15 independent environmental video documentaries, with subjects ranging from coral reef protection to the visionary ideas of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Courses Offered

First Year Seminar: Life on a Blue Planet

EVST 100 Introduction to Environmental Studies (offered frequently in earlier years, but not recently)

EVST 245 Marine Environmental Studies (offered every fall)

EVST 240 Global Environment (rarely offered)

EVST 250 Environmental Design Studio (offered only once by me, but similar to the clinics I offer)

EVST 260 Climate Disruption: Science, Sustainability, Solutions (new course spring 2009)

EVST 300 Environmental Colloquium – Paradigm and Discourse Analysis (offered most years; offered in the future under the title: "Environmental World Views")

EVST 320 Environmental Policy and Management (normally offered every other year)

EVST 330 Environmental Policy Clinic (offered twice in past six years)

EVST 475 Senior Capstone Seminar (offered every semester up to spring 2007)

EVST 360 May Travel Course: Sustainable Development in Palau (offered every year)

EVST 385/485 Internship Supervision (typically one or two each semester)

Independent Studies (often done informally or under contract with Johnston and Proudian students)


Books and Monographs:

Environmental Governance: The Global Challenge (Island Press, 1996)

Gandhi's Significance for Today: The Elusive Legacy (Macmillan, 1989, co-edited with John Hick)

Sustainable Communities: From Vision to Action (Hewlett Foundation/CGU, 1998)

Recent Book Chapters and Articles:

"Climate Disruption: Searching for Sustainability in Southern California," report commissioned by the Southern California Association of Governments (published and distributed summer 2009 by SCAG)

"Conceptual and Analytical Challenges in Building Sustainable Communities," in Daniel Mazmanian and Michael Kraft, eds., Toward Sustainable Communities: Transition and Transformations in Environmental Policy (MIT Press, 2009).


Five articles published in The AESS Newsletter, 2008-2009 (

"Sustainable Sustainability? The View from Higher Education," editorial in Sustainability, Vol. 1, No.2 (April 2008).

"Climate Protection on the Installment Plan," in Norman Vig and Michael Kraft, eds., Environmental Policy: New Directions for the Twenty-First Century (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2nd-6th ed., 2006).

Invited Presentations

Recent Presentations:

"The Future of Environmental Higher Education," Presidential Address, Annual Conference of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, University of Wisconsin, Madison (October 8, 2009)

Recent Documentary Films Released:

Between Two Worlds (2009) – short documentary film about sustainability, urbanization, and globalization conflicts, shot in 15 diverse countries.

Blue Corner: The Wall of Sharks (2009) –a 30-min. film about coral reef ecology and gray reef sharks.

Indoor and Outdoor People (2008) – a short documentary that features a wilderness poet named Narayan, talking about what Nature means to him and why.

The Palau Expedition (2008) – a 30-min. documentary about discovery-based experiential learning in the University of Redlands' Palau travel course.

Awards, Honors, Grants

Honors and Special Positions

  • Visiting Professor, University of Virginia, Semester at Sea Program, 2007

  • Offices held in AESS, AASHE, CEDD/NCSE, Blue Planet United, 2002-present

  • Visiting Scholar-In-Residence, Streisand Center for Conservancy Studies (Malibu), 1995

  • Presidential Fellow, Salzburg Seminar: Perspectives on Federalism (Austria), 1993

  • Candidate for Congress, 33rd District of California, 1986 (won primary, lost general to David Dreier)

International Delegations

  • Member of US NGO Delegations: World Conservation Congress (Bangkok)

  • California Institute of Public Affairs, 2004

  • China Review of Population/Environment Programs, Population Institute, 1999

  • OECD preparatory conference for Habitat II, Berlin, 1996

  • Earth Summit (UNCED, Rio de Janeiro), 1992

  • Conservation in Nepal, Asian Development Bank, 1989

Grant Awards

PI on major grants ($50,000 – $3 million) from the U.S. government (Desert Tortoise) 2001-2003; and from foundations: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (Indicators of Sustainability) 1996-2000; John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation (Metropolitan Governance) 1997-1998; University of California PATH Program (Sustainable Transportation Technology) 1993-96; Pew Charitable Trust (LWV Population and Environment Education Program) 1995-96, Schumann Foundation (Market-Based Approaches to Environmental Protection) 1990-1993; Federal Office of Coastal Zone Management/LCDC (Oregon Project and Publication Grant) 1977

Professional Affiliations

  • Active in Redlands Institute

  • Director, Center for Environmental Studies

  • Past President and current member of the Executive Council, Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences

  • Board Member, Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

  • Executive Committee Member, National Council of Environmental Deans and Directors

  • President, Blue Planet United

  • AASHE Chair, American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment Committee

  • Senior Associate, California Institute of Public Affairs

  • Member, Southern California Association of Governments Benchmarks Task Force

Monty Hempel is a past sponsor of Students for Environmental Action.