Baylor University
Environmental Science
College of Arts and Sciences

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Undergraduate Faculty

All of the faculty in the Department of Environmental Science teach undergraduates and all instruct either introductory courses or freshmen seminars. This page presents a portion of our faculty with a selection of instructional specialties.

Dr. Susan Bratton
Dr. Bratton, Professor of Environmental Science has a career long passion for developing research opportunities for undergraduates.She is committed to offering courses providing quality field and laboratory experiences for majors and non-majors, and to developing curricula based on interdisciplinary environmental perspectives Aside from offering her own team and individual research opportunities, including trips to Cameron Park and the Appalachian Trail, Dr. Bratton is currently the Director of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA), the all campus organization fostering undergraduate participation in professional level research. She is active in campus strategic planning, and in fostering a more diverse social and cultural environment at Baylor. Dr. Bratton’s undergraduate laboratory classes incorporate frequent field trips, ranging from Cameron Park, to Big Thicket, to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

Dr. Bryan Brooks
Dr. Brooks is an active mentor and international researcher in environmental health, water quality, sustainability and toxicology. He directs the Environmental Health Science Program and teaches a range of undergraduate courses. In addition, Dr. Brooks routinely mentors undergraduates to contribute to refereed journal publications, and to deliver research presentation at regional and international professional meetings. Undergraduate students working with him have won awards for their research at scientific conferences and received highly competitive federal research fellowships. Many of the students Dr. Brooks mentors secure employment or pursue graduate studies in the field immediately following graduation.

Dr. Erica Bruce
Dr. Bruce has a background in environmental engineering, toxicology, and risk assessment. She brings her practical experience in dealing with hazardous materials to ENV 3314, a overview of environmental health. Dr. Bruce is a skilled modeler who introduces students to mathematical methods for predicting human health risk. In addition, Dr. Bruce operates an active toxicology research laboratory.

Dr. George Cobb
Prof. Cobb teaches courses in environmental chemistry and analytical chemistry. He applies concepts of environmental and analytical chemistry to exposure assessment and risk assessment. Prof Cobb introduces students to interdisciplinary problem solving in the classroom in the lab and in the field. This approach prepares students to function in large scale evaluations of environmental quality.

Dr. Cole Matson
Dr. Matson is interested in the impacts of environmental pollution on fish and wildlife. His research is focused on bridging from laboratory aquatic toxicity testing to field environmental and ecological toxicity. Essentially, developing more complex and environmentally relevant methods for testing whether novel chemical stressors might have significant environmental impacts. His lab also works in the other direction; using molecular/genetic tools in the laboratory to better understand the mechanisms driving population adaptation in wild fish populations exposed to persistent organic pollutants. Basically, how do fish become resistant to pollution, and at what cost? Dr. Matson teaches courses focused on understanding how anthropogenic environmental change has affected ecology (ENV 2307), toxicology (BIO/ENV 4344, ecotoxicology (ENV 4370/4170), and basic field methods in environmental science (ENV 3210).

Dr. Rebecca Sheesley
Dr. Sheesley is interested in the interactions of climate change, air quality and human health. She teaches seminar courses at the intro and advanced levels (FYS 1399, FAS 1305 and ENV 4102). Dr. Sheesley also teaches the ENV capstone course with a focus on developing experimental design and research skills with applications to environmental science (ENV 42C1). On alternate summers, Dr. Sheesley co-teaches a two-week air quality field course with Dr. Usenko which gives an overview of current air quality issues and one week of fieldwork (ENV 4613). Dr. Sheesley's research involves the study of particulate matter in the atmosphere. Atmospheric particulate matter is a continually changing complex mixtures that interact with the biosphere, impact climate change and can have negative effects on human health. In order to understand the impacts of atmospheric particulate matter, the chemical composition needs to be investigated; to effectively mitigate the impact, sources of the aerosols need to be defined. Dr. Sheesley routinely incorporates undergraduates in her laboratory and field work.

Dr. Sascha Usenko
Dr. Usenko has brought new life to ENV 3387 Environmental Chemistry. He also introduces students to the field of atmospheric chemistry and air pollution. Dr. Usenko enjoys sharing his wide expertise in field sampling, laboratory methods, and the use of state-of-the-art instrumentation.

Julie King, J.D.
Julie King received her Juris Doctor in 1994 and is a practicing attorney with a concentration in environmental law and litigation. She began her legal career with a preeminent Southeast law firm, Moore & Van Allen, PLLC. In 2002, she began working in environmental compliance for Environmental Regulatory Consultants, advising a major aerospace company in regulatory compliance matters. In 2007, Ms. King developed a course in environmental law and began teaching ENV 4307 for the Department of Environmental Science in 2008. Ms. King loves sharing her passion for environmental law and policy with students and received a Circle of Achievement teaching award in 2010. Ms. King also teaches a research-based course, Advanced Topics in Environmental Law. Ms. King enjoys mentoring and advising students at all stages of their academic careers. From 2011-2013, Ms. King served as Baylor’s Pre-Law Coordinator advising hundreds of Baylor Pre-Law students. She continues to serve on Baylor’s Pre-Law Council

Dr. Larry Lehr
Dr. Larry Lehr is a favorite instructor for ENV 1301. He weaves stories from his personal environmental consulting and research experience into his lectures. Dr. Lehr is respected as a major advisor, particularly for undergraduates interested in consulting, alternative energy, or watershed management.

Dr. Heidi Marcum
Dr. Marcum has studied wildlife-human interactions and brings her joy in working with animals to her courses. Dr. Marcum has supervised numerous student interns working at the Cameron Park Zoo and other animal facilities. Her introductory course in wildlife ecology, ENV 1303 is a popular alternative in general education science.


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