Hillmer-Pegram, Kevin

Photo of Kevin Hillmer Pegram

Dr. Kevin Hillmer-Pegram

Associate Professor, Sustainability Studies

kchillmer-pegram@coloradomtn.edu | 970-947-8167
Location: Spring Valley


  • Ph.D. in Resilience and Adaptation (Interdisciplinary Studies), University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • M.S. in Geography (focus on nature-society relations), Pennsylvania State University
  • B.A. in Religious Studies (Anthropology minor), Arizona State University

Sustainability Studies Courses

  • SUS 300, Foundations in Sustainability
  • SUS 301, Systems Thinking and Sustainability
  • SUS 310, Ecology and Sustainability
  • SUS 311, Integrated Science for Sustainability
  • SUS 330, Sustainable Economics
  • SUS 331, Cultural & Place-Based Equity
  • SUS 391, Field Experience in Sustainability
  • SUS 421, Fostering Sustainable Behavior
  • SUS 430, Sustainable Business
  • SUS 489, Sustainability Capstone


I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona – hot, dry, and prickly. As a young person, I wondered, “What’s the meaning of life?”, so I got a B.A. in Religious Studies but never found out. I was sick of school, so I moved to the US Virgin Islands. There, while working in ecotourism, I became infatuated with humans’ efforts to make our livings and enjoy our lives sustainably; that is, without destroying the environment and without destroying each other.

After a humbling car crash and years of living hand-to-mouth, I returned to school to pursue graduate studies in nature-society relations, specifically the human dimensions of climate change. I acquired an M.S. in Geography and an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Resilience and Adaptation. I have worked on interdisciplinary projects funded by the National Science Foundation and by environmental NGOs, and have conducted community-based research in places such as the Caribbean, Tanzania, and arctic Alaska.

My approach to sustainability can be described as critical political economy of the environment, or political ecology. Fundamentally, I am interested in the nexus of environmental responsibility and social justice, as these two areas are inextricably linked. I work with quantitative and qualitative data, philosophy, maps, and art, and enjoy collaborations with students, community partners, and scholars from many fields. As a teacher, I am committed to making my courses rigorous, applied, and innovative.

I am ecstatic to be joining Colorado Mountain College as the Roaring Fork campus’s lead faculty member in Sustainability Studies in 2017. I view this position as the next step in my life-long investigation into the meaning of life, which I am now confident pertains to sustainable living! I look forward to developing meaningful relationships with my students, colleagues, and community; I look forward to planting roots.

Let’s work together to make the world a better place. There is plenty to do.

Select Publications

Hillmer-Pegram, K. (2017) Within Changing Systems of Arctic Tourism, What should be made Resilient to What, and for Whom? In UNDERSTANDING TOURISM RESILIENCE: ADAPTING TO ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE. Eds. Lew, A. and J. Cheer. Routledge Press: New York, NY.

Hillmer-Pegram, K. (2016) Integrating Indigenous Values with Capitalism through Tourism: Alaskan Experiences and Outstanding Issues. JOURNAL OF SUSTAINABLE TOURISM. 4(8-9): 1194-1210.

Chapin III, S.F., M. Sommerkorn, M.D. Robards, and K. Hillmer-Pegram (2015) Ecosystem Stewardship: A Resilience Framework for Arctic Conservation. GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE (34): 207-217.

Hillmer-Pegram, K. (2014) A Synthesis of Existing, Planned and Proposed Infrastructure and Operations Supporting Oil and Gas Activities and Commercial Transportation in Arctic Alaska. University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, AK. Online: https://sites.google.com/a/alaska.edu/north-by-2020/current-projects/oil

Hillmer-Pegram, K., P.D. Howe, H. Greenberg, and B. Yarnal (2012) A Geographic Approach to Facilitating Local Climate Governance: From Emissions Inventories to Mitigation Planning. APPLIED GEOGRAPHY 34:76-85.

Select Professional Affiliations

American Association of Geographers (since 2010)
Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (since 2015)
International Polar Tourism Research Network (since 2012)