Mercedes Quesada-Embid, Associate Professor, Sustainability Studies
Chair and Coordinator
- Ph.D. in Environmental Studies, Antioch University New England
- M.A. in History (Environmental), Salisbury University
- B.S. in Biology, Salisbury University
- B.A. in Spanish, Salisbury University
Sustainability Studies Courses
- SUS 300 – Foundations of Sustainability
- SUS 301 – Systems Thinking for Sustainability
- SUS 310 – Ecology and Sustainability
- SUS 311 – Integrated Science for Sustainability
- SUS 321 – Leadership, Ethics and Social Responsibility
- SUS 330 – Sustainable Economics
- SUS 331 – Cultural and Place-Based Equity
- SUS 341 – Sustainable Agriculture
- SUS 375 – Special Topics
- SUS 387 – Sustainability Internship
- SUS 410 – Conservation Biology
- SUS 430 – Sustainable Business
- SUS 431 – Social Entrepreneurship
- SUS 489 – Sustainability Capstone
Teaching and Research Interests:
I am a strong believer in finding a functional balance between theory and practice in interdisciplinary studies. I encourage students to cultivate their critical thinking capacities in search for solutions to the many challenges our world faces. I see sustainability as a viable pathway toward social, economic, and ecological justice. An historical perspective and a transdisciplinary approach facilitates this perspective. My research interests gravitate toward and explore an array of eco-egalitarian and democratic concerns, in particular, the role of reciprocity and resilience as they relate to sustainability movements, and the cultural tendencies that advance or hinder them. Paralleling this intrigue, I continue to investigate a range of diverse topics connected to Sustainability and Environmental Studies within the sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. I am currently working with Routledge Publishing on the publication of a book based, in large part, on my dissertation research.
I joined CMC as a faculty member in Fall 2011, just as the new Bachelor’s in Sustainability Studies began. I have been teaching at the university level since 2004 in a variety of disciplines, and I find that the educational opportunities that CMC offers are quite singular, especially within the BASS program. It is both visionary and interdisciplinary in its design and prepares students to meet and understand many of the local sustainability issues facing Western Colorado, as well as those of global implication beyond these mountain landscapes. The BASS degree provides a solid foundation of knowledge, empowerment, and whole picture solutions for regional, national, and international sustainability initiatives.
In the classroom, I strive to create a respectful and comfortable atmosphere, where intellectual dialogue and collective learning abound. I very much enjoy teaching and working closely with my students and believe that service-learning and community engagement are essential to one’s academic experience. Sustainability Studies lends itself well to such creative and scholarly experiential opportunities.
I served on the Board of Directors for the Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability and facilitated its recent merger with Walking Mountains Science Center. I currently serve on the Eagle Mines Limited Board, which is a branch of the Eagle River Watershed Council. Connecting students to the broader community is a particularly enriching part of my role as a Sustainability Studies faculty member. Within the college, I work with other faculty and staff toward continuous enhancements of the BASS program and the expansion of a culture of sustainability across all of our college campuses. Much of my work at CMC centers on advancing institutional sustainability endeavors through the collaborative efforts of student research and innovative campus and college-wide projects.