Taking you to New Heights

Natural and Environmental Sciences faculty are active investigators who conduct research in a broad range of academic areas. Not only will you learn from experts who are passionate and connected to the greater scientific community — you can also roll up your sleeves and partner with them on their projects.

Join forces with faculty who have made the global study of ornithology a way of life, who get up close and personal with flora and fauna in a variety of ecosystems, and who challenge you to consider how your personal integrity fits into the world of environmental ethics. Get ready to follow trusted trails and navigate new pathways with professors who share your thoughtfulness for the world’s natural systems.

  • Nicholas A. Baer

    Professor, Natural & Environmental Sciences
    603.526.3066 | nbaer@colby-sawyer.edu

    Joined the faculty in 2004. Received B.A. from University of Vermont and Ph.D. from University of Maryland. Teaching interests include freshwater biology, conservation biology, ecology, water resources, and environmental studies. Research interests are in freshwater foodweb dynamics, aquatic macroinvertebrates, water quality, ecosystem structure and function, particularly relating how aquatic organisms respond to changes in water parameters such as pH, conductivity, and nitrogen, phosphorus, dissolved organic carbon concentrations.

    Professor Baer teaches courses in ecology, freshwater biology, conservation biology, community and environmental studies, and other sciences. Courses concentrate on exploring the surrounding landscape, flora, and fauna, as well as how humans interact with natural resources. Professor Baer leads activities and field trips throughout New Hampshire, and takes advantage of the natural resources in the lakes around New London.

    Professor Baer's research interests in water quality and how human derived impacts affect water resources allow him to incorporate students in his on-going studies in the region. Professor Baer is currently collaborating with a community-based lake association, as well as several other researchers from additional institutions to investigate how water quality changes in the Lake Sunapee watershed affects the foodweb dynamics in streams, and heavy metal transport within the foodweb. See research section for additional details on both his research and recent undergraduate research projects. read more…

  • Leon-C. Malan

    Professor, Natural & Environmental Sciences
    603.526.3632 | lmalan@colby-sawyer.edu

    Joined faculty 1994. Ph.D., Antioch University New England and University of New York, Albany. Teaching topics in natural history, environmental policy, sustainability and the relation between organizations and the natural environment. Currently pursuing research in biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture. Professor Malan holds the M. Roy London Endowed Chair.    read more…

  • Harvey Pine

    Associate Professor, Natural & Environmental Sciences
    603.526.3059 | hpine@colby-sawyer.edu

    Professor Pine joined the faculty in 2008. He holds a Ph.D. from Auburn University where he focused on shrimp aquaculture and environmental impacts associated with inland low-salinity aquaculture. He has taught a variety of courses including: Introduction to Environmental Science, Climate Change, Introduction to Geology, Soil and Water Chemistry and Community Based Research. Professor Pine is on a leave of absence for 2018-19. read more…

  • Benjamin B. Steele

    Professor, Interim Chair, Natural & Environmental Sciences
    603.526.3677 | bsteele@colby-sawyer.edu

    Joined the faculty in 1988. Received B.S. from Harvard, M.S. from Utah State and Ph.D. from Dartmouth College. Teaching interests include ecology, evolution, animal behavior and environmental studies. Research interests are in bird behavior and population studies, particularly related to migrating birds and sea ducks. Professor Steele is also a director of the New England Institute for Landscape Ecology, which sponsors research projects in New England and Alaska.

    I teach courses in ecology, animal behavior, evolution, conservation biology, Environmental Studies, and other sciences. In my classes, I focus on the natural environment around New London as much as possible. I am also very involved in curriculum development, including quantitative literacy liberal education.

    I continue to do research on bird conservation. Since my most recent sabbatical, I have continued studying the Common Eider in Finland. This fascinating bird has interesting social behaviors, including joint care of young, but also suffers from declining populations. I plan to continue this work, accompanied by students when possible. I also have been involved in the clean-up of a toxic chemical that has killed thousands of ducks in Alaska. Students have accompanied me on that study as well. read more…

  • Laura Sykes

    Professor, Natural & Environmental Sciences
    Academic Vice President & Dean of Faculty
    603.526.3760 | laura.sykes@colby-sawyer.edu

    Joined faculty in 2001. Ph.D., Antioch University New England. Professor Sykes is well versed in the flora of New England, able to identify hundreds of species, including invasive plants. Visit the Virtual Herbarium, which Professor Sykescreated and maintains.

    A frequent visitor to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Professor Sykes is well informed about its history, recreational opportunities, and the current issues facing this national forest. In addition, she has become an expert in the use of Geographic Information Systems, particularly in the context of landscape geography and environmental studies. read more…