Elizabeth Palchak

Elizabeth Palchack, a Graduate Fellow at The University of Vermont and a Member of the University's Socially Responsible Investment Advisory Committee

Elizabeth was drawn to the PhD program in the Rubenstein School of Natural Resources due to the interdisciplinary approach to complex social-ecological problems. She was particularly attracted to the Gund Institute and the rigorous work in the field of sustainability. Her interests cross boundaries between the environmental sciences, business, education and psychology. As a fellow in the Office of Sustainability, she works on socially responsible investing of the University’s endowment and also teaches courses in the Environmental Program. 

Elizabeth arrived to Vermont from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where she was a faculty member in Teton Science Schools’ Graduate Program teaching courses in pedagogy, climate change science, systems thinking, and leadership skills. Over five years she also created the Sustainability Studies program, developing the first courses that combined the framework of social-ecological systems with the existing ecology curriculum. In addition, she facilitated the development of the first Sustainability Initiative at Teton Science Schools, overseeing a major sustainability audit and the school’s first Sustainability Report. She was eventually named Sustainability Coordinator along with her role as Graduate Faculty.

Prior to her work in Wyoming, she held a position as Adjunct Professor of Environmental Science at Franklin Pierce University and developed courses in food systems and sustainability. As a mountain instructor with the National Outdoor Leadership School, she led expeditions in the Rocky Mountains. She earned her M.S. from Antioch University New England. 

Elizabeth is originally from Michigan. She loves big mountains, backcountry skiing and trail running. She is an avid bike commuter and can occasionally be found in a pottery studio.



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