Fulbright Specialist and U.S. Scholar

*Please click on the arrows on the right side to read each person's biography.

Torran Anderson

Fulbright Roving Scholar, Norway, 2015

Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, India, 1999

Torran Anderson has over twenty-five years of experience in environmental education. Currently, he works at the Institute for Energy Solutions at the University of Arizona on two projects:1) Indigenous Food, Energy and Water Security and Sovereignty, an NSF 5-year project to address lack of safe water, energy, and food security in Indigenous communities and 2) Sustainable Bioeconomy for Arid Regions, a USDA-NIFA five-year project to optimize the production of guayule and guar crops to significantly impact biofuels and other high-value product markets.

He is an artist-in-residence at the Environmental Education Exchange where he uses storytelling and games to address environmental issues. He has published over fifty books and created the environmental story app, “Earth Day Carol,” which tells the story of a Plastic Bottle Scrooge visited by the Ghost of Plastic Past, the Ghost of Plastic Present, and the Ghost of Plastic Future.

Torran is an alumnus of the Fulbright Rover Scholar Program in Norway, where he traveled around the country teaching writing and environmental topics. He is currently a Mira Fellow where he will spend the next year reframing the ways in which we teach and communicate about climate change.

Steven J. Steinberg

Fulbright Senior Scholar Program, Finland, 2007

Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program, Canada, 2005

Steven Steinberg, a self-titled “geospatial evangelist,” is passionate about the use of technology to solve real world problems of people and their environment. In collaboration with a team of highly skilled geographic information system (GIS) professionals, he guides the geospatial strategy to serve over 10 million residents and 100,000 Los Angeles County employees across 37 departments.

Prior to joining LA County, he served as the principal scientist and department head for information management and analysis at the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project Authority, a public agency for environmental research with a focus on data collection, analysis, and visualization.

From 1998 to 2011, Steven was as a professor of geospatial science at Humboldt State University, California where he introduced hundreds of students to the power of geospatial technologies. He continues to serve as an adjunct professor, teaching GIS courses and working with graduate students on a regular basis, primarily with the master of science in geographic information science at California State University, Long Beach.

Steven has researched and presented extensively on the application of spatial analysis and web-based systems for modeling and visualization of spatial data in both human and natural environments. He has published numerous book chapters, journal articles, and technical reports resulting from his work with geospatial science applications in both the natural and social sciences. He co-authored two books, GIS Research Methods: Incorporating Spatial Perspectives (2015) and GIS for the Social Sciences: Investigating Space and Place (2006), and most recently published a co-edited volume, Resilient Communities Across Geographies (Esri, 2021).

Karen "Sam" Barton

Fulbright Specialist Program, Nepal, 2018-2019

Karen Barton is a professor of geography, GIS, and sustainability at the University of Northern Colorado. Her work focuses on community resilience and adaptation in marine and agricultural communities, global environmental change, and experiential or “deep” learning. With support from Fulbright and the National Endowment for the Humanities, she recently published a book, Africa’s Joola Shipwreck: Causes and Consequences of a Humanitarian Disaster, which investigates the second greatest maritime shipwreck in non-wartime history.

Barton has led numerous expeditions abroad focused on conservation and local communities, including Iceland, Peru, Nicaragua, Nepal, and Guyana. In 2022, she was selected as a fellow for Cohort 7 of Homeward Bound, a global leadership initiative for women in science. She currently serves as a Fellow of the Explorers Club, the Royal Geographical Society, and is the Co-President of the Fulbright Colorado. She is also President of the Society of Women Geographers (SWG), a group formed in 1925 when women were denied entry into most professional organizations.

In September 2022, Karen will be carrying the SWG’s expedition flag to the oceanic site of the Joola disaster in memory of the 1,863 individuals who lost their lives.

Randall Hayes

Fulbright Specialist Program, India, 2018

Randall Hayes is a writer, consultant, and permaculture designer in Greensboro, North Carolina. His company, Agnosia Media, LLC, bridges formal and informal learning systems with digital micro-credentials. One of his first consulting opportunities was drafting an early version of the Audubon Society’s nationwide college chapters initiative. He serves as an advisor to Emerging Ecology, a Greensboro non-profit devoted in part to spreading the ideas of religious eco-philosopher Thomas Berry. He is also one of the approximately 1.5 million members of Rotary International, which recently added Environment as one of its central organizing principles for worldwide action.

A former neuroscience researcher and college biology professor, Randall has degrees from the University of Kentucky and the University of Rochester, New York. He currently teaches summer enrichment courses for the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. He also writes an online newsletter called “Doctor Eclectic,” available at https://randallhayes.substack.com.

Randall is an alumnus of the Fulbright Specialist program. He worked with the Institute of Cultural Affairs - India, which runs a private school for rural tribal children in Chikhale village, outside of the city of Panvel, and an environmental education center in Telagaon, in the state of Maharashtra. His project involved interviewing businesses about skills gaps and designing curricula to address those gaps, as well as visiting both ICA-India’s sites to survey them for possible permaculture installations.

Richard "Ran" Nisbett

Fulbright Specialist Program, Liberia, 2012

Ran braided graduate degrees in anthropology, community ecology, and public health to craft a transdisciplinary practice in applied biodiversity conservation, disease ecology, and community health. A faculty member at several U.S. universities over a 30-year career, his final academic appointment was as Vice President for Research at Tubman University in Harper, Liberia. His teaching integrated biology, culture, and environment in departments of Anthropology, Evolutionary Ecology, Anatomy & Physiology, and Global Public Health. He conducted WHO-sponsored field training for rural and urban communities in research design, participatory action research, and implementation science.

Ran worked intensively in several countries, most notably Jamaica, Costa Rica, Cambodia, Uganda, and Liberia. He began working in Liberia in 1988, traveling and living there on and off since that time. He fostered collaboration with numerous multilateral civil society and nongovernmental organizations working in conservation and health. A founding member of the EcoHealth Movement and Emerging Infectious Diseases specialty within disease ecology, his fieldwork focused on vector-borne and zoonotic diseases/hemorrhagic viruses, the conservation of tropical mammals, and community-directed interventions for disease control and natural resource management.

Now retired and living in Fairhope, Alabama, he remains engaged in conservation, community engagement, and the study of spiritual ecology. He serves on the boards of several CSOs and NGOs, as a member of the IUCN Species Specialist Group on Pangolins, and as a domestic and international advocate for environmental diplomacy on the frontlines of biodiversity loss.

James “Jim” Schnell

Fulbright Specialist Program, Cambodia, and Myanmar, 2018

Jim Schnell is an associate professor of cultural studies at the University of Montana and an active participant with the Climate Reality Project. He retired from the U.S. Air Force Reserve, at the rank of Colonel, where he served his final 14 years as an Assistant Air Attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China. He was awarded the Legion of Merit medal in relation to that service.

In addition, his professional experience includes faculty positions at Ohio University, Miami University, University of Cincinnati, Beijing Jiaotong University, Ohio Dominican University, Royal University of Phnom Penh, Ohio State University, Kutztown State University, Duy Tan University, and Cleveland State University. Jim has 25 books in print, over 190 book chapters, journal articles and book reviews, and delivered over 160 conference presentations. His research focuses on communication processes and cross-cultural dynamics, involving 72 international trips (28 to China). Jim has also completed three visiting fellowships at the East-West Center in Hawaii.

Jim received his Ph.D. from Ohio University and is an alumnus of the Fulbright U.S. Specialist Program in Cambodia and Myanmar.

Susan M. Sterett

Fulbright Specialist Program, South Africa and China, 2017, 2008, and 2002-2003

Susan Sterett is a professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she has worked for about four years. She served one, three-year term as the director of the school, where she led the faculty in hiring four new faculty members and revising the curriculum in accordance with the new hires. She also served for three years as a program officer in law and social sciences at the National Science Foundation.

For years, Susan worked in the courts on public policy. In recent years, she focused on climate-related disasters. She is currently completing a manuscript on litigating the pandemic, linking climate change and the pandemic, and problems across multiple institutions. She has organized workshops at the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Spain on disasters and climate change. The workshops brought together many scholars from several countries, including the United Kingdom, Spain, and Australia. She also participated in multiple mentoring workshops to advance equity in the social sciences.