Humanitarian Engineering Faculty
Humanitarian Engineering is a joint effort between the Engineering and Liberal Arts and International Studies faculty at CSM.
At this time we would like to introduce one of our newest faculty member, Dr. Adrienne Kroepsch, who will be teaching Corporations, Communities, and the Environment in the Fall 2016 semester.
1. What is your background?
I grew up in Parker, Colorado, as the "A" in a set of fraternal triplets nicknamed "A," "B," and "C." I joke that I was bred for interdisciplinary, collaborative activities from an early age by the good fortune of being born with two teammates for life. I eventually left Colorado for undergrad at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where I was a Science and Technology Studies major. After graduation, I became a print journalist in Washington, D.C., covering science and technology policy for Congressional Quarterly and other publications. After about five years, I decided I wanted to come back to Colorado and go to graduate school so that I could be more productively engaged in solving some of our region's water and energy resource challenges. There was a crucial rafting trip down the Grand Canyon and reading of John Wesley Powell's biography by Wallace Stegner in the middle there, which tipped me back toward home. The University of Colorado offered me a Chancellor's Fellowship for my first two years, and it took me about one second to say yes. Fast forward through a lot of schooling -- a Masters degree in Geography focused on hydrology and water policy, and a PhD in Environmental studies focused on policy questions surrounding unconventional oil and gas extraction -- and here we are!
2. What is your passion in teaching?
Like many people, I have a deep love of the American West and its landscapes and history. I find the same is true for many of my students, who either grew up in Colorado or were drawn to Colorado for similar reasons. I really enjoy connecting with students on that mutual interest and using it as a window for learning more about the region and contemplating its long-term future, as well as students' very consequential roles in that long-term future.
3. What will you be teaching at Mines next semester and what will be the major take-away?
I'll be teaching several courses in the Humanitarian Engineering program. In the fall, I'll start out with a class titled Corporations, Communities, and the Environment. My central goal in that course is to help students develop a solid understanding of the major environmental policies at work in the U.S. -- policies they'll no doubt encounter in their careers -- and the analytical skills necessary for productively engaging with those policies. We'll be honing those skills in the context of real-world case studies of environmental conflicts between communities and industries in the American West, which means students will also get the opportunity to learn about key types of communities in the region, their relationships to specific industries (such as oil and gas, mining, renewable energy, and civil infrastructure such as water projects), and the ways that environmental policy mediates those relationships.
4. What are your hopes for your students?
My hope is always that students get the most out of their college experience in terms of stretching their minds towards new ways of thinking and meeting as many new people as possible. We live in an increasingly politically polarized and geographically sorted society, which makes it easier and easier for us to occupy little islands of the like-minded and culturally familiar. College provides an opportunity to turn that dynamic on its head -- to befriend somebody from another part of the world, to take a class that is completely outside one's area of expertise, to dive into a research project with teammates that have different life's experiences and perspectives. It's a golden time that every student should fully soak up, and then seek to recreate in their post-graduate lives.
5. What do you do for fun?
I love trail running with my dog, Karma. She's a labrador and border collie mix, so, technically, she's the one who takes me running. I also love riding mountain bikes with my husband, Corey, who shares my interest in exploring places on two wheels. We enjoy riding locally on the Front Range, but feel especially lucky when we get the chance to escape to Moab to ride our favorite trail, Porcupine Rim. I'm really looking forward to learning the trails around Golden starting in the fall. If I'm lucky, CSM's mountain bike team will be kind enough to show me around.