Associate Professor Troy Abel moves to Huxley College on the Peninsulas

Associate Professor Troy Abel has accepted an appointment as academic program director of Huxley’s Peninsulas program at the new Western Washington University Center at Olympic College in Poulsbo. In January, Abel, a tenured professor in the Department of Environmental Studies, began bringing his expertise in environmental policy and conservation to Huxley College on the Peninsulas.

“Dr. Abel’s appointment is exciting and opens a new chapter in Huxley’s long-standing presence on the Peninsulas. We are thrilled to partner with Dr. Abel and Huxley College to expand student access to a rigorous and engaging Western education on the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas,” said Earl Gibbons, vice provost of Extended Education at Western.

In 1998, Abel earned his Ph.D. in public policy at George Mason University. After brief stints at Southern Illinois University and University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, Abel moved to Western in 2006. During his time in Bellingham, he has focused his research and outreach efforts on Central America and the Pacific Northwest, with particular interest in environmental information disclosure, environmental justice and international conservation.

Abel’s scholarly writing has appeared in numerous publications, including American Journal of Public Health, Environmental Management, Mesoamericana, and American Behavioral Scientist. In 2012, his book Coming Clean: Information Disclosure and Environmental Performance, co-written with Michael Kraft from University of Wisconsin at Green Bay and Mark Stephan from Washington State University at Vancouver, received the Lynton Keith Caldwell Prize from the American Political Science Association for the best new book on environmental politics and policy.

Service-learning has long been one of Abel’s central teaching philosophies. Over the years, his students have collaborated with organizations from the rainforests of Costa Rica to businesses pursuing sustainability in the Northwest. In 2013, he helped launch a new Business and Sustainability degree at Western, a combined major offered by Huxley and the College of Business and Economics.

“Dr. Troy Abel has been a central figure in the Huxley Environmental Policy program here on campus,” said Michael Medler, chair of the Department of Environmental Studies at Huxley College. “It is exciting to have him in this new role that will allow him to provide a real bridge to our program on the Peninsulas.”

Huxley College has offered classes and degree programs on the Peninsulas for nearly two decades. Last year, Western and Olympic College announced the creation of the WWU Center at Olympic College, an educational collaboration that will allow Peninsula students to earn a business degree from Western’s College of Business and Economics and enjoy expanded offerings from Huxley College on the Peninsulas.

Abel’s appointment is one of two new tenure-track Huxley College faculty positions at Olympic College in Poulsbo. Both positions will serve students at Huxley’s existing Port Angeles, Everett and Poulsbo sites.

“These faculty positions will allow us to grow our partnerships with Olympic, Peninsula, and Everett Community Colleges, and also with partners like the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Marine Science Laboratory in Sequim,” said Steve Hollenhorst, dean of Huxley College.

WWU’s Huxley College of the Environment is one of the oldest environmental colleges in the nation and a recognized leader in producing the next generation of environmental professionals and stewards. Huxley’s distinctive, interdisciplinary curriculum reflects a broad view of the physical, biological, social, and cultural world, and has earned international recognition for quality.

For more information, please contact Jen VanderWeyden at WWU’s Huxley College of the Environment at 360-650-2554.