Kristoffer Whitney Headshot

Kristoffer Whitney

Assistant Professor
Department of Science, Technology, and Society
College of Liberal Arts

Kristoffer Whitney

Assistant Professor
Department of Science, Technology, and Society
College of Liberal Arts


BS, Rochester Institute of Technology; Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania


B.S. Environmental Management and Technology, Rochester Institute of Technology

M.A. History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania

Ph.D. History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania

Post Doctoral Fellow, Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Associate-at-Large, Center for Culture, History, & Environment, Nelson Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Research Interests: the intersections between endangered species science and policy, the sociotechnical aspects of marketing-based approaches to environmental conservation, and access to environmental media and public natural spaces for Deaf/HH individuals.

Courses: Nature and Quantification, Social Consequences of Technology, Department Capstone

Winner of the 2016 David Edge Prize for the best article in the area of Science and Technology studies by the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S)

Selected Publications:

Kristoffer Whitney, “It’s about Time: Adaptive Resource Management, Environmental Governance, and Science Studies” Science, Technology, & Human Values
First Published August 21, 2018

Kristoffer Whitney and Melanie Kiechle, guest editors and contributors, “Counting on Nature” special topics forum, Science as Culture, Nature, Science as Culture, 26:1, 1-10, DOI: 10.1080/09505431.2016.1223114

Kristoffer Whitney, “Tangled up in Knots: an emotional ecology of field science,” Emotion, Space and Society, Vol. 6 (Feb. 2013), Special Issue on Ecology and Emotion, 100-107.

Sabrina McCormick and Kristoffer Whitney, “The Making of Public Health Emergencies: West Nile Virus in New York City,” Sociology of Health & Illness, Pandemics and Emerging Infectious Diseases: The Sociological Agenda, Vol. 35, No. 2 (Feb. 2013), 268-279.

Kristoffer Whitney “Living Lawns, Dying Waters: the suburban boom, nitrogenous fertilizers, and the nonpoint source pollution dilemma,” Technology & Culture, Vol. 51, No. 3 (July 2010), 652-674.

Kristoffer Whitney, “Domesticating Nature?: Surveillance and Conservation of Migratory Shorebirds in the 'Atlantic Flyway',” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Vol. 45, No. 1, (2014): 78-87.

Currently Teaching

0 - 6 Credits
Gives the student first-hand experience in designing and performing research. Students are closely supervised by a faculty member, developing their pre-professional skills while learning how to do research first hand. Allows examination of a special problem or topical area in the field of public policy at the graduate level. Topics and specific content and methods vary from year to year or semester to semester.
3 Credits
This course is an upper-level undergraduate seminar that explores how science, technology, society, environment and policy are understood in contemporary and historical contexts. The course brings together a variety of views and readings to offer an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complex ways in which citizens make and understand the world. (Enrollment in Department of STS/Public Policy)
3 Credits
This course explores the concepts and effects of science and technology on society, analyzes the relationship between science and technology, examines how each has come to play a major role today, and looks at how science and technology have affected and been affected by our values. This course also considers the environmental aspects of science and technology. Science and technology are often assumed to be value free, yet people, guided by individual and societal values, develop the science and technology. In turn, the choices people make among the opportunities provided by science and technology are guided by their individual values.
3 Credits
This course examines Rochester through the lens of industrialization, immigration, technological innovation, and environmental change between the 1890s and 1990s. This class blends readings and discussion with experiential learning and community-based research projects to help students understand community identity as a result of changes in livelihoods, immigration, and environment. Students will examine these social changes in both a local and global context. Students will have a better appreciation for the way historical forces shape a contemporary sense of place.
3 Credits
In this course, students will examine the ways in which “nature,” broadly conceived, has been quantified, standardized, and in many cases commodified in the modern West – often in the context of the natural sciences, government bureaucracies, capitalist markets, or some combination of the three. Reading and discussing broadly across history, science studies, anthropology, philosophy, and ecology, students will gain multidisciplinary perspectives on modern informational thinking, and develop analytical tools for assessing contemporary issues related to the quantified environment.

Select Scholarship

Journal Paper
Whitney, Kristoffer. "It’s About Time: Adaptive Resource Management, Environmental Governance, and Science Studies." Science, Technology & Human Values 44. 2 (2018): 263-290. Print.
Whitney, Kaitlin Stack and Kristoffer Whitney. "John Anthony Allan’s ‘Virtual Water’: Natural Resources Management in the Wake of Neoliberalism." Arcadia 11. (2018): N/A. Web.