Kaitlin Stack Whitney Headshot

Kaitlin Stack Whitney

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

585-475-5966
Office Hours
Spring 2019 Wednesdays 1-3pm
Office Location

Kaitlin Stack Whitney

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

Education

BS, Cornell University; Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Bio

Dr. Stack Whitney (she/her) is an environmental studies scholar who teaches in the Science & Technology Studies department in the College of Liberal Arts, as well as the Environmental Sciences Program in the College of Science.  Her research focuses on ecosystem services, benefits or harm that humans derive from the natural world (e.g. pollination, pest suppression, bioindicators), and novel ecosystems, environments that have been created or significantly altered by human activity (e.g. farms, roadsides). She uses a range of tools to study the reciprocal interactions of humans and insects, ranging from museum specimens to autonomous acoustic recorders to coding big data.

Her research includes both science (mainly ecology) and science studies (mainly modern environmental history); she often collaborates with historians, state agency scientists, theoretical ecologists, and social scientists. She has conducted research in a wide variety of landscapes, from tundras in Alaska to mountains in Uganda.  Before coming to RIT, Dr. Stack Whitney worked for the US Department of Agriculture's Farmer to Farmer Program in Eastern Europe and Washington DC, as well as the US Environmental Protection Agency Office of International & Tribal Affairs and Office of Pesticide Programs.

Dr. Stack Whitney has a professional and personal commitment to inclusive pedagogy and accessible science outreach for learners of all ages. An additional part of her research program is making “open science” accessible to students to all abilities. She lives in a bilingual ASL/English household and continues to take ASL courses through NTID. She is part of the RIT College of Science’s HHMI Inclusive Excellence inclusive research and inclusive classroom teaching cohorts.

585-475-5966

Areas of Expertise
insects
ecology
novel ecosystems
environmental policy
critical open studies
animal studies
pollinators

Currently Teaching

ENVS-201
3 Credits
This workshop serves as the second core course for the Environmental Science major. Through in-class exercises, outside labs, and field trips, students will begin to learn problem solving and analytical skills needed to investigate and address environmental issues. Topics may include assessing campus biodiversity and ecosystems, calculating personal and campus ecological footprints and sustainability indexes, environmental modeling, and campus sustainability projects. To demonstrate the interdisciplinary methodology of environmental science, elements of government/political science/policy, ethics, economics, sociology, and history are embedded in the scientific matrix used to present this course.
ENVS-495
1 - 4 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research involving laboratory or field work, computer modeling, or theoretical calculations that could be considered of an original nature. The level of study is appropriate for students in their final two years of study.
BIOL-495
1 - 4 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed student project or research involving laboratory or field work, computer modeling, or theoretical calculations that could be considered of an original nature. The level of study is appropriate for students in their final two years of study.
STSO-421
3 Credits
This course introduces students to federal, state, and local environmental policies and the various policy paths leading to their establishment. Students will understand how societal values inform the content of environmental policies and the impacts, in turn, of these policies on society. In addition, the class will explore how environmental economics informs the new tools of environmental policy. The course covers a range of environmental policies at the U.S. and international levels addressing problems such as air and water pollution, climate change, energy use, and community sustainability.
BIOL-675
3 Credits
This course focuses on the application of ecological principles to conservation issues. Human impact on species diversity will be emphasized as it relates to agricultural, forest, coastal and wetland ecosystems. Case studies of management practices used to manage and restore disturbed ecosystems will be included. Students will explore a topic in depth through writing a review paper of published literature.
STSO-220
3 Credits
This course introduces the interdisciplinary foundations of environmental science via an analysis of sustainability within a socio-cultural context. This is a required course for the environmental science degree program.
STSO-521
3 Credits
This course explores the problems, issues, and values stemming from the current massive loss of biodiversity. Various justifications for preserving or conserving biodiversity will be examined. Although principals of conservation biology are presented, the social/cultural dimensions of the issue will be emphasized.
STSO-120
3 Credits
This course explores the human condition within an environmental context by emphasizing critical environmental problems facing humans on both a global and regional scale. The approach will be interdisciplinary. The issues, their causes, and their potential solutions will be analyzed with respect to ethical, social, historical, political, scientific, and technological factors.
BIOL-475
3 Credits
This course focuses on the application of ecological principles to conservation issues. Human impact on species diversity is emphasized as it relates to agricultural, forest, coastal and wetland ecosystems. Case studies of management practices used to manage and restore disturbed ecosystems are included.
ITDL-450
1 Credits
This capstone seminar constitutes the final requirement for students in the honors program, providing a culminating senior project experience. Students will enroll in this course in their final year of study. The seminar will further develop and sharpen the student’s understanding of how their work is affected by a global context. The course uses a problem-solving focus, culminating in a written senior thesis and project presentation. Counts as honors program requirement
STSO-422
3 Credits
This course utilizes the Great Lakes Basin as an integrating context for understanding global environmental issues. Examining the basin through an interdisciplinary environmental lens the class applies social science approaches to environmental problem solving. Students assess the local, regional, national and international scope of Great Lakes environmental issues through lecture, role-play, and field experiences and consider the importance of government action, public policy, ethics, economics, sociology, history, and engineering while applying social science analysis skills such as surveys, interviews, and content analysis to better understand the depth of local environmental problems and their potential solutions. Environmental science majors prepare a proposal for an environmental consulting project.
ENVS-298
1 - 4 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed tutorial of appropriate topics that are not part of the formal curriculum. The level of study is appropriate for student in their first three years of study.

Latest News

Select Scholarship

Book Chapter
Nelson, Nicole and Kaitlin Stack Whitney. "Becoming a Research Rodent." Living with Animals: Bonds Across Species. Ed. Ilana Gershon and Natalie Porter. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2018. 199-208. Print.
Journal Paper
Karp, Daniel S, et al. "Crop Pests and Predators Exhibit Inconsistent responses to Surrounding Landscape Composition." Proceeedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115. 33 (2018): E7863-E7870. Web.
Whitney, Kaitlin Stack and Kristoffer Whitney. "John Anthony Allan’s “Virtual Water”: Natural Resources Management in the Wake of Neoliberalism." Arcadia 11. (2018): doi.org/10.5282/rcc/8316. Web.
Whitney, Kaitlin Stack, Simon J Goring, and Aerin Jacob. "Accessibility is Imperative for Inclusion." Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 16. 2 (2018): 63-63. Print.
Whitney, Kaitlin Stack, Simon J Goring, and Aerin Jacob. "Making Scientific Content More Accessible." Authorea. (2018): doi.org/10.22541/au.150844289.92609826. Web.