Plymouth State’s Brian Eisenhauer Awarded Helen Abbott ’39 Professorship of Environmental Studies

December 17th, 2012 by blyndes

Brian Eisenhauer named the Plymouth State University Helen Abbott ’39 Professor of Environmental Studies.

Plymouth, N.H.–An outstanding faculty member and sustainability advocate has been named the Plymouth State University Helen Abbott ’39 Professor of Environmental Studies. Brian Eisenhauer is a professor of Sociology and Director of the Office of Environmental Sustainability at PSU, working with PSU faculty, staff, and students to reduce the University’s environmental impacts and helping others live more sustainably through active projects and education. Eisenhauer said he is thrilled to receive this recognition.

“It is an honor and a genuine pleasure to receive this endowed professorship,” Eisenhauer noted. “Working with students in teaching, research, and service is a way of life at Plymouth State University, and being recognized amidst such accomplished colleagues for having an impact on students’ lives is especially meaningful to me.”

Julie Bernier, PSU’s Provost  and Vice President for Academic Affairs, said Eisenhauer’s dedication to his scholarship and research is exceptional and the Abbott Professorship supports the university’s commitment to environmental sustainability and education.

“Brian has been a tireless advocate of environmental sustainability and an outstanding educator and scholar in the field,” said Bernier. “It was clear that Brian was the logical choice as the inaugural Helen Abbott Professor of Environmental Studies”

PSU President Sara Jayne Steen said that Eisenhauer has a distinguished record both in studying environmental issues and bringing students into research that has genuine impact on the region.

“Brian successfully has completed complex research projects related to Newfound and Squam Lakes,” said Steen.  “Working with undergraduate and graduate students, Brian has guided regional planning processes and made a difference in our understanding of how to keep New Hampshire’s waters safe and usable.”

Under Eisenhauer’s leadership, Plymouth State has been recognized as a leader in environmental sustainability and is regularly included in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges, a compilation of the most environmentally responsible higher education institutions in the United States and Canada.

The Helen Abbott ’39 Professorship of Environmental Studies was created earlier this year by Janice C. Griffith, Professor of Law at Suffolk University in Boston, who wanted to honor her childhood teacher, New Hampshire educator Helen Abbott, a Plymouth State graduate. The Professorship provides financial support and public recognition for exemplary Plymouth State University faculty of any department who are integrating elements of environmental studies into their coursework or research. Awards from this fund will be used to further enhance the recipient’s development of courses, research projects, or other environmentally focused scholarly or interdisciplinary academic work.

Eisenhauer’s classroom work focuses on sustainability, grassroots activism, environmental communications, conservation, and program evaluation.  He publishes actively and has a regional and national reputation in storm water management practices, homeowner’s lawn care behavior, and impacts on the watershed.  He joined the PSU faculty in 2003 after receiving his doctorate in environmental sociology from Utah State University. He also served as the interim Director of PSU’s Center for the Environment from 2010-12. Eisenhauer has mentored numerous graduate and undergraduate students.

The Helen Abbott ’39 Professorship of Environmental Studies is Plymouth State University’s third endowed professorship, following Wallace R. and Meredith Bristow Stevens’ creation of the Stevens-Bristow Professorship for Educators and Ed and Marilyn Wixson’s creation of the Wixson Professorship of Mathematics.  Named professorships are instrumental in attracting and retaining leading faculty, enhancing the University’s breadth of talent, and ensuring a well-rounded education for students.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU Media Relations Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or

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