Environmental Studies Program
Department Chair:
John Petersen

Administrative Assistant:
Bev Burgess

Department Email:

Phone: 440 7758747
Fax: 440 7758946

A.J. Lewis Center for Environmental Studies
122 Elm Street
Oberlin, OH, 44074

David W. Orr

David W. Orr

Special Assistant to the President of Oberlin College on Sustainability and the Environment

Contact Information


A J Lewis Center 210
(440) 775-8312

David Orr

Educational Background

  • Bachelor of Arts, Westminster College, 1965
  • Master of Arts, Michigan State University, 1966
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania, 1973

David W. Orr is Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics and senior adviser to the president of Oberlin College. He is a founding editor of the journal Solutions, and serves as the executive director of the Oberlin Project, a collaborative effort of the city of Oberlin, Oberlin College, and private and institutional partners to improve the resilience, prosperity, and sustainability of Oberlin.

Orr is the author of seven books, including Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse (Oxford, 2009) and coeditor of three others. He has authored nearly 200 articles, reviews, book chapters, and professional publications.

In the past 25 years, he has served as a board member or advisor to eight foundations and on the boards of many organizations, including the Rocky Mountain Institute and the Aldo Leopold Foundation. Currently he is a trustee of the Bioneers, the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado, and the Worldwatch Institute.

He has been awarded seven honorary degrees and a dozen other awards including a Lyndhurst Prize, a National Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation, and a Visionary Leadership Award from Second Nature. Orr is a frequent lecturer at colleges and universities throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.

While at Oberlin, he spearheaded the effort to design, fund, and build the Adam Joseph Lewis Center, which was named by an AIA panel in 2010 as “the most important green building of the past 30 years,” and as “one of 30 milestone buildings of the twentieth century” by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Course:  ENVS 310  Ecological Design>