Professor, Environmental Science and Policy
My research promotes societal sustainability, ecological stewardship and human-nature symbioses through adaptive management and sage use of shared water resources and related ecosystem services. For instance, how do trends in air and water pollution control in the Washington, DC metro area affect water quality, biodiversity and socio-ecosystem functioning along the tidal Potomac River watershed? Emerging Potomac ecosystem interests include transport of plastic pollution and impacts of climate change, sea level rise and nutrient management on bottlenose dolphin migration. I also examine how society can concertedly realize sustainable development at campus to global scales. This led me to co-create George Mason University’s first climate action plans, Fairfax County, Virginia’s first energy and greenhouse gas inventory, and a study on integrating national energy and water policies. I now apply these methods to understand whether high SD status confers greater ecosystem health and public health benefits on communities. Finally, I’m eager to learn how service and action research pedagogies may foster greater agency among sustainability practitioners and citizens.
■ Microplastics in the tidal Potomac watershed examines how DC-area plastic pollution transits in crumbles through local waterways and water-dependent life.
■ Mason’s next climate action plan aims to provide a feasible and equitable path for the university to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by decoupling our research, education and practice from carbon pollution.
■ My sustainable development studies challenge conventional wisdom that richer nations are more sustainable; that development requires trade offs between economy, equity and ecosystem health; and that public health can be maintained while we dismantle Earth’s life support systems.
■ Sklarew, D. and J. Sklarew. (2018). Integrated water-energy policy for sustainable development. Foresight and STI Governance 12(4), 10-19.
■ Jacobsen, K. et al. (2016). Lessons from the Ebola outbreak: action items for emerging infectious disease preparedness and response. EcoHealth 13, 200-2012.
■ Sklarew, D. and A. Wingfield. (2014). Up the pyramid, around the loop‚ action research cultivates sustainability scholars to green the campus. CUR Quarterly 35(1), 5-10.
■ Smith, A. and D. Sklarew. (2013). A mid-Atlantic brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) stream sustainability statistic for rating non-tidal streams. Sustainability of Water Quality and Ecology 2013: 68-81.