Michael Maniates
Professor of Social Sciences and
   Head of Studies (Environmental Studies) 

Yale - NUS College, Singapore


6 College Avenue East, # B1-01, Singapore 138614


Most people are eagerly groping for some medium, some way in which they can bridge the gap between their morals and their practices.
--Saul Alinsky



It isn't enough to exhort people to participate [in the work of building a Great Society]. We must build institutions that make participation possible, rewarding, and challenging.
--Robert Bellah



[Let us work for a world] where doing good is like falling off a log, where the natural, everyday acts of work and life accumulate into a better world as a matter of course, not as a matter of conscious altruism.
-- Paul Hawken



Reason, under pressure, often produces prudence when boldness is called for.
--Winston Churchill



Teaching is the art of assisting discovery.
Mark van Doren



We may be lost, but we're making great time.
--Yogi Berra


Who is He?

For over 25 years, Michael Maniates (abbreviated curriculum vitŠ) has worked to illuminate democratic paths to environmental sustainability.  He has co-founded two award-winning environmental organizations, directed a semester of study on a floating university, and consulted widely with colleges and universities on sustainability initiatives. He is a co-recipient of the prestigious Sprout award for the best book in global environmental affairs and has been recognized for outstanding teaching by Allegheny College and Oberlin College, two nationally ranked U.S. liberal arts colleges. In the 1980s he worked in India as a Fulbright and Smithsonian scholar on the social impacts of village-scale energy technologies, and in 1994 he launched a set of networked resources for scholars and practitioners of global environmental politics, which today serves as a primary digital resource for the field.  For many years he helped run what was then the world's largest (volume) frozen yogurt shop, in Berkeley, California.  He holds a B.S. (Conservation and Resources Studies), and an M.A. and Ph.D. (Energy and Resources), all from the University of California.  

Where is He?

Professor Maniates currently serves as Professor of Social Sciences at Yale-NUS College in Singapore, one of Asia's first liberal arts colleges.  His responsibilities include working with colleagues to build a 'next generation' program in environmental studies.  Maniates was formerly a Senior Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.  Prior to his work at Oberlin he was Full Professor of Political Science and Environmental Science at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, where he served for 20 years. (His was the only active joint appointment at Allegheny that bridged the natural- and social-sciences.) Maniates is also a frequent faculty member with Semester at Sea, a study abroad program of the University of Virginia.  He has sailed on five voyages, often in leadership positions, and most recently on the Amazon River as a Distinguished Lecturer in December 2012.  He's next scheduled to teach courses on environmental policy and sustainability on the Summer 2014 voyage through the Baltic.  He makes his home in Singapore with his wife and two cats.

What Is He Up To?

Research and Writing

As a scholar and a writer, Professor Maniates focuses on several overlapping areas, including: 

  • the politics and practice of sustainable consumption
  • the environmental politics of sacrifice
  • the individualization of responsibility within contemporary environmentalism
  • the strengths and weaknesses of undergraduate environmental-studies education

Maniates and students at Yale-NUS College are also collaborating on two research projects. One documents expectations about social change among students of environmental studies. The other focuses on theory development for an environmental politics of sacrifice.


Professor Maniates participates in, offers, or is developing several classes for Yale-NUS, including the following:

  • Comparative Social Institutions and Inquiry (CSI)
  • Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • Powering the Planet: Energy, Environment, and Action
  • Systems Thinking and Analysis: Theory and Practice for the Humanist, the Natural Scientist, and the Social Scientist
  • Thinking Institutionally on a Small Planet (also know as "Environmental Regulation and Theories of the State")
  • Global Environmental Politics
  • Processes of Environmental Politics and Policymaking
Consulting and Speaking

Professor Maniates is  a frequent consultant to colleges and universities that are building new programs in environmental studies/environmental science, or evaluating or redesigning existing programs. He is also a frequent speaker at major environmental gatherings and events, addressing topics ranging from the drivers and dangers of overconsumption to new approaches for local and global environmental governance in the 21st century.

An overview of Maniates' consulting work and speaking engagements is available upon request.

Thank you...

...for you visit to my website.  Please do not hesitate to contact me at the email address above if I may be any assistance.


Last updated 21 April 2014