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Connecting during COVID-19

We are open for business


Working for the common good and against a climate crisis

On behalf of the Hanley Sustainability Institute, I'd like to welcome you to what is surely the most exceptional fall semester in UD's history. In order to minimize the spread of COVID-19, HSI will operate in a mostly remote mode this semester, but we are continuing our work and making every effort to be accessible to our stakeholders. We see our mission as more important than ever in these circumstances.

Because of the pandemic, people all over the world are being forced to question their assumptions about business as usual. Actions that many people assumed were completely implausible - such as curtailing travel, working from home, and making all business processes paperless - now seem part of our new normal.

The hidden fragility of our globalized industrial civilization, which has been optimized for efficiency rather than resilience, has been laid bare (need I mention toilet paper?). People are experiencing a newfound awareness of the structural injustices (including, especially, racial injustice) built into our systems. One can hope that these profound changes will shake loose the perception that business-as-usual is "just the way it is" and cannot be changed to advance the sustainability of the human project.

These are truly exceptional times. But many people still do not appreciate how exceptional they are - that we have the highest atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration in over a million years, that we are in the midst of the sixth great extinction, that we have burned through roughly half of our inheritance of fossil fuels that took hundreds of millions of years to form.

The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic are but a faint foreshadowing of those that will be posed by the climate emergency and myriad ways humanity is exceeding planetary boundaries. We must work together to ensure that as we muddle through this pandemic, our responses lay the groundwork to address our larger predicament.

- Ben McCall, HSI Executive Director

How to reach us

A global pandemic has not shut down the work of the Hanley Sustainability Institute and UD's Sustainability Program. COVID-19 has shown how interconnected the world has become and the importance of sustainability.

  • HSI Executive Director Ben McCall can be reached by email or through contacting the senior administrative assistant.
  • Senior Administrative Assistant Brooke Jones will have virtual drop-in hours currently scheduled for 10-11 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 2-3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, but subject to change. Email her for details. She also is the contact point for reaching other HSI staff. The office phone number is (937) 229-3295.
  • Sustainability Program Director/HSI Curriculum Director Rebecca Potter has a link to set up advising sessions and she can be reached by email.
  • Assistant Professor/Sustainability Graduate Certificate Coordinator Felix Fernando can be emailed to set up an appointment.
  • HSI Director of Student Engagement Katie Schoenenberger can be reached by email.
  • HSI Scholar for Faith and the Environment Leanne Jablonski can be reached by email.
  • HSI and Sustainability Program Communications Coordinator Mark Gokavcan be reached by email.
  • The general HSI email box is
Join the Resilience


Sustainability Program majors as of Fall 2020


Tracks available - Urban Sustainability, Food Systems, Energy and Sustainable Watersheds