Nancy Tuchman, PhD
Title/s: Founding Director, Institute of Environmental Sustainability
Specialty Area: Biology, Aquatic Ecosystem Function, Global Climate Change, Invasive Species, Human Impacts
Office #: BVM Hall 307
Nancy Tuchman spent the first 14 years of her career as a Professor of Aquatic Ecology in the Department of Biology at Loyola University Chicago. In 2002-2003 she served as a Program Officer in the Ecosystem Studies Program at the National Science Foundation in Washington D.C., then returned to Loyola to serve as the Associate Provost for Research for five years (2004–08). In 2005 she founded and directed the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Policy (CUERP) at Loyola. From 2010 – 2013 she served as the University's Vice Provost before being appointed Founding Director of the Institute of Environmental Sustainability (IES).
Her vision for IES is to raise public awareness of the unsustainable consumption of our Earth’s natural resources with the goal of transforming behavior, developing policy, and inspiring and preparing next generation science-based environmental leaders. To that end, IES engages students, faculty, staff and administrators in activities designed to lower our campus consumption of energy and natural resources, and reduce our waste production. Under Tuchman’s direction, IES has developed several flagship programs including producing biodiesel which converts waste vegetable oil into fuel and uses it in our intercampus shuttle buses; using waste glycerin to produce soap which is being sold in our campus stores; and growing food organically at our 4-acre student run farm and on our urban campus gardens.
Tuchman’s research focuses on human impacts on aquatic ecosystem structure and function. Her work has spanned from investigating the effects of greenhouse gases on stream ecosystem food webs, to the impacts of invasive plant and animal species on Great Lakes coastal ecosystems, to the effects of emerging contaminants such as plasticizers (Bisphenol-A), and pharmaceuticals (e.g. antibiotics and endocrine disruptors) on streams and lakes. Working with students in research is one of the most rewarding aspects of Tuchman’s career. Throughout her 25-year career at Loyola, she has mentored or co-mentored 74 undergraduate students in individual research projects, and 34 graduate students.