Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Our People

Tania M. Schusler, PhD

Title/s: Advanced Lecturer
Solutions to Environmental Problems (STEP) Coordinator

Office #: BVM Hall 425

Phone: 773.508.8954

E-mail: tschusler@luc.edu

CV Link: T.Schusler CV


Throughout her career, Schusler has worked at the interface of people and environment. She conceives of “environment” broadly to include natural and built environments and their biophysical and social dimensions. Habitat destruction and climate change are obvious environmental issues as are racism and poverty. She is especially interested in how community development can simultaneously foster personal well-being, economic vitality, and environmental protection.


  • PhD, Natural Resource Policy & Management, Cornell University, 2007
  • MSc, Natural Resource Policy & Management, Cornell University, 2001
  • BSc, Forestry, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 1993

Research Interests

Schusler's research focuses on citizen participation and stakeholder engagement in environmental management. For example, she  investigated social learning among stakeholders involved in a participatory planning process that took place against the backdrop of controversy over natural resource management in New York’s East Ontario Basin. She has also documented the practices of educators who engage youth in local environmental action (e.g., habitat restoration, community gardening, policy analysis) and the outcomes of these experiences for young people. Her current research involves examining how participation and learning influence the sustainability of local communities.

Courses Taught

Schusler joined the Department of Environmental Science in the fall of 2012 and teaches ENVS 283: Environmental Sustainability, ENVS 284: Environmental Justice, ENVS 350: Solutions to Environmental Problems, and ENVS 383 Human Dimensions of Conservation. She also mentors undergraduate students in ENVS 391: Environmental Research. At other institutions she has taught courses in citizen participation and sustainable communities, political economy and sustainability, qualitative research methods, environmental education and the built environment, watersheds as social-ecological systems, environmental conservation, and a field study trip to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula.

Selected Publications

Schusler, T. M., Davis-Manigaulte, J. and Cutter-Mackenzie, A. 2017. Positive youth development. Ch. 17 in Krasny, M. E. and Kudryavtsev, A., eds. Urban Environmental Education Review. Cornell University Press. (Chapter available online at https://naaee.org/eepro/resources/urban-ee-essays)

McCann, E. P. and Schusler, T. M. 2017. Ecological restoration. Ch. 25 in Krasny, M. E. and Kudryavtsev, A., eds. Urban Environmental Education Review. Cornell University Press.

Schusler, T. M., Krasny, M. E. and Decker, D. J. 2016. The autonomy-authority duality of shared decision-making in youth environmental action. Environmental Education Research. Advance online publication. DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2016.1144174 

Berkey, B. and Schusler, T. M. 2016. Justice issues facing family-scale farmers and their laborers in the Northeastern United States . Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. 6(2):243-267.

Schusler, T. M. and Krasny, M. E. 2015. Science and democracy in youth environmental action: learning ’good’ thinking. Pages 363–384 in Mueller, M. P. and Tippins, D. J., eds. Eco-Justice, Citizen Science, and Youth Activism: Situated Tensions for Science Education. Springer.

Schusler, T. M. 2013. Environmental action and positive youth development. Pages 93–115 in Monroe, M. C. and Krasny, M. E., eds. Across the Spectrum: Resources for Environmental Educators. North American Association of Environmental Education, Washington, DC. [online]. https://naaee.org/eepro/resources/across-spectrum-resources-environmental-educators

Lauber, T. B., Decker, D. J., Leong, K. M., Chase, L. C., and Schusler, T. M. 2012. Stakeholder engagement in wildlife management. Pages 139–156 in Decker, D. J., Riley, S. J. and Siemer,W. F., eds. Human Dimensions of Wildlife Management (2nd ed.). John Hopkins Press, Baltimore, MD.

Schusler, T. M. and Krasny, M. E. 2010. Environmental action as context for youth development. Journal of Environmental Education 41(4), 208–223.

Schusler, T. M., Krasny, M. E., Peters, S. J. and Decker, D. J. 2009. Developing citizens and communities through environmental action. Environmental Education Research 15(1):111–127.

Schusler, T. M. and Krasny, M. E. 2008. Youth participation in local environmental action: an avenue for science and civic learning? Ch. 17 in Reid, A., Jensen, B. B., Nikel J. and Simovska, V., eds. Participation and Learning: Perspectives on Education and the Environment, Health and Sustainability. Springer, Dordrecht, Netherlands.

Lembo, A. J., Wagenet, L. P., Schusler, T. M. and DeGloria, S. D. 2007. Creating affordable Internet map server applications for regional scale applications. Journal of Environmental Management. 85(4):1120–1131.

Decker, D. J., Raik, D. B., Carpenter, L. H., Organ, J. F. and Schusler, T. M. 2005. Collaboration for community-based wildlife management. Urban Ecosystems 8(2):227–236.

Schusler, T. M. Aug., 2004, posting date. Ecological impacts of high deer densities. Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology Vol. 2 [online].

Schusler, T. M., Decker, D. J. and Pfeffer, M. J. 2003. Exploring social learning for collaborative natural resource management. Society and Natural Resources 16(4):309–326.

Schusler, T. M. and Decker, D. J. 2002. Engaging local communities in Wildlife Management Area planning: an evaluation of the Lake Ontario Islands Search Conference. Wildlife Society Bulletin 30(4):1226-1237.

Schusler, T. M., Chase, L. C. and Decker, D. J. 2000. Community-based co-management: sharing responsibility when tolerance for wildlife is exceeded. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 5(3):34-49.

Chase, L. C., Schusler, T. M. and Decker, D. J. 2000. Innovations in stakeholder involvement: what's the next step? Wildlife Society Bulletin 28(1):208-217.