Chatham University

Falk School of Sustainability

Faculty and Staff


David Hassenzahl Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of Sustainability and the Environment

Hometown : Gibsonia, PA
Joined Chatham : 2010

Academic Areas of Interest

Sustainability, Environment, Risk Analysis, Energy, and Climate Change

Personal Areas of Interest

bicycling, running, music and cooking


David M. Hassenzahl is founding Dean of the School of Sustainability and the Environment at Chatham University. He is an internationally recognized scholar of sustainability and risk analysis, and has spent more than two decades addressing subjects as diverse as climate change, energy, toxic chemicals, and public health. His research focuses on incorporating scientific information and expertise into public decisions, with particular emphasis on the management, interpretation, and communication of uncertainty. Among his many publications are Should We Risk It, co-authored with Daniel M. Kammen, and Environment, with Peter Raven and Linda Berg. He holds a B.A. in Environmental Science and Paleontology from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy from Princeton University. Dr. Hassenzahl’s efforts in climate change education have been supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and recognition for his educational work includes the Society for Risk Analysis Outstanding Educator Award and the UNLV Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award. He is a Senior Fellow of the National Council for Science and the Environment, and a founding member of the Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences. From 2000 – 2010, Dr. Hassenzahl was Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Chair in the Department Environmental Studies Program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Hassenzahl worked in the private sector as an environmental manager at a pulp and paper mill, and in the public sector as an inspector for the (San Francisco) Bay Area Air Quality Management District.