Chatham University - We are YOU
IMGALTTAG Chatham University :: Majors & Programs :: Science Division :: Environmental Science
Our Faculty
Nancy Gift Ph.D.
Chatham Faculty

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

Hometown : Lexington, KY

Joined Chatham : 2005

Academic Areas of Interest
lawn weeds and organic lawn care, sustainable agriculture, urban gardening

Personal Areas of Interest
Hiking, gardening, playing outside, biking

Personal Website : Visit Website

One of the exciting features of a Chatham education is tutorial. Last year, Stephanie Jellison evaluated certifications available for sustainable golf course management. Andrea Long proposed an urban forestry policy for her hometown. Recently, Tierney Manning completed a GIS map of Pittsburgh food deserts, while another (Melissa Guy) evaluated sage oil as a possible treatment for antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection. Senior tutorial projects recently completed include wetland effects on real estate value (Megan Morrissey), a GIS study on food deserts in Pittsburgh (Jessica Moran), herbicides' developmental effects on a non-target plant (Melissa Tosiano), Melanie Tuck's green roof installation and monitoring, Laura Reisinger's GIS study of siting rain gardens by using watershed topography, and Mary Murphy's mathematical model of the energy balance of corn-based ethanol.
Ph.D., Cornell University, Weed Science, 2002, advisor Russ Hahn
M.S., University of Kentucky, Crop Science 1995, advisor Larry Grabau
A.B., Harvard-Radcliffe, Biology 1993, thesis advisor Peter F. Stevens
Environmental Microbiology: Tannins & Microbial Decomposition of Leaves on the Forest Floor, The American Biology Teacher (v. 72, Oct. 2010), M.B. Traw and N. Gift
Good Weed, Bad Weed: Who's Who, What to Do, and Why Some Deserve a Second Chance (with Sheila Rodgers, photographer) (St Lynn's Press, 2011)
A Weed by any Other Name. May 2009 release, Beacon Press.
Gift, N., R.R. Hahn, and J. Mt Pleasant. 2008. Quackgrass managed as a cover crop in herbicide-resistant silage corn. Weed Biology and Management.
Gift, N. December 2007 “Rachel Carson: Innovator.” Western Pennsylvania History Magazine.
Nancy Gift. Rachel Carson: 100 years young. Next Page. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 27, 2007.
N. Gift. March 2008. The Ecology of Birth. Midwifery Today.
Gift, Nancy and Gift, Richard E., "Newspaper-Based Creative Writing as a Teaching Tool" (June 26, 2006). Available at SSRN:
Gift, N. and M. Krasny. 2003.The great fossil fiasco: teaching about peer review. The American Biology Teacher 65: 270-278.
Gift, N. and P.F. Stevens. 1997. Vagaries in the delimitation of character states in quantitative variation. Systematic Biology 46(1): 112-125.
former certified pesticide applicator, New York
Acting Director, Rachel Carson Institute (2005-2010)
Buhl Professorship (2010-2011) awarded “to that member of the faculty who has most distinguished himself or herself in teaching, creative effort and outstanding contribution to the College"
A Weed by Any Other Name - NY Sunday Book Review
3rd place graduate team (with Brad Rauch), Northeast Weeds Contest, Guelph Ontario 2000
Associate Editor for Agronomy Journal
Member of the Agronomy Society of America (ASA)
Member of ASLE (Literature and Environment)
Member of Garden Club of Allegheny County
Completed Rachel Carson Trail Challenge (34.9 miles, 12 h. 44 min., 274th place), with Kerri LaCharite, June 23, 2007
"Your Organic Lawn and Garden" Glade Run Spring Symposium, March 2009
"Alternatives to Home Pesticides" Women's Health and Environment Lecture Series. Carnegie Science Center, April 17, 2008.
"Inspiring imagination and avoiding overdesign in children's play spaces" PAEYC Conference, 2008.
Gift, N. "Rachel Carson and the Freedom Lawn" ASLE Conference, Greenville, SC June 13-15, 2007
Gift, N. and Mulloy, Brigid. "The Ecology of Birth" Midwifery Today Conference, San Jose, Costa Rica, May 27, 2007
Home Pesticides: Environmental and Health Concerns. Invited talk for Environmental Health Symposium, Community College of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, November 9,2007.
Rachel Carson’s Life and Environmental Ethic. Invited talk for Hillcrest Garden Club, Pittsburgh. October 9, 2007
Freedom for Fall: Pesticides and Lawn Care. The Garden Club of Allegheny County, Ligonier. October 12, 2006
The Freedom Lawn: Principles of Environmentally Friendly Lawn Care. Fern Hollow Nature Center, Sewickley. March 31, 2007
Pet-Friendly Lawn Care. Invited talk at Pittsburgh Animal Friends. June 19, 2006.
Organic lawn care. Interviewed by Doug Oster of The Organic Gardener on KDKA radio. Feb. 23, 2007, aired Sunday March 11, 2007.
Moving toward sustainability: reducing herbicide use in field crops. Minnesota Southwest Research and Extension Center, Lamberton, MN. November 13, 2002.
IMGALTTAG Chatham University Environmental Science
Buhl Hall • Woodland Road • Pittsburgh, PA 15232