Hilton Endowed Chair

Dean Helen LeBaron Hilton Endowed Chair

Paul Wapner

Paul WapnerPaul Wapner, professor of global environmental politics in the School of International Service at American University, is the 2012-2013 Dean Helen LeBaron Hilton Endowed Chair in the College of Human Sciences at Iowa State University.

As interest in sustainability gains momentum nationwide, Wapner brings to campus a wealth of knowledge about environmental activism, politics, and ethics. His recent work explores the challenges and opportunities that “the end of nature”  presents to the American environmental movement.

“Looking at the College of Human Sciences’ mission – expanding human potential, improving people’s lives – the word “Ëœenvironment’ encompasses all that we do,”  said Robert Bosselman, department chair of apparel, events, and hospitality management.

“As a global environmentalist, Paul is a visionary who takes a collaborative, big-picture approach to sustainability. His visits will appeal not just to the College of Human Sciences but the whole university and local community.” 

Wapner looks forward to discussing environmental issues and interdisciplinary solutions with Iowa State students and faculty.

“Scholars are increasingly recognizing that how we can hold events, design garments, host patrons, think about nutrition, and understand the family and human development have tremendous impact on our ability to live sustainably,”  he said.

“I see my time at ISU as a wonderful opportunity to learn together about the depth of environmental challenges, and the ways various disciplines wrestle with meaningful ways of responding.” 

Campus Visits

Wapner presented a free, public lecture, “Environmentalism without Nature,”  on October 3, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union.

His second public lecture will take place on February 12, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union. This presentation will focus on climate justice and environmental displacement.

While on campus for each engagement, Wapner will also attend department meetings and interact with students and faculty.


Wapner is the author of “Living Through the End of Nature”  and “Environmental Activism and World Civic Politics,”  winner of the 1997 Harold and Margaret Sprout Award for the best book on international environmental affairs. He is a faculty member at American University’s Contemplative Environmental Studies Summer Institute and holds graduate degrees from Princeton University and the University of Chicago.

Hilton Chair

Established in 1995, the Hilton Chair was endowed by a gift of more than $1.3 million from the estate of Helen LeBaron Hilton, who served as dean of the College of Home Economics from 1952 to 1975. That college is now part of the College of Human Sciences.