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Faculty & Staff



Dr. Luke Dollar

Office: ENV 319
Phone: (704) 637-4206

  • Professor of Environment and Sustainability

Dollar is a renowned wildlife biologist and conservationist, and a National Geographic Explorer.  Much of his research is focused in Africa, as he manages the National Geographic Society's Big Cats Initiative.  In Madagascar, Dollar also leads ongoing, long-term research focusing on the ecology and conservation of the island's largest endemic predator, the Fosa, a unique carnivore found nowhere else in the wild, resembling a blend between the mongoose, hyena, and cat families.

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Dr. Jay F. Bolin

Office: ENV 209
Phone: (704) 637-4450

  • Assistant Professor
  • B.S., Virginia Tech
  • M.S., Ph.D., Old Dominion University
  • Post-Doctoral study, Smithsonian Institution Dept. of Botany

Interests: plant systematics, molecular phylogenetics, plant ecology, parasitic plants


Dr. Sue Calcagni

Office: CENV 303
Phone: (704) 637-4296

  • Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science
  • Coordinator of the Environmental Science Program
  • Ph.D., Duke University

Interests: aquatic toxicology, watershed studies, environmental physiology, biodiversity


Dr. Steve Coggin

Office: SSB 204
Phone: (704) 637-4110

  • DEAN, Hurley School of Arts and Sciences
  • Professor of Biology
  • Ph.D. University of Georgia
  • B.S. Florida State University

Coggin is actively involved with the Center for the Environment. He coordinates the Seminar in Tropical Biology which includes field experiences in Belize, Costa Rica, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. He also serves on the Environmental Science board that advises on curriculum and strategic planning for the Center for the Environment.

Courses Taught:

• Principles of Biology
• Field Ornithology


Dr. Tyler Davis


  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies

After earning his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering with a focus in water resources from the University of Pittsburgh, Davis went on to do research at Imperial College London. There, he worked with a team of paleoclimatologists, ecologists and environmental scientists to create an open-source model for testing new hypotheses on the controlling factors of vegetation growth (primary production). 

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Dr. Joe Poston

Office: SSB 102
Phone: (704) 637-4443

  • Associate Professor of Biology
  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Interests: Animal Behavior, Ornithology, Ecology


Dr. Connie Rogers-Lowery

Office: SSB 203
Phone: (704) 645-4803
Fax: (704) 637-4204

  • Associate Professor of Biology
  • Ph.D., Wake Forest University
  • M.S. and B.A., UNC-Charlotte

Research Interests: Physiology and development of invertebrates; Calcification and development of coral; interactions between parasitic larvae of freshwater mussels and their fish hosts

Course Taught:
Anatomy and Physiology, Animal Physiology, Electron Microscopy, Invertebrate Biology


Dr. Jamie Slate

Phone: (704) 637-4407

  • Associate Professor of Economics
  • Ph.D., University of Tennessee, Economics
  • B.A., Christopher Newport University, Economics

Courses Taught: Comparative Economic Systems, Business & Economics Statistics, Environmental Economics

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Dr. John Wear, Jr.

Office: CENV 200
Phone: (704) 637-4738
Fax: (704) 645-4590

  • Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science
  • Director of the Center for the Environment
  • B.S., North Carolina State University
  • M.S., University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Ph.D., Wake Forest University

Dr. John E. Wear Jr., the Catawba College Center for the Environment's founding director, established the Center and Catawba's Environmental Science & Environmental Studies Program in 1993. Dr. Wear has committed his energies to environmental initiatives at the local, regional and state level. His leadership was instrumental in launching a number of sustainability initiatives in the state relating to air and water quality and land conservation. Read more »


Professors Emeriti

Dr. Michael J. Baranski MikeBaranski.JPG

  • Professor Emeritus of Biology
  • Ph.D. in botany and ecology from NC State University

Baranski joined the Catawba faculty in 1974 and spent his career at Catawba teaching a wide range of subjects, most notably field courses. He also took a leadership role on campus promoting environmental preservation, conservation, and awareness among his students and the public at large. Baranski retired in 2012 after 38 years of service to the College.

drum.jpg Dr. George Drum

  • Professor Emeritus of Chemistry & Biology
  • Ph.D., Tulane University

Dr. Drum retired from Catawba after 23 years of service to the College.


Adjunct Faculty


JasonWasler.jpg Jason Walser

  • Adjunct Professor of Environmental Science
  • B.S., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • J.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Walser is Executive Director of the LandTrust for Central North Carolina, a non-profit regional land conservancy. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a Morehead Scholar, where he earned a B.S. in Business Administration (1994). Read more »

lisawear.jpgLisa Wear

  • Adjunct Professor with the Center for the Environment

Wear is a North Carolina Certified Environmental Educator and serves as the Director of Horizons Unlimited Science and Technology Center for the Rowan-Salisbury School System.



View a list of staff for the Center for the Environment.