James Skillen


  • Completed a BS in Environmental Science at Wheaton College, 1996
  • Earned an MA in Theology from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, 2000
  • Received his PhD in Natural Resource Policy from Cornell University, 2006
  • From 2006–2008 taught at Valparaiso University, Indiana
  • Joined GEO department in 2008

Current Teaching

  • Human Modification of the Global Environment (ENST 210)
  • Environment and Society: issues and policies (ENST 302)
  • Seminar in Environmental Studies (ENST 395)
  • Special Topics in Environmental Law
  • Occasional field courses in the American West
  • Dutch Landscapes Interim, January 2017


  • Hometown: Annapolis, Maryland

Academic interests

  • Federal land and resource policy
  • The American west

Courses taught


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  • Skillen, James R. “BLM.” Encyclopedia of American Environmental History. Kathleen Brosnan, editor. New York: Facts on File, Forthcoming.
  • ______. “Congress and the Next Public Land Commission.” Forest History Today (Forthcoming).
  • ______. The Nation’s Largest Landlord: The Bureau of Land Management in the American West. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2009.
  • ______. "Closing the Public Lands Frontier: The Bureau of Land Management, 1961-1969." Journal of Policy History 20, no. 3 (2008): 417-443.
    ______. “Made in the Image of God and the Earth: Understanding Our Place in God’s Creation.” The Cresset 51, No. 3 (2008): 6-14.
  • Baer, Richard A. Jr., James A. Tantillo, Gregory E. Hitzhusen, Karl E. Johnson, and James R. Skillen. "From Delight to Wisdom: Thirty Years of Teaching Environmental Ethics at Cornell." Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion 8, no. II-III (2004): 298-322.

In the news


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