Paul Barresi

- On Campus; Faculty

 
Barresi_Paul
I’ve always believed that theory and practice ought to go together.
 
 

Professor Paul Barresi’s fascination with the environment began early in life -- in fact, he wrote his first paper about pollution in elementary school.

Before joining SNHU's faculty in 2001, he helped to advise Fortune 500 companies in complex environmental compliance matters, studied Midland painted turtles in upstate New York, explored the interpretation and implementation of forestry law and policy on-site in Poland and Albania, and much more.

This onetime certified associate wildlife biologist switched career paths after a summer spent slogging through mosquito-infested drainage ditches in leaky hip waders convinced him that ecological field research wasn’t his passion. He went to law school, spent two months as a visiting scholar at a specialized agency of the United Nations in Rome, Italy, while earning a master’s degree in law and diplomacy, and eventually earned a Ph.D. in political science.

"In the classroom I insist on being more than a mere mouthpiece for the author of some textbook," he says. "One of my most important strategies for enhancing student learning is to develop new insights about the world through my own scholarship, then to explore the implications of those insights together with my students in class."

Professor Barresi's unusual and wide-ranging life experiences enable him to bring many different perspectives to bear on his teaching. His curiosity has led him to exotic places on five continents, including Antarctica, where he barely escaped being trampled by a horde of penguins on their way to the beach, then went for a swim himself. He teaches several courses in the Environmental Management, Law and Politics, and Pre-Law programs, which he also coordinates. 

"H. G. Wells once wrote that more and more human history is becoming a race between education and disaster," Professor Barresi observes. "In the face of political gridlock at home, poverty and turmoil abroad, and profound environmental challenges like the disruption of the Earth's climate by greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, my goal is to help students at SNHU to acquire some of the tools that their generation will need to win that race."

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