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Quigs2013Retired Lecturer

Ph.D., 1993, University of Pennsylvania



Jim Quigley’s professional and academic disciplines combine urban and regional planning, environmental policy and energy management. He is the faculty Director for the Environmental Design, Policy and Planning (EDP) major. Before joining Stony Brook, Quigley served as Director of the Center for Sustainable Energy at Bronx Community College, CUNY from 2003 to 2007, and Director of the New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability from 1998 to 2002. He also taught environmental studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey and Portland State University in Oregon. From 1987 through 1994 he worked as a researcher at the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems (now renamed Barry Commoner Center for Health and the Environment) that was headed at the time by the late ecologist Barry Commoner at Queens College, CUNY. Quigley earned his BA in social service at Cleveland State University, 1974; an MA in international relations at Ohio University, 1983; an MS in appropriate technology and a Ph.D. in city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania, 1990 and 1993 respectively. He was a VISTA Volunteer (1974-75) at the Juvenile Defender Office of the Cleveland Legal Aid Society and a volunteer in the Peace Corps in Micronesia 1977-80 where he first became enthused about renewable energy completing a project for wind energy on a small Pacific atoll.

Jim has been an activist over the years: in the civil rights movement; in the peace movement; and the environmental movement. Jim’s father, a clergyman, recruited Jim while still in high school to distribute handbills and walk picket lines in support of bussing to achieve racial integration in the 1960s and to elect the first African American mayor to a large US city, Carl Stokes in Cleveland, Ohio; while in college Jim joined the Student Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam frequently manning the picket lines, writing letters to editors (which he continues to this day), and lobbying his elected representatives. Jim joined the Ohio Public Interest Research Group petitioning to successfully place on the ballot before Ohio voters in the 1970s a measure to amend the state constitution to require a two-thirds vote of the legislature before a permit could be offered for the construction of any new nuclear power plants. While the issue was defeated, the movement came to fruition after the accident at Three-Mile Island. Jim has been a member of the Sierra Club for more than 30 years. He served on the board of the New York City Group and headed a committee that battled the construction of a trash incinerator in Brooklyn while promoting a city-wide recycling program that was later adopted under wide-spread public pressure. During his years at CBNS, Queens College, Jim became an expert witness on solid waste management and the markets for secondary materials captured in curbside recycling programs and developed with municipal composting programs. He appeared at numerous public hearings on behalf of grass roots environmental groups opposed to the conventional burn and bury approach to garbage disposal.

Jim’s work on the faculty at Stony Brook University has focused on the green urbanism movement and its political underpinnings. Across the United States today urban planners and architects have seized on a new approach to design which takes into account harmony with the natural environment. Building envelope systems, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, electric power and water management systems are all being re-imagined and re-designed to conserve natural resources. A re-assessment of urban transport, public utilities, waste water management, urban brownfields, and solid wastes are the focus of a more sustainable and resilient built environment. Powerful forces with vested interest in conventional systems that rely on fossil fuels are arrayed to frustrate these “smart growth” efforts. Thus, the politics of sustainability are at the heart of Jim’s research interest. He is currently writing a chapter about climate change and environmental justice for a book project that has collaborators across the country (Handbook of Urban Environmental Education due out early next year).



1986  Abstracts of Selected Documents on Energy Options for the American Flag Territories of the Pacific: Guam, Northern Marianas, and American Samoa (Honolulu: East-West Center).

1988 “Employment Impact of Recycling.” BioCycle, March.

1988 with Commoner, Barry, et al.: Intensive Recycling Feasibility Study for the City of Buffalo. Final Report. (New York: Center for the Biology of Natural Systems; April).

1988 with Commoner, B., et al.: Development and Pilot Test of an Intensive Municipal Solid Waste Recycling System for the Town of East Hampton. Final Report to New York State Energy Research Development Authority. (New York: Center for the Biology of Natural Systems; December).

1989 “Recycling Frontiers: Of Glutted Markets and Spurred Demand.” Resource Recycling. March/April.

1991 with Commoner, B., et al.: An Analysis of the Preliminary Recycling Plan, FY’91, Department of Sanitation. Submitted to Borough President of the Bronx. (New York: Center for the Biology of Natural Systems; February 5).

1991 with Commoner, B., et al.: Development of Innovative Procedures to Achieve High Rates of Recycling in Urban Low-Income Neighborhoods. Interim Report submitted to The Pew Charitable Trusts and Aaron Diamond Foundation. (New York: Center for the Biology of Natural Systems; August 1).

1991 with Commoner, B., et al.: An Action Plan for Pollution Prevention Through Government Purchases: Initiating the Transition to Ecologically Sound Production. Final Report Public Welfare Foundation and North Shore Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program. (New York: Center for the Biology of Natural Systems; August 23).

1992 “The Rush to Burn: Incinerator Controversies Heat Up.” E Magazine. March/April.

1992 with Commoner, B., et al.: Development of Innovative Procedures to Achieve High Rates of Recycling in Urban Low-Income Neighborhoods. Final Report to The Pew Charitable Trusts and Aaron Diamond Foundation. (New York: Center for the Biology of Natural Systems; April 10).

1992 with Commoner, B., et al.: Analysis of “A Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan for New York City and Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement, March 1992.” Final Report submitted to Bronx Borough President. (New York: Center for the Biology of Natural Systems; May 28).

1992 “Trash Disposal: Asking the Right Questions.” Environment and Development, American Planning Association. June.

1993 and Commoner, B. Public Investment in the Environment: How to Campaign for Government Purchase of Recycled Paper (New York: Center for the Biology of Natural Systems; July).

1993 with Commoner, et. al. How Intensive Reuse and Recycling of Municipal Solid Waste Can Create Jobs and Facilitate Economic Development in New York City (New York: Center for the Biology of Natural Systems; November).

1995 with Commoner, et. al. Determination and Characterization of Sources of Dioxins, Furans and Hexachlorobenzene to the Great Lakes. Final Report submitted to the Joyce Foundation. (New York: Center for the Biology of Natural Systems; January).

2002 with Richard Artz, Paul Bartlett, Mark Cohen, Barry Commoner, Paul Cooney, Kim Couchot, Mark Deslauriers, Alan Dickar, Roland Draxler, Holger Eisl, Catherine Hill, Rachelle Laurin, Larissa Mathewson-Brake, John McDonald, David Neimi, Dominique Ratte, and Joyce Rosenthal. “Modeling the Atmospheric Transport and Deposition of PCDD/F to the Great Lakes,” Environmental Science & Technology, 2002 (36) 4831-4845.

2015 with Belinda Chin, Dara Nix-Stevenson and I. Malik Saafir, “Environmental Equity in the Age of Climate Change,” in Urban Environmental Education, edited by Alex Russ, Published by the Cornell University Civic Ecology Lab, North American Association for Environmental Education, and EECapacity project. Produced through a cooperative agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency. Ithaca, NY and Washington, DC.

Past and Continuing… frequent contributor to letters-to-editors; for example The following New York Times:


Courses taught at Stony Brook University:

SBC 111 Introduction to Sustainability Studies

SBC 308 American Environmental Politics

EDP 301 The Built Environment I

EDP 404 Design Project

EDP 305 Risk Assessment and Sustainable Development

Interview with Dr. Quigley” by Jayme Liardi, May 27, 2014

What to do with your Sustainability Studies Program Degree?



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