DURHAM, N.C. – Betsy Albright has been named the Dan and Bunny Gabel Chair of Environmental Ethics and Sustainable Environmental Management, effective July 1.

Albright, a faculty member at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment since 2013, was awarded the chair in recognition of their outstanding scholarship on environmental science and policy methods, including how policies and decisions are made in response to extreme climatic events.

The chair also recognizes their exemplary teaching, mentoring and advising. This is the second time in recent years they have been honored for their excellence as an educator. In 2020, they received the school’s inaugural Lynn Maguire Award for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring Professional Students – an honor voted on by the students themselves.

“Betsy is a gifted teacher, advisor and researcher who exemplifies what engaged scholarship is all about,” said Toddi Steelman, Stanback Dean of the Nicholas School. “This chair is a richly deserved honor and a way of acknowledging all they do for our school, our students and our planet.”

Prior to joining the Nicholas School’s permanent faculty as assistant professor of the practice in 2013, Albright served as a visiting professor at the school for two years. They were promoted to associate professor of the practice in 2021.

They received their PhD in environmental policy from Duke in 2009 and worked as an instructor at Loyola University Chicago for two years before coming back to Duke to teach at the Nicholas School.

Albright has served as a team leader on three Bass Connections faculty-student research projects since 2018 and as a team member on another project before that. From 2018 to 2020, they also served on the Bass Connections Faculty Advisory Council.

They have published peer-reviewed papers on environmental policy and community response to extreme climatic events in Nature Climate Change, The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Nexus, and other top-tier journals, and have received funding from the National Science Foundation and U.S. Office of Naval Research to support their research.

More recently, they have applied lessons learned and methods developed from their research on response to extreme climatic events to collaborate on a series of highly regarded peer-reviewed studies examining public responses and government policy responses to the COVID pandemic.