Jake Brenner

Jake Brenner

Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies and Science
Faculty, Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences
Faculty, Latin American Studies

Specialty:Human-Environment Geography, Land Use, and Water Resources
Phone:(607) 274-3967
Office:258 Ctr for Natural Sciences
Ithaca, NY 14850


My teaching covers the broad sweep of human-environment geography, from globalization to environmental management decisions made by individuals in particular places.  My research focuses on how and why landscapes change.  Specific themes include conservation, peri-urban fringe areas, arid lands, social dimensions of biological invasions, land-use attitudes and practices, and vulnerability and resilience in land systems.  I use mixed methods, including surveys, interviews, focus groups, participant observation, ecological survey, and geospatial analysis (GPS, GIS, and remote sensing).  I have a long-standing interest in Latin America, having lived and worked in Costa Rica, Bolivia, and Mexico.  Much of my work these days focuses on prospects for voluntary conservation on private land in upstate New York, including Ithaca College Natural Lands (ICNL). 

For a brief explanation of why I love what I do, check out the following video (4 min):


For more information on Ithaca College Natural Lands, check out the following Web site:




ICSM 105: Diversity Amid Globalization (first-year seminar)

ENVS 120: Environmental Sentinels

ENVS 220: Human-Environment Geography

HNRS 230: Not-So-Natural Disasters

ENVS 201/301: Environmental Research (introductory/intermediate)

ENVS 322: Environmental Research Methods

ENVS 331: Topics in Geography and Planning – Land Use and Management

ENVS 331: Topics in Geography and Planning – Water Use and Management

ENVS 450: Senior Research



Brenner, J. C., J. G. Hamilton, T. Drake, and J. Jordan.  (2013)  Building Local Environmental Knowledge in Undergraduates with Experiential Wilderness Skills and Awareness Training: The Case of Environmental Sentinels. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 3(4): 404–415.

Brenner, J. C., S. Lavallato, M. Cherry, and E. Hileman.  (2013)  Land Use Determines Interest in Conservation Easements among Private Landowners.  Land Use Policy 35: 24-32.

Brenner, J. C. and L. L. Kanda.  (2013)  Land Disturbance Facilitates Buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) Invasion from Pastures in Sonora, Mexico.  Invasive Plant Science and Management 6(1): 187-195.

Brenner, J. C. and J. G. Davis.  (2012)  Transboundary Conservation across Scales: A World-Regional Inventory and a Local Case Study from the United States-Mexico Border.  Journal of the Southwest 54(3): 499-520.

Brenner, J. C., Z. J. Christman, and J. Rogan.  (2012)  Segmentation of Landsat Thematic Mapper Imagery Improves Buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) Pasture Mapping in the Sonoran Desert of Mexico.  Applied Geography 34: 569-575.

Brenner, J. C.  (2011)  Pasture Conversion, Private Ranchers, and the Invasive Exotic Buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) in Mexico’s Sonoran Desert.  Annals of the Association of American Geographers 101(1): 84-106.

Brenner, J. C.  (2010)  What Drives the Conversion of Native Rangeland to Buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) Pasture in Mexico’s Sonoran Desert?: The Social Dimensions of a Biological Invasion.  Human Ecology 38(4): 495-505. 

Brenner, J. C., S. Walker, and A. Olsson. (2010)  Vulnerability and Biological Invasion at an Urban-Wildland Interface in Tucson, Arizona.  Presentation at the Global Land Project Open Science Meeting, Tempe, AZ.