Chris Dunn Kyaking
Ph.D. Student
Environmental Studies

Research Interests

  • Human Ecology
  • Environmental Ethics
  • Writing

Secondary Core Area

Values & Theory Core


Chris Dunn is a Ph.D. candidate in the Environmental Studies Program. His research integrates disciplines, including philosophy, anthropology, and writing to work for conservation and environmental awareness. His present research is primarily focused on the human relationship with icy landscapes, especially ancient or large bodies of ice in the Arctic, Antarctic, and the world's great glaciers.

It is now clear that our fate is deeply entwined with that of ice, though it may seem remote from the everyday concerns of most people. Arctic and mountain people who have long lived with ice have had to integrate its dynamic nature into their cultures. This is now something the rest of us must learn to do.

Chris plans to work with scientists and ice-dependent people to understand this emerging relationship and how it must come to inform our everyday ethical life. This interest stems from his work in Arctic Alaska as well as travels to the high mountains of the Andes and Himalayas. His immediate aspirations are to visit Greenland and Antarctica for research and travel. For more, see Vanishing Ice.

He completed his MA in philosophy from the University of Montana in 2009 focusing his thesis on conceptions, and the surrounding societal context, of wilderness and wildness. He worked for the National Park Service from 2010 until 2015. Originally from Georgia, Chris has called the West and far Northwest home for over 10 years.

Other Topics of Interest

  • Land management
  • Environmental literature
  • Religious studies and deep ecology
  • Art, film, and photography
  • Science communication
  • Philosophy of technology