Dr. Stephanie Kaza is Professor Emerita of Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont and former Director of the UVM Environmental Program. She co-founded the Environmental Council at UVM and served as faculty director for the Sustainability Faculty Fellows program.
At UVM, Dr. Kaza taught classes on religion and ecology, environmental justice, ecofeminism, radical environmentalism, and unlearning consumerism. She advised graduate students on research in energy and citizen participation, smart growth in town planning, campus sustainability, agricultural ethics, and religion and ecology.
In 2011 Dr. Kaza received the UVM George V. Kidder Outstanding Faculty Award for excellence in teaching. Kaza received a prestigious Religion and Science course award from the Templeton Foundation for her course on Buddhism and Ecology. She lectures widely on topics of Buddhism and the environment.
Kaza is a long-time practitioner of Soto Zen Buddhism, with training at Green Gulch Zen Center, California, and further study with Thich Nhat Hanh, Joanna Macy, and John Daido Loori. She was lay ordained by Kobun Chino Ottogawa in the late 1980s and applied her understanding of Buddhism as a member of the International Christian-Buddhist Theological Encounter group.
Kaza has enjoyed leading workshops on the Greening of Buddhism for Zen Mountain Monastery in New York and the Whidbey Institute in Washington. For many years, she taught summer programs with the Institute for Deep Ecology and the Center for Whole Communities.
As an engaged citizen, Kaza is currently working on climate issues in Portland, Oregon, where she has co-hosted a forum series on local and regional climate policy initiatives. She is eagerly building her collection of natural history field books and hiking guides to support her passions for lichens, wildflowers, mushrooms, trees, tidepools, and Ice Age Floods. Her current writing project is a commemorative volume of tributes to the life work and legacy of Joanna Macy.
Dr. Kaza’s interdisciplinary academic career reflects her degrees in Biology (B.A. Oberlin College, 1968), Education (M.A. Stanford University 1970), Marine Biology (Ph.D. University of California Santa Cruz, 1979), and Religion (M.Div. Starr King School, 1991).