Robert received his BA in philosophy at Rutgers-The State University of NJ, his MA in Philosophy, MS in Environmental Policy, and PhD in philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Robert comes to OSU after seven years at the University of North Texas and prior to that, eight years at Colgate University. Largely the result of his upbringing that juxtaposed the maritime culture with industrial urban poverty, he committed his philosophical acumen to practical scholarship; in particular, Environmental Justice Studies. In his discipline of philosophy, he introduced the first college course in Environmental Justice and promoted environmental justice pedagogy. In early publications, he added new dimensions from Latin@ perspectives when the Environmental Justice Movement was focusing its main critiques of environmental racism on African American communities and debating whether economics determined the underrepresentation in environmental decision-making and the inequitable distribution of environmental burdens. He has played a definitive role in expanding the conceptions of justice regarding identity, heritage, cultural perception and status, as well as alternative strategies to remedy environmental injustices at multiple scales.
He has also worked on diversity in the study of science and technology in society co-editing with Sandra Harding, Science and Other Cultures: Issues in the Philosophies of Science and Technology, which was one of the major products of his primary investigation over an NSF grant to the American Philosophical Association. A large part of his current transdisciplinary research continues to be with Latin@ communities in the US; in addition to, indigenous populations addressing joint-management of National Parks and environmental heritage, as well as refugee populations in terms of environmental and climate refugees, conditions in refugee camps, and relocated communities.
Presently, he is completing a manuscript with Routledge, Environmental Justice as Environmental Ethics: A New Introduction; and his book Extending Environmental Justice: From Equity to Identity and Beyond, which brings his multiple conceptions of justice to the scale of interspecies justice. Part of the interspecies justice research is drawing upon environmental identity relationships between autism spectrum disorder and animal therapy regarding empathetic relationships. During his initial year, his office will be in Gilkey Hall with the Center for Latin@ Studies and Engagement as the Resident Scholar of Engagement and Advisory Board member.