Mari Lee

Environmental Program

Colorado College

I am currently the interim Technical Director at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, serving the Environmental and Chemistry departments. I will be transitioning this September to a Visiting Associate Professorship in the Environmental Program, also at Colorado College.  I hold a BS degree in Chemistry from Hope College, in Holland, MI (2002) and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, MN (specialty: Physical Chemistry, co-advised between Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering, 2012).  My thesis research addressed issues related to global climate change. In particular, I studied new particle formation in the continental troposphere, a major source of cloud condensation nuclei, and thus contributing to regional cooling effects.  In the intervening years between undergrad and graduate school I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer, teaching chemistry and mathematics in rural Tanzania, East Africa. That sparked my interests in global public health issues, prompting me to conduct independent research on the exposure of women and children to indoor air pollution through the every day activity of cooking. In my free time I bike, rock climb, practice yoga and can often be found conversing over a good cup of coffee or pint of beer at the local brewpub. 

Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects


A mock legislative debate to enhance and integrate student understanding of climate change science, policy, economics and ethics part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
In this multi-day activity students participate in a mock-senate committee debate of a current piece of climate legislation. Students are split into the roles of either senator, special interest lobbyist, or testifying climate scientist and must debate the bill according to their assigned allegiance. Students, in their roles, must work to form coalition support for their view point, resulting in a final committee vote on the bill.


Human Impacts on Biogeochemical Cycles part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Courses
Human Impacts on Biogeochemical Cycles is an introductory environmental science course examining the pressures of modern civilization on natural Earth cycles. The course uses inquiry based learning to cover basic principles of chemistry, as well as some biology and geology. Students learn about environmental feedbacks through computational modeling (STELLA software) of population, nitrogen and carbon cycling, and simplified global climate models.


The Waldo Canyon wildfire: A case study of the western urban-wilderness interface part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Essays
Mari Titcombe Lee, Environmental Program, Colorado College I feel the need to premise my essay with an acknowledgement - I am a novice when it comes to teaching sustainability in a formal educational setting. My ...

Events and Communities

InTeGrate Sustainability Courses Workshop July 2012