Edward Lorenz


Reid-Knox Professor of History, Professor of Political Science & Public Affairs Director


History and Political Science

Educational Background

  • Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1978
  • M.A., Georgetown University
  • B.S., Towson University

I am...

committed to helping students identify their interests and skills and prepare to assume the leadership roles and responsibilities that Alma graduates traditionally have achieved. 



My career at Alma began in


I'm an expert in

the history of public policy, especially environmental, health and human rights policies.

My expertise:

I have served in public agencies dealing with labor rights and health policy and have served as an appointed member of the EPA’s National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology. I have books on international labor rights policy and community empowerment to control the excesses of corporate power.

Signature course(s):

I hope all my courses are excellent and especially like first year Public Affairs classes.

Recent publications:

Montesinos’ Legacy (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2014).  [This book is the proceedings of the Universal Human Rights Conference sponsored by the Alma Public Affairs Institute in Washington in December 2011.]


“Promotion of Cooperative Enterprises in Universities Serving Distressed Urban and Rural Communities in Michigan” [with Will Donahue (’16), Lauren Engels (’15), Michelle Jerezano (’14), Aleia McKessy (’15), and Tracy Oberle (’16)] (East Lansing, MI: Center for Community and economic Development, 2014)


“Civic Empowerment in an Age of Corporate Excess,” in Robert Richardson, ed., Building a Green Economy: Perspectives from Ecological Economics (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2013).


Civic Empowerment in an Age of Corporate Excess (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2012); won the  Gold Medal of the Michigan Historical Society in 2012 and the Axiom Silver Medal in Business Ethics in 2013.

Recent presentations:

National Institute for Environmental Health Science FEST, Dec. 6-8, 2016.  Research Triangle Park, NC.  “Collaborative Research to Action: Empowering an Exposed Community.”  [with Melanie Pearson1, Marcus Cheatham2, Jane Keon3, Norm Keon2, Patrick Muldoon4, Jane-Ann Nyerges4, Steve Schrader5, James Kesner5, Melanie Jacobson1, Hillary Barton1, Metrecia Terrell1, Alicia Smith1, Karen Conneely1, Dana Barr1, Elizabeth Marder1 and Michele Marcus1 1PBB Research Team, Emory University, Atlanta, GA; 2Mid-Michigan District Health Department, Ithaca, MI; 3Pine River Superfund Citizens’ Task Force, St. Louis, MI; 4PBB Citizens Advisory Board, MI; 5Alma College, Alma, MI; 5NIOSH/CDC]


Intergenerational Risk Conference, June 27-29, 2016.  St. Louis and Alma, MI.  Conference Chair.  See: https://www.alma.edu/academics/experiential-learning/leadership-programs/public-affairs-institute/health-conference/


International Cooperative Alliance; Research Conference, May 24=27, 2016.  Almeria Spain.  “Economic and History Education Trends Related to Cooperatives in the 20th Century.”


American Public Health Association, Nov. 16-19, 2014, New Orleans: “Community Participation in Environmental Contaminants Research: Promoting Awareness and Encouraging Citizenship” [with Lydia Prebeck (’15), Brittney Roggow (’16) and Katherine Vaillancourt (’16)]




International Cooperative Alliance Research Conference, June 25-28, 2014, Pula, Croatia: “Promotion of Cooperative Enterprises in Universities Serving Distressed Urban and Rural Communities in the U.S. State of Michigan” [with Will Donahue (’16), Lauren Engels (’15), Michelle Jerezano (’14), Aleia McKessy (’15), and Tracy Oberle (’16)]

Conference on Communication and Environment, June 6-9, 2013, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Uppsala, Sweden; “Thinking Locally - Acting Globally:  Confronting Global Pesticide Lobbyists” 

Universal Human Rights Conference, Washington, D.C., Dec. 2-4, 2011,

Conference Chair [see under publications Montesinos’ Legacy]


United States Society for Ecological Economics, East Lansing, MI, June 28, 2011, “Community Empowerment in an Age of Corporate Excess.”


Association of American Colleges and Universities, San Francisco, CA January 28, 2011. “Challenges to Effective Learning,”  [Ehrlich Award Finalists Panel]


International Farming Systems Asso., Vienna, AustriaJuly 5, 2010. with Mike Vickery, “Our Common Table: Constructing Trans-border Understanding of Shared Risks, Resources, and Responsibilities.”


Southern Regional Model United Nations Annual Conference, Atlanta, GANov. 19, 2009, “Keynote Address.”

Recent grants:

U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, Promotion of Cooperative Enterprises in Distressed Urban and Rural Communities.  Feb. 2014.

Connect with me:


I've led

Each February during winter break I lead an Alternative Break group to the U.S.-Mexico border region to work with immigrants and deportees.

In May in alternating odd-number years I lead a group of human rights and international law students to France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland to study and meet leaders and visit sites related to development of international law and organizations to control and reduce conflict.   For example, in 2015 our travel was between May 4 and May 26.  The first stop was Madrid, the last outside Florence, Italy.


Students at site of 1550 'Great Debate about Human Rights,' the Colegio de San Gregorio, Valladolid, Spain.Students at site of 1550 'Great Debate about Human Rights,' the Colegio de San Gregorio, Valladolid, Spain.