Sue Cobb
Sue Cobb

Affiliated Faculty

Sue Cobb majored in biology at Norwich University, with a focus on ecology, and earned a second major in religious studies. She earned an M.S. in Natural Resources at the University of Vermont, where she also began a Ph.D. in Natural Resources. Sue's graduate work at UVM focused on aquatic communities, particularly predator-prey relationships, and she continues her work in this area. She likes trying to figure out how natural communities are put together and how processes emerge from the living ecosystem.

As much as Sue loved being out in the field, she began to feel dissatisfied with the questions she was able to ask and answer through the traditional reductionist scientific methodology. While at UVM, she was introduced to Goethe's scientific practice, which is holistic, observation- and imagination-based, and based on qualities rather than measurements. This non-traditional but rigorous practice offered her a way to engage all aspects of her personality – not just her intellect. Sue is now actively engaged in exploring qualitative research in ecology as an independent scholar. Currently, she is exploring pond ecology, trying to understand pond processes and inhabitants in a different way.

Sue has mentored a wide range of independent studies in all the UI&U Bachelor of Arts degree program. She's particularly interested in nature study and human health, including alternative or holistic healing, and in environmental science and environmental studies. She holds a deep interest in evolutionary theory, especially concerning the evolution of human behavior and diet. She is also quite familiar with statistical analysis and comfortable with practical mathematics –for example, the kind of math you need to read about newspaper polls critically, to understand the use of numerical information by influence groups, or to make wise financial choices.

Since joining the faculty at UI&U, the largest part of her energy has gone toward her work with students. The educational process here, like her pond research, requires that she engage fully, with her intellect, but also with her intuition, experiences, and creative commitment to growth.