Autumn Thoyre - Geography Faculty - Colgate University

Colgate Directory



Ph.D., Geography, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2014
M.S., Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science, Lund University, Sweden, 2008
B.S., Environmental Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2005


My work analyzes sustainable energy and climate change politics in the U.S. I have particular expertise in environmental politics, sustainability studies, energy geographies, and environmental sociology, as well as social science research methods and interactive teaching techniques. My research examines the ways environmental policies, environmentalism, and energy systems are changing in a world of climate change by analyzing how people and institutions frame technologies as solutions to climate change in the United States. I focus on energy efficiency technologies that have captured the imaginations of environmentalists, energy companies, and policymakers as key tools to address climate change. My research advances debates about the ways that environmental issues, technologies, social movements, and policies become part of larger political economic forces and how they resist and reproduce existing class, gender, and racial inequalities.

For more information:

Teaching Experience

Fall 2015 courses taught at Colgate University
  • GEOG 121: Earth, Society & Sustainability
  • GEOG 253/SOCI 253: Interviews
Past courses taught at Colgate University:
  • GEOG 121: Earth, Society & Sustainability
  • GEOG 324: International Environmental Policy
  • GEOG 325: Water & Society
  • GEOG 328: Sustainability & Natural Resources
A People's Guide to Energy ProjectWith Colgate's Collaboration for Enhanced Learning (CEL), students in GEOG 328 and I have developed the "People's Guide to Energy Project," a guide to global sites of energy production and consumption that highlights voices, perspectives and challenges often left out of conventional energy maps, histories and narratives. The PGE project is inspired by Pulido, Barraclough's, and Cheng's "People's Guide to Los Angeles." The project has both public scholarship and pedagogical goals. With it, we aim to add to public conversations about energy sustainability and equity. At the same time, each student who researched and created a webpage on a specific PGE site practiced using theories commonly used by geographers and others to understand how sustainability and social justice challenges can arise across diverse energy landscapes.

Past courses taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:
  • GEOG 112: Environmental Conservation
  • GEOG 420: Capstone course: Global Geographies of Change: An Integrated Course in Natural and Social Processes
  • IDST 089: First-year seminar: Sex & Politics: Reproducing Humanity?


Journal Articles
Thoyre, A. 
and Harrison, C. Forthcoming. Symposium introduction: Teaching energy geographies. Journal of Geography in Higher Education. 

Thoyre, A.
 2015. Energy efficiency as a resource in state portfolio standards: Lessons for more expansive policies. Energy Policy 86: 625-634.

Thoyre, A. 2015. Constructing environmentalist identities through green neoliberal identity work. Journal of Political Ecology 22: 146-163.

Thoyre, A.
 2011. Social capital as a facilitator of pro-environmental actions in the U.S.: A preliminary examination of mechanisms. Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability 16(1): 37-49.

Edited Volumes
Thoyre, A. and Harrison, C. (editors) Forthcoming. Teaching energy geographies. Symposium issue in the Journal of Geography in Higher Education.

Book Reviews
Fox, K.S., Hennessy, E., Kirsch, S., Marshall, L., Safransky, S.,
Thoyre, A., and Tiitsman, J. (all equal authorship) 2010. A catalog of things. Review of B. Latour and P. Weibel (eds). 2005 Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy ZKM and MIT Press. Social and Cultural Geography 11(2): 191-199.