Associate Director, Sr. Lecturer, Environmental Science & Studies program, and Lecturer, Advanced Academic Programs
Alexios Monopolis, Ph.D. serves as the Associate Director of the Environmental Science & Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University.
Academically, he completed a Senior Fellowship in Environmental Diplomacy and Documentary Photography at Dartmouth College, a Fulbright Grant in Environmental Science & Policy in Mediterranean Europe, an MSc in Biodiversity Conservation & Management at Oxford University, an MFA and an MA at the University of California in Photography & Filmmaking and Global & International Studies, respectively, an MTS at Harvard University in Environmental Philosophy & Positive Psychology (a.k.a. “the science of happiness”), and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science & Management; concentrating on the mental health benefits of environmentally responsible lifestyles.
Professionally, he has worked for the White House (Council on Environmental Quality), the National Geographic Society, in the Balkans as the International Political Advisor for the organization charged with the development of the only trans-frontier conservation area (or “international peace park”) in the region, as a Search & Rescue professional (taking part in emergency medical operations around the globe ranging from Ground Zero in NYC to Sri Lanka, post-tsunami), as a photojournalist (focusing on environmental and social justice issues), and as a wilderness guide. Alexios has also served as Harvard University’s fitness coach, running the university’s “Harvard On The Move” program, as a strength and conditioning coach for Olympic swimmers, and as an endurance athlete for Under Armour.
Alexios teaches a variety of interdisciplinary courses including, among others, Environmental Ethics, Interdisciplinary Research Practice in Sustainability & Health, Environmental Photojournalism, Designing Sustainable Wellness, Exploring Nature, Environmental Policymaking and Policy Analysis, and an environmental field course based in Colorado and Utah.
Alexios’ research focuses on the philosophical, psychological and behavioral aspects of human-environmental relations. Specifically, he examines the relationship between ecologically responsible lifestyles/behaviors and health (in particular, mental health and subjective well-being, or happiness). The positive correlation between these lifestyles/behaviors and happiness is then applied as a health-based frame to promote environmental responsibility by demonstrating that these individual choices can lead to a happier and healthier life – beneficial to oneself, society, and the planet. This, in turn, may help facilitate a broad paradigm shift from a society of conspicuous consumption and unconstrained growth towards a society of voluntary simplicity and sufficiency.
Alexios spends his free time playing outside (in particular, trail running, kayaking, canyoneering, and scuba diving) – and rescuing senior pomeranians.