At Johns Hopkins, Balcom is a lecturer for the MS in Environmental Sciences and Policy program.
Balcom is an interdisciplinary environmental scientist whose fascination with sustainable environmental management originated with the contrasting realities he witnessed in his formative years after moving from Houston, Texas, to rural Vermont. Balcom’s lifelong passion for soil and plants led to his deep interest in environmental project management. His work seeks to understand and incorporate ecological processes in the management of environmental hazards, such as toxic substances and climate change. His research, teaching, and public service is oriented around increasing ecological resilience by incorporating dynamic, living processes into the landscape. Those passions have shaped his career over three decades.
Balcom taught environmental science, chemistry, soil science, and sustainability courses designed around participatory, hands-on learning at Vermont State University from 2010 until 2023 when he joined Massachusetts Fish and Game to manage a branch of the Division of Ecological Restoration. In addition to his work for the state of Massachusetts, Balcom has worked for the state governments of California, Vermont, and Oregon. He was promoted to full professor at Vermont State University, where he served as the head of the School of Physical and Life Sciences.
Balcom received a Bachelor of Science in botany from the University of Vermont and a PhD in environmental toxicology from the University of California at Riverside.
He rides mountain bikes, skis, and forages for mushrooms with his three children in the woods near his home in Vermont.