Melissa Tier is the Sustainability Program Manager in the Office of Sustainability at Swarthmore College, where she has worked since 2015. She is passionate about institutional sustainability management and local policymaking to help address the global climate crisis. Melissa designed and directs the student Green Advisors and the staff/faculty Sustainability Advocates Programs, as well as the campus-wide compost system and the Worthmore Free Store. She leads the implementation of Swarthmore's Zero Waste commitment and co-teaches ENVS 012: Compost & Climate Change. She also annually advises a number of student research projects through the President's Sustainability Research Fellowship.
Melissa is a 2014 alumna of Swarthmore (BA in Psychology), and in 2019 completed an MSc in Sustainable Urban Development part-time through Oxford University. Her master's thesis applied urban governance theories to strategic planning for sustainability, with a case study of Delaware County and Philadelphia.
Before returning to Swarthmore as staff, Melissa worked as a Research Assistant at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University, where she assisted with a range of experimental projects aimed at uniting psychological and other behavioral science research with environmental policy. During her student years at Swarthmore, Melissa pursued academic interests in environmental psychology, mental health, and climate justice. She also worked as a Student Academic Mentor (SAM), wrote for The Psych Report, and participated in several student environmental organizations and initiatives.
Melissa is leaving her position in August 2020 to pursue a PhD in environmental policy at Princeton University.