Sarah Mittlefehldt

headshot of Sarah MittlefehldtAssistant Professor

3005 New Science Facility
Began teaching at NMU in 2015


  • B.A., Carleton College
  • M.Ed., Harvard University
  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison


  • GC 269: Introduction to Sustainability
  • GC 320: Environmental Policy & Regulation

Research Interests

  • Environmental history
  • Environmental justice
  • Environmental policy
  • Sustainability

Sarah Mittlefehldt is an environmental historian who enjoys engaging students in thinking about how the past can be used to help inform the future. Sarah is particularly interested in the relationship between environmental stewardship and civic engagement, and she explores that relationship as a scholar and as a practitioner. Currently, she is working on a project that explores the cultural and political barriers that renewable energy advocates have faced in their efforts to decentralize power systems since the energy crises in the 1970s. She is excited to work with students and colleagues at Northern Michigan University to help promote sustainability on campus and in the greater Marquette community. Sarah enjoys nearly all forms of physical activity in the outdoors and playing upright bass or banjo with her partner and their daughter.

Select Publications

  • (with Codie Tedford) "Benefit or Burden?: Environmental Justice and Community-Scale Biomass Energy Systems in Vermont, USA,” Environmental Justice 7:4 (August 2014), 110-114.
  • Tangled Roots: The Appalachian Trail and American Environmental Politics (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2013).
  • (with Tina A. Grotzer), “Students’ Metacognitive Behavior and Ability to Transfer Causal Concepts,” in Anat Zohar & Judy Dori, eds., Metacognition and Science Education (Cambridge, MA: Springer, 2011), 79-99.
  • “The People’s Path: Conflict and Cooperation in the Acquisition of the Appalachian Trail,” Environmental History 15:4 (October 2010), 643-669.
  • “Toxic Waste and Environmental Justice in Warren County, North Carolina,” in Charles V. Willie, Steven P. Rindini, and David A. Willard, eds. Grassroots Social Action: Lessons in People Power Movements (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2008).
  • “Discovering Nature in the Neighborhood: Raymond Zillmer and the Origins of the Ice Age Trail,” in Eric Sherman and Andrew Hanson III, eds., Along Wisconsin's Ice Age Trail (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2008).