Mark Hengen

Associate Professor,  College of Arts & Sciences

Contact Information
We learn the theoretical aspects [in class], but then we apply them. Just the idea that people want to learn and we can help make the world better.”


Mark Hengen’s scholarship explores urban social ecologies, business sustainability and supply chains. He investigates sustainability planning and agroecological food systems. He worked several years in New York City administering environmental change and natural resource programs before attending Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Hengen extended his research examining socioecological relationships integrating natural science with cultural and social movements. His Northeastern doctoral work analyzed environmental movement interactions with private interests, scientists and politicians in multi-level governance systems.

He currently applies political economic and urban social ecological perspectives with STS to evaluate just sustainability, social ecologies of urbanism, urban agriculture and the valuation of ecosystem services of green infrastructure and economic development.

Hengen emphasizes real-world learning experiences to inspire student engagement and to encourage higher order thinking for fostering social change. He travels extensively to Europe, Turkey, Abu Dubai, Thailand, China and Africa, with research and courses in sustainable tourism and marketing in Zanzibar. He enjoys working with students in sustainability and agriculture organizations and in organizing entrepreneur business ventures.

Areas of Expertise

  • State and Local Food Systems
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Food Policy Councils
  • Economic Impact of Food Systems
  • Greenhouse Gas Inventories
  • Energy Analysis
  • Food Waste and Composting
  • Environmental Policy and Planning
  • Community Service and Civic Engagement

Professional Memberships

  • Association of Environmental Science and Studies Association, 2015–present
  • International Society of Ecological Economics, 2015–present
  • Society of Urban Ecology, 2015–present
  • Northeast Organic Farmers Association of Rhode Island, 2015–present, Treasurer and Board Member