Lecturer III Sustainability Studies
Dr. Andreas Hernandez joined the Sustainability Studies Program in the summer of 2021. With a background in both teaching and film making, Andreas brings a refreshing and creative outlook to the department! Read more about Andreas's background and how he got started as an educator.
Meet Dr. Andreas Hernandez!
Dr. Andreas Hernandez spent his childhood in Colorado which sparked his love for nature and gave him a sensitivity for natural systems. He eventually moved to the midwest and was shocked by the difference in environmental awareness. He went on to go to the University of Washington to get a BA in Social Work. After school, he saved up to travel as he was very interested in Azerbaijan. While this traveling experience didn’t go as he had hoped, and he was arrested several times, including as a CIA spy, it gave him a newfound inspiration to get more involved in social justice. After a break from school, Andreas went back to get his Master's degree in Social Work at the University of British Columbia. He enjoyed this program more than his undergrad because it was more creative. Andreas wrote his thesis in the Republic of Georgia and was very interested in research at the time. Once achieving his Master’s degree, he went on to get a Ph.D. in Development Sociology at Cornell University. It was at this time where Andreas became particularly interested in teaching.
Dr. Andreas Hernandez has always had a creative side. He was in a grunge band in the 90s that didn’t take off, though he did get to play with Nirvana before they became popular. Andreas had mixed feelings about school and the rigor of higher education but felt inspired to become a teacher to cultivate a different learning atmosphere. Andreas was part of an arts collective in Vancouver, and after that got into film. It wasn’t until later in his education that Andreas realized he could tie his academic interests to his creative interests. So far he has worked on a couple of films, the most notable being his film Soil, Struggle and Justice: Agroecology in the Brazilian Landless Movement. This film won best environmental film at the Mexico Environmental Film Festival as well as a few other awards. It focuses on a settlement of marginalized farmers in Latin America and how and why they have shifted to sustainable agriculture. He is currently working on another film, tying transformative practices of Buddhism to sustainability.
Currently, Andreas is a new Lecturer for the Sustainability Studies Program at the University of New Mexico. He is teaching SUST 434, the Sustainability Synthesis course, and SUST 499, the Sustainability Capstone class. He hopes to highlight holistic solutions in sustainability, particularly in agriculture as it has a major influence on climate change and our global systems. He is enjoying jumping into the UNM atmosphere and is happy to be back in the southwest, where he can eat good quality huevos rancheros, his favorite meal.
“So many solutions which are brought out today are high tech, and I have no doubt that high tech is an important part, but I think just by shifting the way we think about things and being more elegant, and working with nature, it might get us even further.” - Dr. Hernandez on Sustainable Solutions
Dr. Andreas Hernandez is excited for next semester, as he and the Sustainability Studies Program will be launching a film series in addition to teaching a class about Sustainability in Film. The film series will be launching with the film 2040 and a launch party in February 2022. More information about this series will be available via the UNM Sustainability Studies Program website and social media as we get closer to this event.