Brennan Lagasse

Teaching Assistant Professor
Brennan Lagasse


Brennan Lagasse started teaching at Sierra Nevada College in 2011. He continued teaching as the College evolved into Sierra Nevada University, and now the University of Nevada, Reno at Lake Tahoe. Brennan teaches courses across departments and programs through a holistic approach grounded in sustainability education.

He works with undergraduate students to curate an annual Earth Day celebration on the UNR at Lake Tahoe campus while mentoring students in the People and Planet club. Brennan has also collaborated with undergraduate students to co-present at sustainability gatherings such as The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education annual conference and has facilitated transformational field work with undergraduate students in such places as the Eastern Sierra Nevada, California Redwood Coast, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.

Beyond his role as a Teaching Assistant Professor, Brennan is also a ski guide having led and been a part of numerous international expeditions, as well as a published writer and photographer. He works with several outdoor companies as an athlete and is proud to be an ambassador with organizations such as Protect Our Winters and the Winter Wildlands Alliance.

Local to his home, Brennan works closely with members of the Washoe Tribe through The Washoe Cultural and Outdoor Expedition Program, and the Washiw Zulshish Gum T’anu (Washoe Warrior Society). He also partners with Neets’aii Gwich’in and Inupiat Elders in Alaska each year, commonly acting as a bridge for interested students, to learn traditional ecological knowledge while experiencing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Brennan lives with his partner Jillian and their daughter Mika on Washoe land on the West Shore of Da’oh aga (Lake Tahoe).

Research interests

  • Traditional Ecological Knowledge
  • Sustainability
  • Regeneration
  • Decolonization
  • Intersectionality
  • Environmental Justice
  • Social Justice
  • Climate Justice
  • Sustainable Outdoor Recreation and Stewardship
  • Natural and Cultural History of Skiing
  • Action Research
  • Experiential and Expeditionary Education
  • Transdisciplinary Scholarship
  • Transformative Field Work
  • Cultural Sustainability
  • Sustainable Entrepreneurship
  • Regenerative Tourism


  • B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology (Dual emphasis major, Environmental Studies minor), Colgate University, 2002
  • M.A. in Social Science (Interdisciplinary Environment & Community program), Cal Poly Humboldt, 2008
  • Ph.D. in Sustainability Education, Prescott College, 2021

Select Publications

  • Lagasse, Brennan. (2021). Indigenous Elder Wisdom, the Co-Conspirator Role, and a Nuanced Activist Methodology for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Beyond [Doctoral dissertation, Prescott College].
  • Lagasse, Brennan. (2008). Waiting for the Snow to Fall: First Nations, Federal Policy, and Environmental Justice [Master's thesis, Cal Poly Humboldt]. VDM Verlag (June 23, 2009).

Courses taught

  • SOC 235 Introduction to the Sociology of Climate Change
  • NRES 480 Independent Study
  • NRES 485 Special Topics
  • GEOG 106 Introduction to Cultural Geography
  • GEOG 314 Field Methods
  • GEOG 460 Ethnic Geography
  • GEOG 464 Identity and the Environment
  • ENGR 493 Special Topics

Professional certifications

  • Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and American Heart Association CPR Provider, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 2009
  • WFR Recertification, South Lake Tahoe, CA and Truckee, CA, 2012, 2015, 2018, 2021
  • Rope Works Advanced Crevasse Rescue, Reno, NV, 2015 American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education Level II, South Lake Tahoe, CA, 2007
  • Natural Resources Planning, Cal Poly Humboldt, Arcata, CA, 2005 Natural Resources Policy and Administration, Cal Poly Humboldt, Arcata, CA, 2005
  • Leave No Trace, Colgate University Outdoor Education Program, Hamilton, NY, 2000