Photo of Carl McDaniel
  • Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies


  • BS in chemistry-biology, Oberlin College
  • MS in biology, Wesleyan University, Middleton, CT
  • PhD in biology, Wesleyan University, Middleton, CT


Carl McDaniel taught biology at the U.S. Naval Academy and did postdoctoral work at Yale University with Ian Sussex in plant developmental biology before taking a biology faculty position at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he is professor emeritus of biology. 

He has been a Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor at Carleton College and a CSIRO McMaster Fellow in Canberra, Australia. McDaniel was the founding director of Rensselaer's undergraduate degree program in environmental science and served eight years in that capacity.

McDaniel has published over 60 scientific articles on animal and plant development and ecological economics, and written three books, Paradise for Sale, coauthored with economist John M. Gowdy (California University Press, 2000), Wisdom for a Livable Planet (Trinity University Press, 2005) and Trail Magic, Creating a Positive Energy Home (2011). He has developed and taught endocrinology, developmental biology, developmental genetics, environmental biology, a half dozen interdisciplinary courses in environmental science. He also taught Introductory Biology for 33 years.


  • Carl McDaniel Speaks at Natural History Week Conference

    July 19, 2018

    Visiting Professor of Environmental Studies Carl McDaniel was a speaker for Natural History Week 2018 at Star Island Family Retreat and Conference Center in New Hampshire. The conference was based on McDaniel’s published works and other writings and was themed, Building Durable Communities: Lessons for a Livable Planet.