Mason Stahl is the James M. Kenney Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering in the Department of Geosciences and Environmental Science, Policy and Engineering program. Born and raised in Framingham, Mass., he stayed in the Boston area for college and grad school. He came to Union in 2017 with his wife, Candice, daughter, Norah, and cat, Minkus, in tow.
In his spare time, Stahl enjoys hiking with his family, watching old episodes of “Frontline” and talking about various hydrologic phenomena (his most recent topic du jour is fog and dew). The family lives in nearby Niskayuna.
FIRST APP YOU LOOK AT IN THE MORNING:
I typically check the New York Times for the news. I also use the CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network) app to submit my daily rain gauge observations. FYI, anyone can participate in CoCoRaHS - for details about how to join the network, which consists of thousands of observers, check out the CoCoRaHS website.
ONE BOOK YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES:
"In the Light of What We Know" by Zia Haider Rahman. I've also read and listened to the audiobook of "Me Talk Pretty One Day", by David Sedaris. I recommend listening to the audiobook read by the author - the book is even more funny when it's read by him.
BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED:
“This too shall pass” My mom and grandma say this when we are dealing with something that is difficult. I also like to remind myself of this advice when things are going well as it helps to keep both the ups and downs in life in perspective.
FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS:
The pollinator garden between ISEC and Steinmetz Hall
Toast with hummus and lox with black coffee
love listening to podcasts, so I can't pick just one. I've listened to “This American Life” since I was a kid and I really like listening to the old episodes. I also like “EconTalk,” which has really interesting and thoughtful discussions on tons of different topics. I've also recently been listening to “The Schumacher Lectures,” which features lectures and discussions about making communities that are better in line with the earth's ecological and environmental limits.
ONE SKILL YOU WISH YOU HAD:
I've always liked learning languages and would love to be a language savant.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU:
am related to comedian Milton Berle. I found this out by accident a few years back when I asked my grandma if she was a fan of Milton Berle. She said: “Of course, darling, he was related to grandpa.” I think she said he was a second uncle or something like that, though I'll have to ask her for more details.
THREE DINNER PARTY GUESTS (living or deceased):
I like the books and essays of Wendell Berry and Abraham Heschel. Both of them have a unique and thoughtful way of looking at the world and I would love to get to talk with them and to hear what they had to say to one another. I would also like to meet Florence Nightingale. My wife is a nurse practitioner and I would be interested to meet the person who helped pioneer that field. I also recently learned that she was a pioneer in the field of data visualization, which is something I'm really interested in and use in my teaching and research.
I think it was probably a folk/Americana music festival in Boston. I went during my freshman year of college and really enjoyed it.