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WWU / Fairhaven College of Interdiscipinary Studies


Gary Bornzin

Gary Bornzin

Senior Instructor
(360) 650-4918

Office: FA 335


Received a B.S. from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, both in mathematical physics; did post-doctoral research at the International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy; and taught at the University of Colorado, Clarion (Pennsylvania) State College, Southern Oregon State College/University, and the Department of Physics and Astronomy at WWU before joining the faculty at Fairhaven College in 1982, attracted by Fairhaven's emphasis on small, interdisciplinary classes and innovative approaches to teaching and learning. 



While continuing to enjoy physics and the frontiers of human discovery and imagination, Gary has for many years focused most of his attention and teaching on helping students address urgent global-scale problems associated with sustainability: human overpopulation, overconsumption, war and violence, grossly inequitable distribution of power, wealth, food, and basic resources for living.  Particular interests include how to communicate across paradigm differences such as culture, religion, politics, language, and life experience; and how to transcend one's own habitual paradigms of thought and thus to see with new insight, feel with new empathy.



Courses taught at Fairhaven include Visioning Sustainable Futures, Applied Human Ecology & Sustainable Systems, User-friendly Statistics, and various core classes such as Science and Our Place on the Planet, New Perspectives in Science, and Feminist Perspectives in Science.


Selected Publications

  • "Multiculturalism and Science: Teaching Diversity Values in 'Value-Neutral' Science" in Unity and Diversity in Religion and Culture: Exploring the Psychological and Philosophical Issues Underlying Global Conflict, International Readings on Theory, History and Philosophy of Culture No. 22, (St. Petersberg: Russian Institute for Cultural Research, 2006) 284-94. (On-line at
  • "Increasing Access in the Sciences Through Interdisciplinary Feminist Perspectives" in Reinventing Ourselves: Interdisciplinary Education, Collaborative Learning, and Experimentation in Higher Education, Barbara Leigh Smith and John McCann, eds. (Boston: Anker, 2001), Chapter 15, pp. 272-287.
  • "Chaos, Theory and Myth, and the Liberation from 'Linear Thinking'" in Chaos and Chaos Theory: Nonexistent Objects, Vladimir Milicic, ed. (Bellingham, WA: Western Washington University, 1993), pp. 1-5.
  • Transition to a Healthy Sustainable Society: Final Report of Research under Fellowship from the NATO Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society (Boulder, CO: University of Colorado, Institute of Behavioral Science, 1975).