Philosophy Faculty and Staff

Christopher Preston

Christopher Preston

Professor of Philosophy

Office: Eck 157
Fax: (406) 243-4076
Office Hours:

By appointment.



Curriculum Vitae

Current Position

Professor of Philosophy


PHL 505: Issues in the Anthropocene

PHL 504: Topics in Environmental Philosophy

PHL 422: Environmental Philosophy

PHL 315: Philosophy and Feminism

PHL 112e: Introduction to Ethics and the Environment

Personal Summary

Born and raised in England, Christopher moved to the United States in the nineteen-nineties. With the exception of five years in South Carolina and a few months in Washington D.C., he has lived most of those years in the western states where he enjoys mountain biking, skiing, and other activities made possible by the roomy landscapes. 

Much of his research connects to the idea of the Anthropocene, the epoch in which human influence on the planet is everywhere. He studies emerging Anthropocene technologies for their impact on the human-nature experience. These include climate engineering and biotechnology. He also has interests in restoration and rewilding, exploring differences between Western European and U.S. approaches to wildlife.



Ph.D., University of Oregon (1998)

M.A. (applied ethics), Colorado State University (1993)

B.A. University of Durham, UK (1990)

Research Interests

Rewilding, the Anthropocene, Care Ethics, Ethics of Emerging Technologies, Wilderness, Climate Engineering, Synthetic Biology



I'm currently working on a new book about wildlife recoveries for MIT Press due out in 2022.

The National Science Foundation sponsored some of my research (conducted through the Mansfield Center) on the ethics of geoengineering. As part of that research, I helped create an Online Resource Center for the ethics of geoengineering. The site is no longer updated but it has some useful material on different aspects of geoengineering ethics.  It is archived here.

Selected Publications

The Synthetic Age: Outdesigning Evolution, Resurrecting Species, and Reengineering Our World (MIT Press, 2018)

Climate Justice and Geoengineering: Ethics and Policy in the Atmospheric Anthropocene (editor) (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2016)

Engineering the Climate: The Ethics of Solar Radiation Management (editor and contributor) (Lexington Books, 2012).

Saving Creation: Nature and Faith in the Life of Holmes Rolston, III (Trinity University Press, 2009).

Nature, Value, and Duty: Life on Earth with Holmes Rolston, III (co-editor with Wayne Ouderkirk and contributor) (Springer, 2007)

Grounding Knowledge: Environmental Philosophy, Epistemology, and Place (University of Georgia Press, 2003).

"De-extinction and Taking Control of Earth's Metabolism," Hastings Center Report (Issue Supplement S2) 47 (July/August 2017): 37-42.

“Broadening the Assessment Lens for the Governance of Emerging Technologies: Care Ethics and Agricultural Biotechnology,” (co-author with Fern Wickson) Technology in Society 45 (2016): 48-57.

"The Multiple Anthropocenes: Towards Fracturing a Totalizing Discourse," Environmental Ethics 37(3)(2015): 307-320.

“Framing an Ethics of Climate Management for the Anthropocene,” Climatic Change 130 (2014): 359–369.

"Geoengineering and Gender" (co-author with Holly Jean Buck and Andrea Gammon), Hypatia: The Journal of Feminist Philosophy 29(3)(Summer 2014): 651-669.

"Rethinking the Unthinkable: Geoengineering and the Presumptive Argument from Environmental Ethics,” Environmental Values, 20(4) (2011): 1-23. 

“Synthetic Biology: Drawing a Line in Darwin’s Sand,” Environmental Values, 17(1) (2008): 23-39. 

Home Department

Department of Philosophy 

Area of Expertise

Assisted Migration; the Anthropocene; Biotechnology; Care Ethics; Climate Change; Climate Engineering; De-Extinction; Environmental Ethics and Philosophy; Ethics of Wilderness; Rewilding and Restoration; Synthetic Biology; Nanotechnology

Environmental Bio

Christopher J. Preston is the author of Saving Creation: Nature and Faith in the Life of Holmes Rolston, III (Trinity University Press, 2009) and Grounding Knowledge: Environmental Philosophy, Epistemology, and Place (University of Georgia Press, 2003).  He edited Engineering the Climate: The Ethics of Solar Radiation Management (Lexington, 2012) and is the co-editor of a collection of essays on Holmes Rolston, III titled Nature, Value, and Duty: Life on Earth with Holmes Rolston, III(Springer, 2006). He has published more than thirty articles in environmental philosophy and related areas. His philosophical interests include wilderness and re-wilding, ecofeminism, the anthropocene, climate engineering, the science/ethics interface, and environmental epistemology. He has a Masters degree in applied ethics from Colorado State University in Fort Collins and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Oregon in Eugene. He is a research fellow at the university’s Progam on Ethics and Public Affairs and has commercial fished a number of summers in Alaska. Christopher was born and raised in England.

International Experience

Faculty exchange and research residency at The Arctic University of Norway and Genøk: Center for Biosafety in Tromsø, Norway. 

Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Ethics of the Anthropocene at the Institute of Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.