Jason Tor, Ph.D.
Dr. Jason M. Tor earned a Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, an M.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Science and a B.S. in Soil Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign. He was fortunate to join the faculty of Hampshire College in 2002 as a Professor of Microbiology and was selected by his peers to serve as Dean of the School of Natural Science. As an educator, he encourages students to take risks, see their work in a broader societal context and push themselves to achieve more than they thought they could. He collaborated with an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students to create an innovative curriculum model for attracting students to the sciences, building community, mentoring and increasing diversity in the sciences. He has broad teaching and research interests in the microbiology of extreme environments, food and the built environment, which led to opportunities to conduct research in a variety of environments, including hydrothermal vents in Yellowstone National Park and Vulcano, Italy, hypersaline areas of the Mojave Desert and metal-contaminated soils and sediments in Massachusetts. He has led students through adventures in eastern California to study life in extreme environments and Emilia-Romagna, Italy, to learn about delicious fermented foods.