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book cover illustrating plastic water bottle in water
April 2020

College or Unit:


Rolf Halden
Edited by: 
Ian Bogost
Christopher Schaberg
Illustrated by: 
Griffin Finke

What is the environment, this elusive object that impacts us so profoundly — our odds to be born; the way we look, feel and function; and how long and comfortable we may live? The environment is not only everything we see around us but also, at a lesser scale, a hailstorm of molecules large and small that constantly penetrates our bodies, simultaneously nourishing and threatening our health. The concept of oneness with our surroundings urges a reckoning of what we are doing to "the environment," and consequently, what we are doing to ourselves.

By taking us through this journey of questioning, Rolf Halden’s "Environment" empowers readers with new knowledge and a heightened appreciation of how our daily lifestyle decisions are impacting the places we occupy, our health, and humanity’s prospect of survival.


Rolf Halden is a professor at ASU and founding director of the Biodesign Center for Environmental Health Engineering, the nonprofit OneWaterOneHealth and the ASU startup company, AquaVitas LLC. Rolf has authored over 230 research papers, patents and monographs, and is an expert in wastewater-based epidemiology for tracking harmful chemicals and infectious disease agents like SARS-CoV-2.

Praise for this book

“A passionate and encompassing personal assessment of our origins and dependency on the natural world. Rolf Halden offers a dire warning grounded in his career in environmental pollution: The world’s most advanced economies can and should enact more effective policies to protect human health from the hazards of industrial chemistry.”

Leland H. Hartwell
Nobel laureate

"Environment reminds us that our patterns of production and consumption are often desperately destructive. And for what?: to have a shirt that doesn’t wrinkle, a pan in which eggs don’t stick, or pajamas that don’t catch on fire. It is also a reminder that we can change our false narratives, our harmful behaviors, and treat ourselves and the Earth with greater reverence.”

James H. McDonald
New York Journal of Books