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Jacob Bethem

Jacob Bethem

PhD Candidate, Sustainability, School of Sustainability

School of Sustainability
Arizona State University
PO Box 875502
Tempe, AZ 85287-5502


  • PhD Candidate, Sustainability, School of Sustainability


Jacob Bethem is a doctoral student in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. He studies the transition to renewable energy and electric vehicles and their impacts on quality of life, focusing on efficiency, operational excellence, and ethics. Prior to coming to ASU, Jacob taught business and philosophy classes at the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg and Westmoreland County Community College, while working as a retail manager over ten years. As part of Duquesne University’s MBA-Sustainability curriculum, he led consulting projects leveraging sustainability for PNC Bank, provided solar selling and virtual power plant billing solutions to WGL Energy, and planned a transition to alternative fuels for the City of Pittsburgh’s fleet. Jacob is interested in continuing this work by building a fully electric firetruck to reduce vehicle emissions. His previous graduate and professional work includes conference presentations and publications in environmental ethics, sports ethics, active learning, and utility grid energy storage. Jacob holds an MBA degree in sustainability from Duquesne University, MS degree in management from Saint Vincent College, MA degree in philosophy from University of Tennessee, BA degree in philosophy from Saint Vincent College, a BS degree in biology from University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg, and LEED Green Associate credentials.

Teaching Experience

  • SOS 594 - Designing a Living Building
  • SOS 310 - Justice, Equity & Sustainability


  • MBA, Business Administration, Duquesne University, 2015
  • MS, Management-Operational Excellence, Saint Vincent College, 2014
  • MA, Philosophy (Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sports Studies minor), University of Tennessee, 2011
  • BA, Philosophy, Saint Vincent College, 2008
  • BS, Biology (Chemistry minor), University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg, 2005


External Links

Journal Articles

In Press

Bethem, J. Life within energy policy. Relations: Beyond Anthropocentrism


Sequeira, A. O., I. Sacramento, N. Guenster and J. Bethem. 2017. Pedagogical methods for sustainable development: business educational projects generating direct impact on stakeholders through fundraising and fund management. International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development 11(4):377-392. DOI: 10.1504/IJISD.2017.086873. (link )

Book Chapters


Bethem, J. 2017. Utility-scale energy storage. In: Hawken, P. ed., Drawdown. Project Drawdown Coalition. (link )



Bethem, J. 2017. Transforming values to respect workers displaced by the energy transition. Poster presented at the Sixth Annual Student Energy Conference, October 19-20, 2017, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

Bethem, J. 2017. Valuing life within energy policy. Poster presented at the Energy Impacts Symposium, July 26-27, 2017, Columbus, OH. (link )



Bethem, J. 2018. Well-being and the value of life in health care. Presentation at the Institute for Humanities Research Roundtable on Health and Well Being, April 5, 2018, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. (link )


Bethem, J. 2017. Designing a sustainable fire station and electric fire truck. Presentation at the Tempe Sustainability Commission, Tempe, AZ.


Bethem, J. 2011. Distinguishing sportsmanship. Presentation at the Tennessee Philosophical Association 42nd Annual Meeting, 12-13 November 2010, Vanderbilt University. (link )

Bethem, J. 2011. Organ donating upon cardiac death. Presentation at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville Anesthesiology Department, 2011, Knoxville, Tennessee.

Bethem, J. 2011. Sportsmanship and social ethics. Presentation at the Walters State Community College, 2011,

Bethem, J. 2011. Treating rocks like dirt. Presentation at the Syracuse University Philosophy Graduate Student Conference, 2011, Syracuse University.

Conference Papers


Bethem, J. 2017. Tackling the wicked problems of energy justice using mental maps and gaming to transform India's transition to renewables. Graduate Student Conference. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.


Bethem, J. 2011. Comment on Jones' En-Gendering Human Destiny. Proceedings of Kent State Philosophy Graduate Student Conference. Kent State Philosophy Graduate Student Conference in Remembrance of May 4th. Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. (link )

Pitt Sustainability Award, (faculty), 2016

Beta Gamma Sigma Honors, 2015

Award for Academic Excellence, 2014