Bill is Professor of Philosophy and Chair of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, where he has taught for twenty six years. His current research focus is on the substantial cultural and social changes that will be necessary—in our lifetimes—to live without easy access to cheap, carbon-based energy in the form of soils, forests, oil, natural gas and coal. He is the author of Promising and co-editor with Wes Jackson of Rooted in the Land: Essays on Community and Place; and The Virtues of Ignorance: Complexity, Sustainability and the Limits of Knowledge. He is currently working on a book titled The Perennial Imagination.
Bill was W. Ford Schumann Professor in Democratic Studies at Williams College in 2010-2011. He co-founded and directed Clarkson University’s Environmental Science & Policy Program, and served as Associate Director of Clarkson’s Center for the Environment. He also directed Clarkson’ Campus Sustainability Initiative in 2001-2002.
Bill is also a jazz pianist. He co-wrote and co-produced three collections of jazz nursery rhymes. "Rhythm and Rhymes" (1982) was awarded an American Library Association "Notable Children's Recording," and the Oppenheim Gold Seal "Best Audio Award." "Go with the Flow" (1994) was awarded Family Life's Critic's Choice Award. He currently performs with bassist Dan Gagliardi. They released “A Fine Line,” a collection of jazz classics, in 2004.