About Us

CHES is a non-profit organisation seeking to inspire individuals to undertake a career in the environment, and to support students studying the environment and the academics who teach them.

Founded in 1991, CHES (the Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences) plays a leading role in the Higher and Further Education environmental science communities, representing member interests on a national stage. In 2012 CHES merged with the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES) and now acts as the education committee of the IES.

CHES has played a key role in shaping the ES3 benchmark and embedding employability skills in environmental programmes. We have member institutes in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. 

The business of CHES is managed by an Executive Committee. New members are elected each year at the AGM and Executive positions are normally held for three years.

Contact Us
Email: Rhiannon Humphreys
Telephone:  +44 (0)20 3862 7484

Strategic partnerships
CHES is connected to a number of organisations including:

Institution of Environmental Sciences –  CHES acts as the education committee for the IES, linking education with employers.

Teach the Future – CHES is a supporting partner in this campaign to repurpose the education systems of the world, around the climate emergency and ecological crisis.

Nature Premium – CHES is a supporting partner in this campaign to fund regular nature experiences for every child.

The Science Council and Society for the Environment – provide professional standards for practising scientists and environmental professionals. As a member of both organisations, we can ensure that we can influence these standards and set your students on a pathway to achieving Chartered Scientist or Chartered Environmentalist.

Our Team

Our Executive Committee are nominated by our member institutes and then elected at the AGM.

They are either academics in environmental departments – so they are aware of the challenges and opportunities the sector faces – or staff of the Institution of Environmental Sciences – who keep the organisation aligned with professional practice.  

Liz Price Photo

Prof. Liz Price

Liz is the Head of Department of Natural Sciences and Institutional Academic Lead for the Environment at Manchester Metropolitan University. Elected Chair in 2020, she previously served as Vice Chair from 2017-2020.

Dr Michelle Hale
Vice Chair

Head of the School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences at the University of Portsmouth, Michelle was elected as Vice Chair in 2020 and leads on CHES reports and publications.

Dr Alison Stokes
Vice Chair

Alison is the Programme Lead for undergraduate environmental programmes at the University of Plymouth. She was elected Vice Chair in 2020 and leads on our equality, diversity and inclusion work.

Adam Donnan

CEO of the IES, Adam sits on the Exec to align the strategies of the organisations. He is Chair of the Technical Pathways Programme, engaging the science community with technical education.

Rhiannon Humphreys

Rhiannon Humphreys

Rhiannon is the Education & Professional Development Officer at the IES where she is responsible for education, standards and CPD, including support the CHES committee.

Photo of Diane Purchase

Prof. Diane Purchase

Diane is Professor of Environmental Biotechnology at Middlesex University. She She is a Fellow of the IES and the Royal Society of Biology.

Photo of Nicholas Ray

Dr Nicholas Ray

Nicholas works as the NTU Doctoral School Standards and Quality Manager at Nottingham Trent University. He oversees CHES' international expansion.

Photo of Jackie Rogers

Dr Jackie Rogers

Associate Dean of Learning Teaching, and Student Experience, Jackie is the immediate past Chair of CHES and leads on keeping CHES inform on the HE landscape.

Dr Pete Shaw

Pete is an Associate Professor in the International Centre for Environmental Science at the University of Southampton. He leads on our employability work.

Photo of Phil Wheater

Prof. Phil Wheater

Dean and Pro-Vice Chancellor at Manchester Metropolitan University, Phil leads our work on accreditation standards and their alignment to benchmarks.

Dr Phil Wheeler

Phil is a Senior Lecturer in Ecology at The Open University. He leads on our work on education pathways, including T Levels and A Levels.

Photo of Clare Wilson

Dr Clare Wilson

Senior Lecturer in Biological and Environmental Science at the University of Stirling, Clare leads our work on the education landscape in Scotland.