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Environmental Justice

Photo of protester at UC San Diego climate march with climate justice sign.

Studying the impacts of climate change on vulnerable communities, Indigenous populations and the poor and seeking to engage the broader community in seeking solutions for all.

Featured Interdisciplinary Research Centers and Initiatives

DUNAS (Descendants United for Nature, Adaptation and Sustainability)

Under the fiscal sponsorship of the California Wildlife Foundation (CWF), the Climate Science Alliance (CSA) partners with Para la Naturaleza (PLN) and the Center for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation (CCCIA) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. DUNAS’s work includes a community-based, climate adaptation-focused dune restoration pilot project.

Human Ecology Lab

The Human Ecology Lab brings students and researchers to explore the relationships between people and the environment through time. In particular, the lab focuses on understanding social vulnerability related to climate change.

Photo of dancer at UC San Diego Pow Wow event.

Featured Researchers and Professors

Teevrat Garg

Assistant Professor, School of Global Policy and Strategy

Teevrat Garg is an assistant professor of economics and works on various issues in economics, focusing on applications to environmental problems in underdeveloped countries. His current research projects include uncovering causal mechanisms that link ecosystem health to human health, with an emphasis on irrigation in rural communities in poor countries and the distributional consequences of adaptation to climate change.

Shelley Streeby

Professor, Ethnic Studies

Shelly Streeby is the author of “Imagining the Future of Climate Change: World-Making through Science Fiction and Activism.” Her work focuses on social movements led by Indigenous people and people of color that are at the forefront of challenging the greatest threat to our environment: the fossil fuel industry. Her recent research focuses on climate change and public education in the Octavia E. Butler Papers at the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif.

Research Areas


Photo of Dalai Lama speaking about climate ethics at UC San Diego.

In 2017 His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama spoke at UC San Diego’s commencement on “The Value of Education, Ethics and Compassion for the Well-Being of Self and Others.” Credit: Erik Jepsen.

Exploring the ethical, philosophical and religious implications of climate change as impacts emerge and new questions arise about how humanity can live well into the future.

Featured Interdisciplinary Research Centers and Initiatives

Institute for Practical Ethics: Ethics and Social Implications of the Environment

Climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution and more raise many ethical, philosophical and social questions. What does justice demand in the face of climate change? What do we value in biodiversity? How can we better achieve environmental justice? New technology and knowledge allow novel possibilities for dealing with some of these problems, from geoengineering the climate to using genetic engineering in conservation. The Institute for Practical Ethics supports work tackling these problems.

Professor Ramanathan meeting the Pope to discuss climate change.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography Atmospheric Scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan meets with Pope Francis after a joint workshop of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in 2014 at the Vatican. Credit: Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Featured Researchers and Professors

Craig Callender

Professor, Philosophy

Craig Callender teaches Philosophy and the Environment, an undergraduate course that explores contemporary environmental issues from the perspective of philosophy, primarily applied ethics, political philosophy and philosophy of science. Topics include ethics, food and animals, wilderness and ecology, biodiversity, conservation, climate ethics, economics and the future, property, pollution and justice.

Andy Lamey

Assistant Teaching Professor, Philosophy; Director, Undergraduate Philosophy Program

Andy Lamey is a professor, author and director of the undergraduate philosophy program at UC San Diego. He teaches Ethics and Society and Philosophy of the Environment.

Research Areas