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Ethnic Studies and Social Justice

Featured Interdisciplinary Initiative

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.

Research Areas

Environmental Justice

The study of the multiple ways that humans and society interact with the environment with disparate impacts as well as practical, inclusive approaches to address those impacts.

Labs, Projects, Programs and Collaborations

Climate Action Lab

Our mission is to reduce global heating by changing human behavior. We are social scientists—economists, psychologists, urban planners, political scientists, anthropologists, etc. First, we conduct applied research to test what leads people to change their minds about the climate and what leads them to change their actions. Then, we put these insights to work in partnership with communities and policymakers.

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.

Featured Researchers and Professors

Jennifer Burney

Associate Professor, School of Global Policy and Strategy

Jennifer Burney is an environmental scientist. Her research focuses on the coupled relationships between climate and food security by measuring air pollutant emissions and concentrations, quantifying the effects of climate and air pollution on land use, food systems and human health. In addition, she seeks to understand how food production and consumption contribute to climate change and designs and evaluates technologies and strategies for adaptation and mitigation among the world’s farmers. She holds the Marshall Saunders Chancellor's Endowed Chair in Global Climate Policy and Research.

Simona Clausnitzer

Research Affiliate, Human Ecology Lab

Simona is a research assistant for the California Heritage Climate Vulnerability Index project in collaboration with the CA State Historic Preservation Office. With this project, she works with Tribal councils, local governments and community organizations to develop assessments that measure how climate change impacts cultural heritage.

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.

Videos

Featured Courses

ETHN 103. Environmental Racism

This course will examine the concept of environmental racism, the empirical evidence of its widespread existence, and the efforts by government, residents, workers, and activists to combat it. We will examine those forces that create environmental injustices in order to understand its causes as well as its consequences.

ETHN 136. The Science and Critical Analysis of Environmental Justice

Introduction to the scientific basis and critical analysis of environmental justice, with an emphasis on case studies, activism, and community engagement. This course will prepare students to critique and develop scientific models, research designs, and measurements consistent with environmental justice.