Research Methodology & Experience

My primary research agenda explores the interplay of climate change and grassroots organizing and its potential for achieving social change and sustainable development. I am motivated by the need to develop social, political, and cultural mechanisms to build just social relations and institutions for living in and beyond climate crisis––for achieving climate justice. I am dedicated to public sociology that seeks to inform scholars, activists, and policy makers on paths toward this goal.

My work is informed by scholars of environmental, climate justice, and Native studies (Shannon Bell, David Pellow, John Foran, Kyle Powys Whyte, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Kari Norgaard), ecofeminism (Greta Gaard, Sherilyn MacGregor), critical development studies (Kum-Kum Bhavnani, Chandra Mohanty, Arturo Escobar), and social movements, especially work focused on culture and movement building (Francesca Polletta, Verta Taylor, Jackie Smith, Suzanne Staggenborg).

Within these themes, I am interested in social inequalities, particularly gender, employ both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, and engage in individual and collaborative projects. I have conducted ethnographic research with youth climate justice activists at the 2019 UN climate summit in Spain and the 2013 UN climate summit in Poland, with grassroots anti-extraction groups in the US from 2013-2016, and with Fairtrade flower workers in Ecuador in 2012. In 2012-2013, I conducted quantitative analysis of General Social Survey data over three decades to understand the intergenerational gendered transmission of care occupations.

Please see below for a complete list of my research experience.

2019: Youth Climate Justice Activism, Decade Zero, in collaboration with Brigid Mark: conducted participant observation at COP 25 and 22 in-depth interviews with youth climate justice activists about the latest wave of climate justice organizing (e.g. climate strikes) and the colonized nature of the UN climate negotiations.

2018-Present: Coalition Building: will conduct participant observation and interviews about coalition building against the Line 3 pipeline in Minnesota, with focus on organizing by Native and non-Native environmental groups. Will supervise two research fellows working on the project in Summer 2019.

2018-2019: Principle Investigator, in collaboration with Henry Jakubowski and Kyhl Lyndgaard, Climate Stories. This project collects stories from Minnesotans about how climate change has affected their lives. CSBSJU Students conduct these interviews and then Minnesota Public Radio will air these stories on their segment, Climate Cast. We also share interviews with Climate Generation, MN350, and the 100% Project. The interviews provide teaching and research opportunities for the CSBSJU community.

2015-17: Doctoral Dissertation: conducted 106 in-depth interviews with climate and anti-fracking activists in California and Idaho, ethnographic fieldwork, and participant observation with activist groups. (publications in Social Sciences, UC Case Studies in the Environment – on Idaho & on California, publication in Welcome to the Revolution: Universalizing Resistance for Social Justice and Democracy in Perilous Timespublication in Practicing Anthropology; ).

2016: Graduate Assistant, University of California Office of the President Carbon Neutrality Initiative. Coordinated outreach to UCSB faculty and workshop to incorporate climate change and sustainability into new and existing courses.

2013-15: Graduate Student Researcher, Dept. of Sociology: 1 of 2 graduate students to conduct 9 in-depth interviews with sociology faculty and emeriti. Co-authored an intellectual history of the UCSB Sociology Dept. Co-organized research conference celebrating the intellectual history of UCSB Sociology, UCSB, February 12-14, 2015. (website)

2013-14: Research Associate, Climate Justice Project: Led research component, with Summer Gray, under John Foran (Sociology, UCSB), to interview, film, and analyze qualitative interviews with 25 youth climate activists at the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Warsaw, Poland, in November 2013. Co-organized conference, Re-Imagining Climate Justice: At the Crossroads of Hope and Possibility, featuring thirteen workshops, UCSB, May 10, 2014. (publication in Interfacewebsite, press releaseonline publication)

2012-13: Graduate Student Researcher under Maria Charles (Sociology, UCSB), in collaboration with Paula England (Sociology, NYU): performed statistical analysis of General Social Survey data from 1972-2010 to examine the intergenerational transmission of care occupations. (publication)

2012: Master’s Thesis: Conducted 2 focus groups, ethnographic observations, and qualitative interviews in Spanish with 43 workers and 4 administrators to understand working conditions and women’s efforts to balance work and family on a Fairtrade rose farm in southern Ecuador. (publication in Women’s Studies International Forum, publication in Sage Research Methods Cases)

2011: Scholar in Martin Institute for Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, UI: Conducted 12 in-depth qualitative interviews in Spanish with Ecuadorian women and men about women’s reproductive labor in Quito, Ecuador.

2009: Research Assistant to Leontina Hormel (Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology, UI): Performed content analysis of USAID documents concerning Ukraine.