Hello and welcome!
I am a sociologist and Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at College of Saint Benedict & Saint John’s University (CSBSJU), which occupy traditional homelands of the Dakota and Anishinaabe. I use she/her pronouns and specialize in climate and environmental justice, social movements, sustainable development, gender and social inequalities, and research methods. I hold a Ph.D. in Sociology with an Interdepartmental Emphasis in Environment and Society from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB).
I teach Energy and Society, Gender & Environment, Global Climate Policy (where I take students to the COP (United Nations climate negotiations) each year!), Climate Action Workshop, and Social Responses to Climate Change.
The bulk of my work uses feminist research methodologies to address the questions: How are communities uniting to change our energy future? How can the climate justice movement create an inclusive, vibrant, and broad-based movement capable of meeting the challenge of the climate crisis? Please see my research project page for more information.
My book manuscript, Working Across Lines, reveals how people come together across lines of difference to resist fracking and tar sands. It argues that four practices are critical for building movements: focusing on core values of justice, integrity, and accountability; identifying the roots of injustice; cultivating relationships; and welcoming difference. In a political and social era of stark polarization, these lessons on bridging divides are more relevant than ever. Parts of this research appear in Social Science (2019), Case Studies in the Environment (2017), Practicing Anthropology (2016), and Welcome to the Revolution: Universalizing Resistance for Social Justice and Democracy in Perilous Times (2017).
My newest work seeks to understand how Native and non-Native communities and organizations in Minnesota work together to resist the Line 3 tar sands pipeline and build Native-led renewable energy. To date, most of this work has been relationship building, in line with Indigenous research methodologies.
Colleagues and I have also studied youth climate justice activists’ perspectives on organizing at the UN climate summits in Poland (COP 19), published in Interface (2017) and as a free ebook, and in Spain (COP 25), published in the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment (2020).
My MA research examines working conditions and gender in Ecuadorian Fairtrade floriculture. I interviewed women workers at Nevado Roses and concluded that Fairtrade should enhance support for women workers and their reproductive labor (childcare, subsistence gardening, housework). This work is published in Women’s Studies International Forum (2016) and Sage Research Methods Cases (2013). Using quantitative research methods, I have also examined the intergenerational transmission of care occupations with Maria Charles and Paula England in a paper that appears in Sociological Science (2015).
I strive to be a publicly engaged scholar activist, having written in the CSBSJU student newspaper The Record, The Feminist Wire, and news outlets in my communities. Raised in Idaho, I love being outside and working to ensure that all people enjoy a healthy and beautiful environment now, and in the future. I enjoy mountain biking, running with my dogs, and good food with friends and family.
To get in touch, please email me: cgrosse001 at csbsju.edu