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).
My new book, Working Across Lines: Resisting Extreme Energy Extraction, comes out in July 2022 from University of California Press. Read a sample here. In it, I investigate how people build effective energy justice coalitions across differences in political views, race and ethnicity, age, and strategic preferences. I argue for four practices that are critical for movement building: focusing on core values of justice, accountability, and integrity; identifying the roots of injustice; cultivating relationships among activists; and welcoming difference. The book provides important models for bridging divides to reach common goals — lessons that are more relevant than ever in our polarized world! Parts of the research that my book is based on also 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).
I teach Energy and Society, Gender & Environment, Global Climate Policy (where I take students to the COP (United Nations climate negotiations) each year!), climate justice activism, and climate crisis solutions.
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 newest work, published in Energy Research & Social Science (2022), 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 previous 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, engaging myself and students in solidarity work with community organizations. I look forward to writing in more public venues (see a few of my previous pieces in The Record, The Feminist Wire, and news outlets in my communities). Raised in Driggs, 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 running with my dogs, playing bandy ball on frozen lakes, and good food with friends and family.
To get in touch, please email me: cgrosse001 at csbsju.edu