Environmental Justice Faculty Profiles
Arun Agrawal is a Professor at the School of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Michigan. His research and teaching emphasize the politics of international development, institutional change, and environmental conservation. He has written critically on indigenous knowledge, community-based conservation, common property, population and resources, and environmental identities. His recent interests include adaptation to climate change, urban adaptation, REDD+, and the decentralization of environmental governance.
Instrumental in establishing the School's Environmental Justice Program that focuses on the differential impact of environmental contaminants on people of color and low-income communities; Founder and Director of the Environmental Justice Initiative for research and retrieval/dissemination conferences and policy briefings. Played a critical role in the development and implementation of the Environmental Justice Certificate Program. Research and conferences include both a domestic and international foci, particularly on climate justice. Teaching portfolio includes: Introduction to Environmental Justice (Environ. 222), Conception, Practical Issues and Dilemmas in Environmental Justice (SNRE 582), and the Masters Project/NRE 701.
Bilal Butt is an assistant professor at the School of Natural Resources and Environment and a faculty affiliate of the African Studies Center. Bilal is a people-environment geographer with regional specialization in sub-Saharan Africa and technical expertise in geospatial technologies (GPS, GIS & Remote Sensing), ecological monitoring and social-scientific appraisals. His general research interests lie at the intersection of the natural and social sciences to answer questions of how people and wildlife are coping with, and adapting to changing climates, livelihoods and ecologies in arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa. His current projects investigate: (1) the spatiality of livelihood strategies (resource access and utilization) among pastoral peoples under regimes of increasing climatic variability and uncertainty; (2) the nature of the relationships between wildlife and livestock in dry land pastoral ecosystems of East Africa; (3) violent and non-violent conflicts over natural resources, and; (4) how mobile information technologies such as cell phones influence natural resource management strategies among pastoral peoples in dry lands.
Professor Hardin's areas of interest and scientific study include human/wildlife interactions, and social and environmental change related to wildlife management, tourism, logging, and mining in equatorial Africa, especially the western Congo basin. Recent projects also focus on the increasingly intertwined practices of health, environmental management, and corporate governance in southern and eastern Africa, including sites in South Africa and Kenya.
My broad research interests are related to the human dimensions of global change and social studies of science. I am particularly interested in understanding: (a) the intersection between development and climate, especially concerning the relationship between anti-poverty programs and risk management (b) the use of technoscientific information, especially seasonal climate (El Nino forecasting) in building adaptive capacity to climate variability and change (drought planning, water management, and agriculture) in the U.S. (Great Lakes) and Latin America (Brazil, Mexico and Chile); (c) the impact of technocratic decisionmaking on issues of democracy and equity; (d) the co-production of science and policy and the role of technocrats as decisionmakers; (e) the role of popular participation in urban environmental policymaking and policymaker/client interactions; (f)U.S.-Mexico border region environmental policymaking especially regarding transboundary water conflict, environmental health, a common use of shared natural resources.
Teaching and research interests are focused on environmental justice, public opinion and the environment, and influences on environmental policy making. A founder of the Environmental Justice Program at the University of Michigan. Current research includes understanding the causes of disproportionate environmental burdens in people of color communities and the role that environmental factors play in accounting for racial and socioeconomic disparities in health.
Ivette Perfecto is the George W. Pack Professor of Ecology, Natural Resources and Environment. Her research focuses on biodiversity and arthropod-mediated ecosystem services in rural and urban agriculture. She also works on spatial ecology of the coffee agroecosystem and is interested more broadly on the links between small-scale sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and food sovereignty. She teaches Our Common Future (a course on globalization) (Environ 270), Food Land and Society (Environ 318) and Field Ecology (SNRE 556). She is co-author of three books, Breakfast of Biodiversity, Nature’s Matrix: Linking Agriculture, Conservation and Food Sovereignty, and the forthcoming Coffee Agroecology.
Professor, Environmental Justice Field of Studies Coordinator, Past Chair of the Environment and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association
My research interests include urban agriculture, food access, and food insecurity; institutional diversity; green jobs; social movement analysis; environmental justice; leisure and natural resource use; poverty; and race, gender, and ethnic relations. My current research includes an assessment of food access in Michigan and other Midwestern states. Other recent research activities have included an analysis of the green jobs sector, and four national studies of racial and gender diversity in the environmental field.