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.

Professor Emeritus

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.

Assistant Professor

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, politics, livelihoods and ecologies in arid and semi-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 - examining questions of wildlife-livestock competition; (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.

Associate Professor

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 research examines the impacts of environmental change on agricultural production, and strategies that farmers may adopt to reduce negative impacts. I do this by combining remote sensing and geospatial analyses with household-level and census datasets to examine farmer decision-making and behavior across large spatial and temporal scales. To date my work has focused on the impacts of weather variability and groundwater depletion on agricultural production in India, and whether farmers are able to adapt their cropping practices to mitigate these impacts.

Professor and Associate Dean for Research

Research Interests:

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.


Michael Moore's teaching involves courses in natural resource and environmental economics. His research interests include analysis of federal water policy and water allocation conflicts between environmental and consumptive uses of river systems; economic aspects of biodiversity and species conservation; and economics of environmental markets, including markets for green products (such as green electricity) and markets for pollution permits (such as the federal SO2 allowance market).

Assistant Professor

Joshua Newell is an assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. He is a broadly trained human-environment geographer, whose research focuses on questions related to urban sustainability, resource consumption, and environmental and social justice. Newell’s current research can be divided into two primary areas of interest. The first, Urban Infrastructure and Form, focuses on structural features of the urban form (e.g. built environment, transport, energy, and water infrastructure). The second research area, Urban Consumption and Commodities, focuses on the interrelationships between the consumption of consumer products, our responsibilities as global 'green' urban citizens, and the role of governance mechanisms and frameworks (including local institutions) in regulating product consumption. His research approach is often multi-scalar and integrative and, in addition to theory and method found in geography and urban planning, he draws upon principles and tools of industrial ecology, and spatial analysis.


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), Diverse Farming Systems (SNRE 553), Field Ecology (SNRE 556). She is co-author of three books, Breakfast of Biodiversity,  Nature’s Matrix: Linking Agriculture, Conservation and Food Sovereignty, and Coffee Agroecology.

Assistant Professor

As a multidisciplinary scholar, with degrees in engineering and social science, Dr. Reames’ research agenda seeks to connect the areas of technological advancement, the policy process, and social equity. His research extends the environmental justice scholarship to focus energy justice. He is currently exploring disparities in residential energy generation, consumption, and affordability- focusing on the production and persistence of inequality by race, class, and place.

Professor; James E. Crowfoot Collegiate Chair; Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; 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; analysis of the composition of the environmental workforce; 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 parts of the country.