Panel: Applying Environmental Justice Frameworks to Sustainability Science Research



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Event Information

In recent years there has been increasing attention to research practices linked to the environmental justice movement. Such practices engage directly with communities and their expertise in developing research design and solutions to our most pressing environmental problems and work toward healing and repair. Have you asked yourself, what does it mean to frame scientific research under the arch of sustainability and environmental justice?

In this panel, a group of scholars will describe how environmental justice frameworks can impact scientific research promoting social justice and environmental sustainability. They will discuss questions that researchers should ask themselves if interested in working in this area as well as the values in which EJ methodologies are rooted. This is an opportunity to explore and discuss EJ principles for achieving environmental justice across different practices and disciplinary perspectives.


Olivia Fu (undergraduate student) is a junior majoring in Urban Studies and minoring in Creative Writing at Stanford University. Her background in urban studies, and experiences in organizing with students and campus service workers, as well as leading grassroots political campaigns, instilled in her a conviction in the deep impact of organizing for change at the local level. She has engaged in CBPR with SEIU 721 and the UCLA Labor Center as a Haas Community Based Research Fellow and in her Honors Thesis, she looks at the health impacts of gentrification in South East Los Angeles. She intends to address social determinants of health by fighting environmental and housing injustices through the means of urban design, community organizing, and policy, she plans on taking an interdisciplinary approach to make unhealthy neighborhoods healthy. In her free time, Olivia enjoys playing defense on Stanford's Women's Club Lacrosse team, figure skating competitively with Stanford's Figure Skating Club, and watching rom-coms.

Stephanie Fischer (staff researcher) is the research coordinator for the Wong-Parodi group, and will join the Earth Systems Science PhD program this Fall. She is interested in community-led solutions that help build resilience and environmental justice in the face of natural hazards and disasters, and seeks to identify institutions and interventions that may support and scale these solutions. She is also interested in the ways culture, identity, language and place are important to develop effective communication during emergency situations, as well as to rebuild emotional connections to the environment.

Claudia Christine Avila (postdoctoral researcher) is a postdoctoral fellow in the Environmental and Soil Biogeochemistry group with Scott Fendorf. She received both her B.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences from UC Riverside where she researched soil carbon dynamics in agricultural soils and worked with farmers on answering farmer-led research questions. Her current research investigates the role of wildfires and groundwater overdrafts in enhancing the mobility of naturally occurring contaminants at the wildland-urban interface specifically driven by community-led research questions.

Sarah Fletcher (faculty) is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Center Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. Her research focuses on water resources planning and climate change adaptation. She addresses these questions using computational systems models, integrating methods from hydrology, climate science, policy analysis, and data science to inform decision-making around critical environmental challenges. Sarah holds a PhD in Engineering Systems from MIT, an S.M. in Technology and Policy from MIT, and a B.A. in Physics and Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Social and networking event:

After the panel, stay for our social event at Koret Park (outside the Green Library by the red fountain) to connect with the panelists and other people interested in EJ topics. Appetizers and drinks will be served!

While in Hohbach Hall make sure to stop by the Circulation and Reference Desk to view the winning photos of the Stanford Earth 2021 Photo Contest on display beginning April 18th!

Sponsored by: Stanford Environmental Justice Group, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Branner Earth Sciences Library

Stanford Earth community members will earn E-digital DEI stickers for attending this event, but this event is open to all of the Stanford community.