Profiles of Minority Environmental Professionals
The following are profiles of professionals from historically underrepresented backgrounds in the environmental field we have compiled. This is in no way a comprehensive list. Please open each section to view the profiles in each section.
1. Ecology and Environmental Science
|Andres Aguilar||Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Sciences||California State University, Los Angeles||Dr. Andres Aguilar is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at California State University, Los Angeles. His research focuses on evolutionary and conservation genetics and he teaches courses on introductory biology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology. Read More...|
|Alfonso Alonso||Research Scientist and Conservation Biologist||Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute Smithsonian Institution||Alfonso Alonso is a scientist and conservation biologist with the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability, of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Washington, DC. Read More...|
|Richard Anderson||Research Scientist||Puget Sound Institute, Center for Urban Waters University of Washington, Tacoma||Dr. Richard Anderson currently serves as a research scientist for the Center for Urban Waters, at the University of Washington, Tacoma. His research interests include developing decision making models and systems thinking approaches to better address watershed management. Read More...|
|Omar Bagasra||Professor of Biology||Claflin University||Dr. Omar Bagasra is a professor of biology at Claflin University, a historically black university in Orangeburg, South Carolina, and is also the founder and director of the South Carolina Center for Biotechnology. Read More...|
|Hank Bart||Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology|
|Tulane University||Dr. Hank Bart is a professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University, as well as the director of the Tulane University Biodiversity Research Institute. Bart’s research focuses on the diversity of fishes; taxonomic diversity, ecological diversity, and diversity of environmental adaptation. Read More...|
|Gillian Bowser||Research Scientist and Affiliated Faculty||Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory|
Colorado State University
|Dr. Gillian Bowser is a research scientist and faculty member in the Natural resource Lab at Colorado State University. Her research interests include the intersections of ecology and society, especially human communities and their perceptions of change to ecosystem services. Read More...|
|Renae Brodie||Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences||Mount Holyoke College||Dr. Renae Brodie is an ecological physiologist who investigates the reproductive and larval biology of crabs. Currently, she is studying fiddler crabs along the Atlantic coast, where she has established field sites from Massachusetts to Georgia to test hypotheses about how temperature and other factors― like population density, food supply and pollution―impact survival and reproduction. Read More...|
|Tsing-Chang Chen||Professor of Meteorology||Iowa State University|
|Dr. Tsing-Chang Chin is a professor of Meteorology at Iowa State University. Over the years, Chen has conducted a number of successful research projects, a fact he notes as a career highlight. His efforts have included research in the areas of energy transformation, tropical meteorology and monsoons, the global hydrological cycle, and severe weather systems in the Great Plains. Read More...|
|Stephen Ekunwe||Associate Professor of Biology/Assistant Chair||Jackson State University||Stephen Ekunwe's teaching career began at Tougaloo College, where he worked for two years before beginning his doctorate in molecular biology and microbial genetics at Michigan State University. Upon receiving his Ph.D. in 1998, Ekunwe was hired as an assistant professor at Jackson State
with funds from a Research Center in Minority Institutions (RCMI) grant. That grant, awarded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), helped establish a Center for Environmental Health at the university. Read More...
|Robert Espinoza||Professor of Biology and Associate Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics||California State University, Northridge||Dr. Robert Espinoza is a professor of Biology and Associate Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at California State University. Espinoza is currently researching herpetology. One semester a year he serves as the Associate Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics, where he works to improve student success across his campus. Read More...|
|Gregory L. Florant||Professor of Biology||Colorado State University||Dr. Florant is a full professor of Biology at Colorado State University. His research interests are centered on the mechanisms that animals use to adapt to different situations. Recent investigations have focused on animals that hibernate and the mechanisms they use to regulate energy stores. Read More...|
|Rory Fraser||Associate Professor||Alabama A&M University||Dr. Rory Fraser’s research involves examining the social and economic relationships between forests and people in rural Alabama, the role of minority landowners and entrepreneurs in forestry and forest products economies of the United States and the building of a forestry outreach program for Alabama’s under-served woodland owners. Read More...|
|Jose Herrera||Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences||Western New Mexico University||Before being hired at Western New Mexico University, Jose Herrera was the program director for the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va., where he oversaw various programs within the division of undergraduate education. Herrera was chairman for the biology department at Truman State University, where he had also served as a professor since 2009. Read More...|
|Yvette Huet||Professor of Biology||University of North Carolina, Charlotte||Dr. Yvette Huet received B.A.s in Human Biology and Microbiology in 1984 from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS and a Ph.D. (Honors) in Physiology from the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City KS in 1989. She then moved to Monsanto Company where she completed 2 years of postdoctoral work in Immunology. Read More...|
|Robin Kimmerer||Distinguished Teaching Professor and Director, Center for Native Peoples and the Environment||SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor|
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York
|Robin Kimmerer was born in 1953 to Robert and Patricia Wall in a rural upstate of New York. Growing up, she spent most of her time in the woods and fields. It was in this same naturalistic setting that she started to observe plants and cultivate her appreciation for nature. Kimmerer’s parents were also an important factor in her growth as an environmental scientist. It was very important to her parents to conserve the environment, and to appreciate it in all of its glory. Read More...|
|Olga Ruiz Kopp||Assistant Professor of Plant Molecular Biology||Utah Valley State College||Dr. Olga Ruiz Kopp serves as an associate professor in the Department of Biology at Utah Valley State College. Throughout his career in as a plant biologist, she has researched topics such as gene expression in peanuts, micropropogation of plants, and analysis of endophytes in plants. Read More...|
|Xu Liang||Associate Professor||University of Pittsburgh||Xu Liang began her academic career at Sichuan University, formerly Chengdu University of Science and Technology, in China. After earning both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in engineering, Liang moved on to the University of Washington, where she completed a second master’s degree in environmental science and engineering and a Ph.D. in hydrology and water resources. Read More...|
|Genaro Lopez||Professor of Biology||University of Texas-Brownsville and Texas Southmost College||For Genaro Lopez, being able to give back to the place where he grew up is an accomplishment in itself. A Professor of Biology at the University of Texas-Brownsville, Lopez grew up in Brownsville, the oldest of Genaro Velasco Lopez Sr. and Maria de Carmel Lopez’s five children. Though circumstances were often difficult, Lopez has fond memories of the role the natural environment played in his youth. Read More...|
|Stacy Nelson||Center for Earth Observation,|
Dept. of Forestry
|North Carolina State University||Dr. Stacy Nelson is an Associate Professor with the Center for Geospatial Analytics, the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, and the Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Science Program at North Carolina State University. Stacy applies geospatial and statistical techniques to assess landscape, habitat, and ecosystem spatial problems. Read More...|
|Charles Nilon||Associate Professor of Urban Wildlife Management||Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, University of Missouri||Charles Nilon's research considers the impact of urbanization on wildlife habitats, populations and communities. Since 1997, Nilon has been a co-principal investigator on the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), one of two urban ecosystems included in the National Science Foundation's Long-Term Ecological Research program. Read More...|
|Isaac Ortega||Associate Professor,|
Department of Natural Resources Management
|University of Connecticut||My general area of research is foraging ecology. I am interested on the predator-prey relationship processes not only at the animal-animal level, but also at the animal-plant level. My concerns at the local and regional levels are related to wild carnivores (coyotes and raccoons) ecology and their behavior around people (yes, we are in the northeast and there are plenty of humans around here). Read More...|
|Durga Poudel||Professor and Assistant Director, School of Geosciences Coordinator of Environmental Science Program||University of Louisiana at Lafayette||Dr. Durga Poudel is a professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His research focuses on water quality and nonpoint source pollution control, water quality modeling, climate change adaptation, soil erosion, soil development and productivity, sustainable agriculture, organic
farming, roadside vegetation and highway enhancement, waste water recycling, and farming systems. Read More...
|Krishnan Rajeshwar||Distinguished University Professor||College of Science, University of Texas at Arlington||Dr. Krishnan Rajeshwar is a distinguished professor in the College of Science and Vice President of the Electro Chemical Society. His research focuses on semiconductor Electrochemistry and photocaluysis. In addition to teaching and researching Rajeshwar is also very active in initiatives related to diversity. Read More...|
|Timothy Randhir||Assistant Professor of Natural Resources Conservation||University of Massachusetts||Dr. Timothy Randhir’s primary interests include: watershed management, water quality, ecological economics, complex systems, dynamic modeling and optimization, spatial analysis and simulation, complex systems, Institutional economics, GIS-Internet-Simulation interfacing, systems modeling, climate change, land use policy, international trade and development, common pool resource management, nonpoint source pollution, and natural resources policy and management. Read More...|
|Donald Rodriguez||Professor and Chair, Environmental Science and Resource Management Program||California State University, Channel Islands||Dr. Donald Rodriguez is a professor and chair of the Environmental Science and Resource Management Program at California State University, Channel Islands. He currently teaches courses natural resource management, environmental history, and various field based courses in Latin America. Read More...|
|Rafael de Sá||Professor of Biology||University of Richmond||Dr. Rafael de Sá is currently a professor of biology at the University of Richmond, where he teaches a variety of courses, including evolution, conservation biology, and natural history. His research focuses on frog biodiversity and the evolutionary biology of frogs. Read More...|
|Paul Turner||Professor and Chair of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology||Yale University||Dr. Paul Turner is the Professor and Chair of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University. He became the face on the cover of the 2003 annual Top Ten Emerging Scholars of Color in “Black Issues in Higher Education. Read More...|
2. Environmental Social Science and Environmental Justice
Search here for more information on minority professionals in environmental social science and environmental justice fields.
|Julian Agyeman||Professor||Tufts University, Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning||Julian Agyeman is a Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University, Medford, MA. He is the originator of the concept of 'just sustainabilities,' the full integration of social justice and sustainability, defined as ‘the need to ensure a better quality of life for all, now and into the future, in a just and equitable manner, whilst living within the limits of supporting ecosystems.’ Read More...|
|Mary Anne Alabanza Akers ||Dean and Professor, Center for Built Environment & Infrastructure Studies||Morgan State University||Dr. Mary Anne Alabanza Akers is dean and professor at Morgan State University, Center for the Built Environment and Infrastructure Studies. Her research interests include Urban Sustainability and Resiliency, Community Design, Design and Human Behavior, and Community-based Economic Development. She has won numerous awards including the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award in Community Service and Educational Administration, 2013 American Society of Landscape Architects Maryland Chapter Planning Award, and 2007 Who's Who in the Asian American Community in Southeastern United States. Read More...|
|Seth Appiah-Opoku||Associate Professor, Department of Geography||University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa||Seth Appiah-Opoku is an associate professor of geography at the University of Alabama where he teaches environmental management, planning, and land use regulation at both the undergraduate and graduate level. His research interests include urban and regional planning, environmental planning, and Africa. In 2005, he passed the American Institute of Certified Planners exam, joining only about 13,400 other certified planners in the U.S. Read More...|
|Bunyan Bryant ||Professor Emeritus||University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources and Environment||Dr. Bunyan Bryant was instrumental in establishing the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment's Environmental Justice Program that focuses on the differential impact of environmental contaminants on people of color and low-income communities. Dr. Bunyan founded and directed the Environmental Justice Initiative for research and retrieval/dissemination conferences and policy briefings. Read More...|
|José Buitrago||Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture||University of Georgia, College of Environment & Design||Jose Buitrago is an associate professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Georgia, College of Environment and Design. His current interests include: Cultural landscapes, computer rendering applications, global sustainability and health, clean energy/green technology, heritage tourism, and Spanish-Caribbean design. Read More...|
|Robert D. Bullard||Dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs||Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas||Robert D. Bullard is the Dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas. He is often described as the father of environmental justice. Professor Bullard received his Ph.D. degree from Iowa State University. He is the author of seventeen books that address sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, industrial facility siting, community reinvestment, housing, transportation, climate justice, emergency response, smart growth, and regional equity. Read More...|
|Tendai Chitewere||Associate Professor||San Francisco State University||Dr. Tendai Chitewere is an associate professor at San Francisco State University. She is broadly interested in the intersection of environmentalism, community, and justice. Her research focuses on individual, neighborhood, and government responses to social and environmental degradation by creating sustainable ways to engage with each other and the environment. Read More...|
|Michelle DePass||Dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs||Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas||Michelle DePass is the Environment and Development Program Officer at the Ford Foundation, both one of the world’s largest foundations and the world’s largest social justice foundation. Depass’ portfolio at
Ford is called “Environmental Justice and Healthy Communities.” Her primary responsibility is to evaluate and seek out programs in advocacy, research and organization that can address environmental justice issues and poverty through a social justice lens, and then to provide resources to those projects. Read More...
|Myron Floyd||Department Head and Professor - Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management||North Carolina State University||(Note: interview conducted in 2010). Dr. Myron Floyd is Professor and Department Head in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. Active in both teaching and research, Dr. Floyd has taught courses in evaluation and research methods and park management. Read More...|
|Clara Irazábal||Assistant Professor of Urban Planning and Design||Columbia University||Upon completing her doctorate in 2002, Clara Irazábal was offered her current faculty position at the University of Southern California, where she teaches, mentors, does service work, and conducts research. Irazábal’s current research efforts focus on two broad subjects: comparative urbanism in Latin American, and how public spaces in Latin American capitals reflect ideas of citizenship and democracy; and “ethnic urbanism” in Southern California, focusing on how Latina/os in Los Angeles create and re-create public spaces. Read More...|
|Glenn Johnson||Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies||Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs, Texas Southern University||Glenn Johnson currently serves at the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies at the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University. He has spent the majority of his career conducting groundbreaking research that has helped shaped the environmental justice movement. Read More...|
|Robert J. Jones||President||University at Albany, State University at New York||Robert J. Jones is currently the 19th president of the University at Albany of the State University at New York. Prior to serving as president at the University at Albany, he served as a professor at the University of Minnesota. Read More...
|Isaac Kumah||Senior Lecturer||University of Akron, Department of Geography and Planning||Isaac Kumah has lectured at Kent State University, University of Akron, Baldwin Wallace College, and Cuyohoga Community College, all in northeast Ohio, and has taught Cultural Diversity, Demography for International Marketing, World Regional Geography, and Regional Geography in the United Soviet Socialist Republic. In addition to lecturing, Kumah is currently the director of the Minority Business Assistance Program sponsored by the Ohio State Department of Development’s Division of Minority Business Development. Read More...|
|Hsiang-te Kung||Professor of Geography and Planning||University of Memphis||Dr. Hsiang-te Kung is a professor of Geography and Planning, and Director of the Confucius Institute and Asian Studies and International Trade Program at the University of Memphis. His research focuses on the following: water resources and urban hydrology, urban physical environment land-surface system soil erosion, fluvial geomorphology landform and terrain analysis aerial photo interpretation, and Asia-China Geographic Information Systems. Read More...|
|Lori Lambert||E-Learning Team/Faculty Trainer||Salish Kootenai College||Lori Lambert is a faculty member at Salish Kootenai College in Pablo, Montana, where she teaches courses on environmental health, environmental ethics and Native American Studies. Lambert, who is Abenaki and Mi’kmaq, grew up between Massachusetts and Canada. Read More...|
|Kai N. Lee||Rosenburg Professor of Environmental Studies||Williams College||Kai Lee is currently the Rosenburg Professor of Environmental Studies at Williams College, a position he has held for 16 years. Lee calls teaching at Williams the highlight of his career, and says it has offered both extraordinary challenges and rewards. Lee has stayed in the environmental field because he feels he is doing something useful that would not be done otherwise. Read More...|
|Raul Lejano||Associate Professor of Environmental Education||New York University, Steinhardt School||Raul Lejano tackles environmental problems using perspectives and methods that draw from different areas of policy research. Lejano is interested in issues of public health, land use and environmental quality control, especially as these issues affect low-income people of color in inner cities and other communities at the margins, and has devoted his career to devising unique and effective methodological approaches to those problems. Read More...|
|Penn Loh||Lecturer and Director of the Master in Public Policy Program and Community Practice||Tufts University, Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning||Penn Loh is Lecturer and Director of the Master in Public Policy Program and Community Practice at Tufts University's Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. From 1996 to 2009, he served in various roles, including Executive Director since 1999, at Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE), a Roxbury-based environmental justice group. Read More...|
|Rigoberto Lopez||Professor||Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Connecticut||Rigoberto Lopez was born in Nicaragua to parents Nicolas, a journalist, and Nora, a photographer. Lopez grew up immersed in agricultural, environmental and development issues, as all are very central to life in Nicaragua; his cultural background and physical environment influenced him to want to do something about these issues. Read More...
|Sayeed Mehmood||Associate Professor of Forest Economics and Policy||University Arkansas at Monticello||Mehmood’s work in forestry incorporates both social and scientific dimensions. As a postdoctoral research fellow at Auburn, he examined forest landowner’s perceptions of the Endangered Species Act, focusing on specific components like the Safe Harbor Program, cost share programs, and technical assistance for forest landowners. Read More...|
|Beth Rose Middleton||Associate Professor||University of California, Davis||After earning her Ph.D. in 2008, Middleton accepted a position as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Davis where she has recently accepted a faculty position in the university’s Department of Native American Studies. Middleton is currently involved in several research projects that explore Native American environmental policy issues. Read More...|
|Daanish Mustafa||Professor of Geography||University of South Florida||While in graduate school, Daanish Mustafa researched and wrote extensively about water resources, environmental hazards, and sustainable development in Pakistan. After earning his doctorate, Mustafa taught briefly at George Mason University as a visiting assistant professor before beginning his current faculty position as an assistant professor at the University of South Florida.Read More...
|Vijaya Nagarajan||Associate Professor of Religion and Environmental Studies||University of San Francisco||Professor Vijaya Nagarajan teaches courses on Hinduism, Religion and Environment, Spiritual Autobiography, and Community Internships. Her scholarship has centered on the multivalent meanings in the kolam, a women's ritual art in southern India. Read More...|
|Manuel Pastor||Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change and Professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity||University of Southern California||Dr. Manuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. As founding director of the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Pastor currently directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at USC and USC's Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII). Read More...|
|Firooza Pavri||Assistant Professor||Department of Geography-Anthropology||Firooza Pavri is a Professor of Geography and joined USM in 2004. Prior to joining USM, Firooza lived in the Midwest and received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Toledo and Ohio State University respectively. She is originally from India and research and family take her back there frequently. Read More...|
|Nina S. Roberts||Professor of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism||San Francisco State University||Dr. Nina Roberts is a professor of Recreation, Parks, & Tourism at San Francisco State University. Her research focuses on race/ethnicity, culture and natural resources. She is nationally known for her work with urban youth, women, and girls in the outdoors. In addition to teaching and research. Dr. Roberts supports the National Park Service in community engagement and outreach. She is also on the Advisory Council of the NPCA Center for Park Management and GirlVentures Inc. Read More...|
|J. Marshall Shepherd||Professor, Department of Geography||Georgia Athletic Association||J. Marshall Shepherd is a Georgia Athletic Association Full Professor of Geography and Director of the University’s Atmospheric Sciences Program. Shepherd was also the 2013 President of the American Meteorological Society and is hosts WxGeeks on The Weather Channel. Read More...
|Julie Sze||Associate Professor||University of California, Davis||Julie Sze is a Professor and the Director of American Studies at UC Davis. She is also the founding director of the Environmental Justice Project for UC Davis’ John Muir Institute for the Environment, and in that capacity is the Faculty Advisor for 25 Stories from the Central Valley. Read More...|
|Shui-Yan Tang||Professor, School of Policy, Planning and Development||University of Southern California||Shui-Yan Tang’s research focuses on institutional analysis and design, common-pool resource governance, environmental politics and policy, collaborative governance, and governance reform. He is the author of Institutions and Collective Action: Self-Governance in Irrigation (ICS Press, 1992) and Ten Principles for a Rule-ordered Society: Enhancing China’s Governing Capacity (China Economic Publishing House, 2012). Read More...|
|Dorceta E. Taylor||Professor;|
James E. Crowfoot Collegiate Chair; Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
|University of Michigan|
School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS)
Program in the Environment (PitE)
|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. I have published several books and articles and issued influential reports on environmental justice, conservation history, diversity, and food insecurity.Read More...
3. Marine and Geological Sciences
Search here to learn more about minority professionals in the marine and geological sciences
|Jimmy Adeoke||Assistant Professor of Geosciences||University of Missouri||Dr. Jimmy Adegoke is an associate professor and department chair of the Geocsciences department at the University of Missouri. His research interests include understanding how land surface drives weather and climate using remote sensing, and other climate models. One of his projects in the Niger Delta uses GIS and Remote Sensing to understand the political, socioeconomic, and physical pressure in the Niger Delta and its impact on sensitive ecosystems. Read More...|
|Claudia Benitez-Nelson||College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor||University of South Carolina, Marine Science Program & Department of Earth & Ocean Sciences||Dr. Claudia Benitez-Nelson is a College of Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor in the Marine Science Program and Department of Earth & Ocean Sciences at the University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on the biogeochemical cycling of phosphorus and carbon and how these elements are influenced by both natural and anthropogenic processes. Read More...|
|Paulinus Chigbu||Professor & Director, NOAA Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center||University of Maryland, Eastern Shore||Paulinus Chigbu is currently a professor of biology at the University of Maryland- Eastern Shore (UMES), where he also serves as director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration (NOAA) Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center at UMES. His research interests include fisheries ecology, climactic influences on water quality and biota, trophic dynamics in marine and freshwater environments, and zooplankton ecology. Read More...|
|Deidre Gibson ||Associate Professor, and Chair|
Department of Marine and Environmental Science
|Hampton University||Dr. Deidre Gibson is an associate professor and Chair of the Department of Marine and Environmental Science at Hampton University. She began her career at Hampton University in 2002 in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center. In 2012, she received tenure, was promoted to Associate Professor and the Chair of the Department of Marine and Environmental Science. Read More...|
|Frank I. Gonzalez||Leader and Chief Scientist||Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL)|
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
|Frank I. Gonzalez earned his Ph.D. in physical oceanography from the University of Hawaii in 1975 and joined PMEL two years later. In 1984 he received NOAA's highest award for outstanding scientific research--the NOAA Administrator's Award--for his work on hazardous ocean waves. He has participated in field surveys and documentation of three devastating tsunamis that occurred in Nicaragua 1992, Indonesia 1992 and Japan 1993. Read More...|
|Ashanti Johnson||Assistant Professor||College of Marine Science, University of South Florida||Dr. Ashanti Johnson is an assistant professor at the College of Marine Science. She has several funded projects: two aquatic geochemistry and two diversity-related projects. She currently advise/co-advise 11 graduate students. In 2010, President Barak Obama honored Dr. Johnson with a Presidential Award for excellence in teaching. Read More...|
|Catalina Martinez||Scientist||National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)||Catalina Martinez is physical scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She has used the interest and passion for scientist to shape her long career as a research scientist. Read More...|
|Brian McAdoo||Professor of Science||Yale-NUS College||Dr. Brian McAdoo is a tsunami scientist at Yale-NUS College. He completed his undergraduate at Duke University (Geology), studied the Alpine Fault in New Zealand as a Fulbright Scholar. He also obtained a PhD at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he worked on submarine geomorphology. Read More...|
|Anupma Prakash||Associate Dean for the College of Natural Science and Mathematics (CNSM)||University of Alaska, Fairbanks||Dr. Anupma Prakash is the Associate Dean for the College of Natural Science and Mathematics, and professor Geophysics at the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. Prakash research uses remote sensing and geographic information system (GIS) to map changes in the earth surface, to understand how the evolution of the Earth, and its future manifestation. Read More...|
|Dawn Wright||Chief Scientist||Environmental System Research Institute (ESRI)||Dawn Wright (aka "Deepsea Dawn") is Chief Scientist of the Environmental Systems Research Institute (aka "Esri") and an affliated professor of Geography and Oceanography at OSU, where she was on faculty for 15 years. Read More...|
|Zhi-Yong Yin||Associate Professor, Department of Marine Science and Environmental Studies||University of San Diego||Zhi-Yong Yin began his academic career at Peking University, graduating with a bachelor of science in physical geography in 1982, and a master of science in physical geography in 1984. He then left China to pursue a doctorate or geography at the University of Georgia, which he completed in 1990. Shortly thereafter, he was hired by Georgia State University as an assistant professor of geography. Read More...|
4. Agriculture and Plant Science
Search here to find out more about minority professionals in agriculture and plant sciences
|Hirendranath Banerjee||Professor, Natural Sciences||Elizabeth City State University||Dr. Hirendranath Banerjee is a professor of Natural Sciences at Elizabeth City State University. He teaches courses in Anatomy and Physiology in addition to doing research and training students in his lab. Dr. Banerjee has won numerous grants including three NSF grants and one grant from NASA. Read More...|
|Nilda Burgos||Professor of Weed Science||University of Arkansas||Dr. Nilda Burgos is a professor of Weed Science at the University of Arkansas. After earning her doctorate in 1997, Burgos worked as a researcher for an agro-chemical company. However, a vacant faculty position sprung up at Arkansas, and Burgos soon found herself a faculty and researcher in the same department where she had been a student. Read More...|
|Roy Doi||Professor of Molecular Biology||University of California-Davis||Dr. Roy Doi is a professor of Microbiology in the College of Biological Sciences at University of California-Davis. Dr. Doi has used his interest and passion in biological sciences conduct research across the entire globe. Read More...|
|Jorge Fonseca||Plant Scientist||University of Arizona||This interview was conducted in 2010. Dr. Jorge Fonseca is a plant scientist at the University of Arizona and the Yuma Agricultural center, where he teaches and is responsible for running the university’s research and extension program as well as the statewide vegetable crop production and post-harvest technology. Read More...|
|Robert Glass||Adjunct Professor||Bowie State University||Robert Glass has developed mechanisms to describe the effects of chemicals (agricultural and beyond) on the environment. A particular highlight was critical research he did on the highly toxic pesticide DDT. Glass developed several studies following the compound’s degradation in soil and its resulting effects on the soil itself. His research was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, to widespread acclaim in the scientific community. Read More...|
|Yulin Jia||Research Plant Molecular Pathologist||Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center,|
Agricultural Research Service, USDA
|Dr. Yulin Jia is a Plant Molecular Pathologist at the Dale Bumpers National Research, Agricultural Researcher Service, United States Department of Agriculture. His research focuses on gene discovery and utilization including the development of molecular markers to accelerate breeding efforts for improved stress resistance using marker assisted breeding (MAS). Read More...|
|Alton Johnson||Professor of Soil Physics||Prairie View A&M University||Alton Johnson is the director of the Mississippi River Research Center and an associate professor of soil physics at Alcorn State University in Mississippi. Johnson was born and raised in Monrovia, Liberia, one of thirteen children born to parents Robert and Bonyee. He describes the neighborhood in which he grew up as a slum, an environment that had some influence on what would be his future decision to help people produce food. Read More...|
|Emanuel Johnson||Associate Professor, Plant Physiologist||Bowie State University (retired)||Emanuel Johnson loves working with plants. As a plant physiologist with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for thirty-four years, Johnson worked primarily with plants that contain controlled substances. An expert on the physiology, biochemistry and environmental growth of plants that contain the cocaine alkaloid, Johnson has also worked with marijuana and opium poppies. Read More...|
|Birl Lowery||Professor, Soil Sciences and Environmental Studies||University of Wisconsin-Madison||After graduate school, Lowery was hired as an assistant professor in applied soil physics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (UW), the institution where he continues to teach today. When he began at UW, his appointment was eighty percent research and twenty percent instruction; today it is an even fifty-fifty. Lowery’s research concentrates on the impact of farming on the environment. Read More...|
|Chentao Lin||Professor||University of California, Los Angeles||Chentao Lin has long been interested in studying plants and their interactions with the surrounding environment. Since joining the faculty at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1996, Lin has quickly moved through the ranks to become a full professor, and has earned substantial recognition for his work in plant genetics and their response to environmental cues. Read More...|
| Roberto Maisonnave||Nutrient Management Specialist and Soil Scientist||AgriBusiness||Maisonnave is currently working as a nutrient management specialist and environmental soil scientist at Guymon, Oklahoma. He is responsible for sites located in Kansas, Colorado and Texas as well and is in charge of a state-of-the-art hog manure waste treatment system. Read More...|
|Sowmya Mitra||Associate Professor of Plant Science||California State Polytechnic University, Pomona||Sowmya Mitra joined the faculty at Cal State-Pomona as an assistant professor in 2001. He received an early promotion within two years and was granted early tenure in 2006. His largest current project focuses on developing water conservation solutions for urban landscapes; he also studies heavy metals and mapping their distribution in urban environments, and continues to be involved in product development for major agrochemical corporations like Monsanto, Syngenta, BASF, Dow AgroSciences, and Bayer Environmental Sciences. Read More...|
|Mohammad Pessarakli||Research Professor of Plant Sciences/|
Certified Agronomist and Soil Scientist
|University of Arizona||Dr. Mohammad Pessarakli is a professor of plant sciences and a certified agronomist and soil scientist at the University of Arizona. His research interests include soil fertility and plant nutrition (finding optimum nutrient and water requirements of plants/turfgrasses), environmental stress physiology (salinity, drought and heat), and screening plants/turfgrasses for environmental stress tolerance. Read More...|
|Navin Ramankutty||Assistant Professor of Geography||McGill University||Navin Ramankutty joined UBC IRES in July 2014 as a Professor in Global Food Security and Sustainability. Navin’s research concerns global land use change and its implications, focusing on agricultural practice and the implications for environmental change and food security. He employs data and models to address the question of how to feed 9-10 billion people while reducing agriculture’s environmental footprint. Read More...|
|Olga Ruiz-Kopp||Assistant Professor of Plant Molecular Biology||Utah Valley State College||Dr. Olga Ruiz Kopp serves as an associate professor in the Department of Biology at Utah Valley State College. Throughout his career in as a plant biologist, she has researched topics such as gene expression in peanuts, micropropogation of plants, and analysis of endophytes in plants. Read More...|
|Ratna Sharma-Shivappa||Associate Professor Bioprocessing, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering||North Carolina State University||Dr. Ratna Shivappa is a professor of bioprocessing at North Carolina State University. Her lab is currently engaged in Conversion of energy crops to bioethanol and other bioprocessing projects. She teaches courses on Industrial Microbiology and Manufacturing as well as other courses to graduate and undergraduate students. Read More...|
|Renee Sung||Professor of Plant and Microbial Biology||University of California, Berkeley||Research in Dr. Sung’s laboratory is focused on the regulation of gene function at the chromatin level in plants. Polycomb group (PcG) and trithorax group (trxG) proteins play evolutionarily conserved roles in the epigenetic regulation of gene expression. The mutually antagonistic activities of PcG and trxG proteins promote the stable and maintenance of repressed and active transcriptional states, respectively, via histone modification on the target gene sequences. Read More...|
5. Environmental Industry/Private Sector
Search here for information on minority professionals in the environmental industry and the private sector
|Frances Beasley||Assistant Director of Environmental Policy and Planning||Department of Public Utilities, City of Columbus, Ohio||Frances Beasley is the Assistant Director of Environmental Policy and Planning for the City of Columbus Ohio. She is also pursuing her PhD in Natural Resources at Ohio State University. Beasley assisted in forming Friends of Alum Creek, Friends of Blacklick Creek, Friends of the Scioto, and Friends of Big Walnut Creek. Read More...|
|Cedric Buckley||Headmaster Awakened Academy||Early Learning Center||Dr. Cedric Buckley is currently the headmaster at Awakened Academy-Early Learning Center, and formerly was an associate professor of Biology at Jackson State University. Dr. Buckley is an educational entrepreneur with a passion for research and learning. He excels in exposing adult learners to the life sciences. Read More...|
|Majora Carter||President||The Majora Carter Group||Majora Carter is an urban revitalization strategy consultant, real estate developer, and Peabody Award-winning broadcaster. She is responsible for the creation & successful implementation of numerous green-infrastructure projects, policies, and job training & placement systems. After establishing Sustainable South Bronx and Green For All (among other organizations) to carry on that work, she built on this foundation with innovative ventures and insights into urban economic developments designed to help move Americans out of poverty. Read More...|
|Felicia M. Davis||Director||Building Green Initiative||Felicia M. Davis, directs the Building Green Initiative housed at Clark Atlanta University within the Atlanta University Center-the largest consortium of historically black colleges and universities in the nation. Created by UNCF, the program advances green building and other sustainability efforts at historically black, Hispanic-serving and tribal colleges and universities. Read More...|
|Antoinette Dendtler||Founder and Head of School||Environmental Community Opportunity Charter School||Antoinette Dendtler’s primary goal in starting her own school was to increase the academic achievement of urban youth, as well as increase the presence of people of color in the academic and environmental fields. “I wanted to be on the forefront of getting more traditionally underrepresented populations working on these issues,” she explains. She started developing a concept for her school in the spring of 2001; after four years of gathering funds, researching designs, and garnering community support, the ECO Charter School opened in September 2005. Read More...|
|Dudley Edmondson||Wild Life Photographer, Author and Videographer||Self-Employed||Dudley Edmondson is an author, wildlife enthusiast, photographer, videographer, and public speaker. His photography has been featured in galleries and nearly 100 publications around the world. He is the author of the landmark book, “Black & Brown Faces in America’s Wild Places,” profiling African Americans in nontraditional vocations and avocations in the outdoors. Read More...|
|Beryl Fernandes||President||Fernandes & Associates, Inc.||Beryl Fernandes won an academic scholarship to and graduated from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania. She earned an interdisciplinary Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Seattle, which included research at Linkoping University in Sweden. She is now a consultant and holds Executive positions with local, state government and nonprofit organizations for over 20 years.
|Iantha Gantt-Wright||President and Founder||The Kenian Group||Iantha Gantt-Wright has been a successful practice leader for the non-profit, government and private sector on issues of diversity and organizational development for more than 15 years. Iantha has built a track record of success with organizations working to develop, institute, and sustain long-term diversity programs that work; strategic plans that are inclusive; effective diversity, cultural competency and leadership trainings; facilitating productive and effective meetings and coaching to individual and organizational competency. Read More...|
|Neasha Graves||Environmental Education and Program Coordinator||UNC Environment Initiative||Neasha Graves, ERP Environmental Health Educator, coordinates outreach on environmental health and environmentally-related diseases for various audiences throughout the state. Ms. Graves serves on the board of the Environmental Education Fund and as the chair of the Environmental Committee for the Asthma Alliance of NC. Read More...|
|David Hahn-Baker||Founder and President||Inside/Out Political Consultants||David Hahn-Baker is the Founder and President of Inside/Out Political Consultants. An independent national consulting firm based in Buffalo, NY, Inside/Out works with national and local organizations across the country to address the intensifying environmental crisis. Read More...|
|Jennifer Hill-Kelley||Project Manager||Northeast Wisconsin Technical College||Jennifer Hill-Kelley is a project manager at the Northeast Wisconsin technical College. She has spent 12 years overseeing cleanup of the reservation's fishing streams and ground waters and working to restore the tribe's traditional fishery. Read More...|
|Anaí Ibarra||Associate State Director – Communications||AARP||Anaí Ibarra is a bilingual/bicultural Public Relations professional with over 14 years of experience in the areas of Social Marketing, Advertising, Public Affairs, and Media Relations, offers knowledge and understanding of the Latino community in the U.S. and Latin America. A native of Guatemala, Anaí is a former Fulbright scholarship recipient, obtaining a B.A. in Public Relations and a B.A. in Organizational Communications from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Read More...|
|Shawn Emerson Simmons||Environmental & Regulatory Advisor||ExxonMobil||Shawn Emerson Simmons is the Environmental & Regulatory Supervisor in the Nigeria Projects Organization of Mobil Producing Nigeria. Simmons has a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, a M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Rice University, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology from Texas Southern University. Prior to her international assignment, Simmons was a board member of several communities based organizations including Bayou Land Conservancy, Child Care Council (Chair), and United Way's Project Blueprint. Simmons credits AISL with helping to make the transition of an international assignment smooth for her family. She believes that AISL provides her children with a top-notch American education and helps reinforce the importance of being a good citizen of the world. Read More...|
|Chitra Staley||Managing Director||Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors||Chitra Staley joined Beacon Pointe Wealth Advisors as an environmental consultant. The firm had just obtained a contract to conduct a study of an eight-thousand-acre parcel of land in Rhode Island that was going to be flooded to build a reservoir. Staley had prior knowledge of the project as she did a study similar to this for her thesis, and was subsequently hired to help with the environmental impact assessment (EIS) for the area. Read More...|
6. Environmental Advocacy and Community Activism
Search here to learn more about minority professionals in environmental advocacy and community activism.
|Don Aragon||Executive Director||Wind River Environmental Quality Commission||Don Aragon is the Executive Director of the Wind River Environmental Quality Commission. In this position, he examines air and water quality as well as the processes and problems associated with oil production. He endeavors to safeguard natural resources and human health. Read More...
|Rhonda Anderson ||Environmental Justice Organizer||Sierra Club||Rhonda Anderson is the Senior Organizing Representative, Beyond Coal Campaign & Environmental Justice Organizer for the Sierra Club, Detroit Chapter. At the Sierra Club in Detroit, Anderson works with neighborhoods on a day-to-day basis. She assists with community organization, helping empower communities to by providing information on improving the community’s health and quality of life (i.e., environmental justice). Read More...
|Chione Flegal||Director||PolicyLink||Chione L. Flegal, Director of PolicyLink, works to ensure that infrastructure policy promotes social, economic, and environmental equity. She leads efforts at PolicyLink to address infrastructure disparities in low-income unincorporated communities in California’s San Joaquin Valley and to promote equitable solutions to climate change. Read More...
|Gary R. Grant ||Executive Director||Concerned Citizens of Tillery||Gary R. Grant, the Executive Director of the internationally acclaimed Concerned Citizens of Tillery (CCT) for the past twenty-four years, is also founding president of the national Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association (BFAA - 1997), director of the National Land Loss Fund (LLF), and co-director of the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network (NCEJN). Mr. Grant was reared on a family farm in the New Deal Community of Tillery Farms, located in Halifax County, North Carolina. Read More...
|Effenus Henderson||Co-Founder||Institute for Sustainable Diversity and Inclusion||Effenus Henderson is an internationally recognized global diversity thought leader and has been invited by numerous companies and organizations to share his expertise. He has addressed members of the General Assembly of the United Nations on intercultural and interreligious diversity, and also addressed a high-level panel of the Alliance of Civilizations in Madrid, Spain in 2008, Istanbul Turkey in 2009 and in Doha, Qatar in 2011. Read More...
|Angela Johnson Meszaros||Director of Policy and General Council||California Environmental Rights Alliance||Angela Johnson Meszaros is currently the Director of Policy and General Council at the California Environmental Rights Alliance(CERA) where she works to develop state and regional policies to monitor the implementation of air, toxics andland-use planning policies in low-income communities of color. Meszaros’ interest in an environmental career began during law school at the University of Southern California (USC), when her civil rights law class reviewed
the environmental justice movement for a case study on childhood lead poisoning. Read More...
|Yuki Kidokoro||Southern California Program Director||Communities for a Better Environment|| As an undergraduate student at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), Yuki Kidokoro joined student activist groups doing work on environmental and social justice issues. By the time she graduated in 1993 with a degree in French and linguistics, she knew she would go into some kind of social justice work. “I knew I wanted to do something positive,” she recalls.Read More...
|Michelle Lin-Luse||Environmental Justice Organizer||Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services||Michelle Lin-Luse is currently an Environmental Justice Organizer at the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS) in Dearborn, Michigan. “During college, I started to understand more how race, class, and other social factors affect quality of life for communities of color,” she says. “After I was turned on to environmental justice, I felt very passionately and strongly about it. I still love the outdoors and natural resources and so forth, but environmental justice issues are much closer to my heart.” Read More...
|Ann López ||Executive Director||The Center for Farmerworker Families||In 2007, UC Press published Ann López’s book, The Farmworkers’ Journey. The book explores the farmworkers’ binational circuit that stretches from the west central Mexico countryside to central California. López conducted a series of interviews with farmworkers and their families along the circuit. In the book, she also presents her research on subjects including corporate agribusiness operations, how binational institutions subjugate Mexican farmworkers, and exploitation of farmworkers by employers. Read More...
|Vernice Miller-Travis||Principal Consultant||Miller-Travis & Associates||Since 1987, Vernice Miller-Travis has had the extraordinary opportunity to work with many incredible nonprofit organizations. Throughout her long and fruitful career, Miller-Travis has worked with the Center for Constitutional Rights, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Ford Foundation, Groundwork USA, and more. Through these positions, she has developed tremendous expertise in the field of environmental justice. She has used this expertise to develop her own consulting firm, Miller-Travis & Associations, and serve as a consultant on issues of sustainable community development and revitalization. Read More...|
|Armando Y. Nieto||Executive Director||Community Food and Justice Coalition||Armando Y. Nieto is the executive director of the Community Food and Justice Coalition in Oakland, California, president of the Tulare County Community Water Center. Nieto has served on several boards including: the National Earth Share Federation, the Santa Barbara ChannelKeeper, and is founding president of the Community Water Center in Tulare County. He has also given service on the advisory boards of the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment, the National Conference for Community and Justice, the PG&E ClimateSmart Project, and CAUSE. Read More...|
|Marina Ortiz||Founder||East Harlem Preservation||Wanting to be a part of the changes and community-based planning processes that were occurring in East Harlem, Marina Ortiz decided to relocate back to East Harlem in 2004. Since returning, she has learned that gentrification is not the only issue facing the community. The privatization of parklands, asthma, largescale development, and lead poisoning, among others, are all issues facing the East Harlem community. To serve the community by using her communication skills, Ortiz founded East Harlem Preservation (EHP) in 2005. Read More...|
|Peggy Shepard||Executive Director||West Harlem Environmental Action, Inc.||Peggy Shepard has successfully combined grassroots organizing, environmental advocacy and environmental health research to become one of the most highly respected environmental advocates in the country today. She has been a pioneer for advancing the perspective of environmental justice in urban communities to ensure that the entitlement of clean air, water and soil extends to all people and communities. A leader within New York City and the national Environmental Justice Movement, she is co-founder and executive director of WE ACT For Environmental Justice (WE ACT), based in West Harlem, which has a 24-year history of affecting environmental and environmental health policy and practice locally and nationally. Read More...
|Pamala Silas||Executive Director||National American Indian Housing Council||Pamala Silas is the Executive Director of the National American Indian Housing Council. There she represents housing interests of Native people who reside in Indian communities, Alaska Native Villages, and on native Hawaiian Home Lands, promoting and supporting Native housing entities in their efforts to provide culturally relevant and quality affordable housing on behalf of Native people. Read More...
|Elena Takaki||Environmental Education Specialist||North American Association for Environmental Education||Elena is EE Specialist for NAAEE, where she works on EE Capacity initiatives, including building state capacity, Guidelines for Community Engagement, and Community Climate Change. Prior to coming to NAAEE, Elena was the Program Manager for National Geographic’s Chesapeake Bay FieldScope program and the co-lead staff for Maryland's Partnership for Children in Nature at Maryland DNR. Read More...
|Mari Rose Taruc||State Organizing Director||Asian Pacific Environmental Network||Mari Rose Taruc is a social justice leader, community organizer and mother of two. In her 15 years working at Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Mari Rose has been a key staff helping to build and grow a deeply community-rooted organization protecting the health and livelihoods of low-income Asian Pacific Islanders in Richmond and Oakland. From winning successful campaigns against Chevron, to building the first API state-wide coalition to fight climate change in California she leads with her heart, and stays grounded in principles of environmental and social justice. Read More...
|Alejandra Tres||Executive Director||Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs||Alejandra Tres is Executive Director of the Municipal League of King County, a voluntary civic organization dedicated to effective and responsive government. Previously Alejandra was Executive Director of the Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs and the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council. Read More...
|Kimberly Wasserman||Coordinator||Little Village Environmental Justice Organization||Kimberly Wasserman’s first job as a computer teacher at the local boys and girls club serendipitously led her to the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), where she is currently the coordinator. The Boys and Girls Club where Wasserman worked was located in the same building as the LVEJO offices. When the Boys and Girls Club was threatened with closure, the LVEJO coordinator volunteered to train her and help organize parents and young people to demonstrate to decision-makers that the organization is an asset to the community. Read More...|
|Laura Weber||Director of Solid Waste Program||St. Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT)||Laura Weber is the director of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe’s (SRMT) Solid Waste Program, where she has overseen the creation, development and establishment of an innovative, tribal-run solid waste disposal program. Weber earned two undergraduate degrees; a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from State University of New York (SUNY)-Plattsburgh, and a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Clarkson University. Read More...