Natural Disasters, Extreme Events, Environmental Justice, and Decentralized Approaches 

Funded by the ASU President’s Strategic Initiative Fund at Arizona State University, my collaborators and I extend my larger research to investigate whether and how decentralized approaches in environmental and natural resource management involving the private sector and markets could be effectively leveraged and designed to help socially vulnerable communities respond to, recover from, and prepare for increasingly more frequent occurrences of extreme events. 

This research seeks answers to the following questions: 

Ongoing Research

One of my doctoral students and I recently published an article in Journal of Environmental Management, which finds that during the 2020 wildfire season, wildfires exacerbated COVID-19 infections and deaths in California by depleting the already scarce public and private healthcare and housing resources, notably in communities exhibiting high social vulnerability. 

In another project, ASU colleagues (Danae Hernandez-Cortez, Diana Bowman) and I are in the process of developing a methodology for quantifying the equity impacts of transport infrastructure policies in low income and minority communities where traditionally benefit-cost analyses of infrastructural projects have emphasized cost minimization and economic efficiency. 

This latter project is part of a NSF proposal, of which I am a co-PI, along with sustainability, engineering, and law colleagues at ASU, UCLA, and Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.