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- Associate Professor
- Environmental and Natural Resources Sociology
- Rural Development
- Environmental Justice & Health
- Social Movements
- Environmental Governance
- Sociology of Energy & Extraction
- Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Brown University
- PhD, Utah State University
Stephanie A. Malin, Ph.D. is an environmental sociologist specializing in environmental and natural resource sociology, governance, and rural development. She conducts community-based and mixed methods research focusing on the community impacts of resource extraction, energy production, and environmental de-regulation. Her main interests include environmental justice, environmental health, social mobilization, and the socio-environmental effects of market-based economies. As an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Colorado State University, Stephanie is an award-winning teacher of undergraduate courses on environmental justice, water and society, and environmental sociology and a graduate course in Environmental and Natural Resource Sociology. She is also the author of The Price of Nuclear Power: Uranium Communities and Environmental Justice (published by Rutgers University Press, May 2015) and has published her research in journals such as Social Forces, Environmental Politics, the Journal of Rural Studies, and Society and Natural Resources. Her work is supported by grants through the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (part of National Institutes of Health), the Rural Sociological Society’s Early Career Award, and the CSU Water Center’s Faculty Fellowship & Research Team grant. Stephanie has enjoyed serving in elected leadership positions for the American Sociological Association’s Section on Environmental Sociology and the International Association for Society and Natural Resources. She completed a Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at Brown University in 2013, after earning her Ph.D. in Sociology from Utah State University in 2011.
Stephanie's book, The Price of Nuclear Power: Uranium Communities and Environmental Justice, explores how under-addressed legacies of uranium development intersect with current efforts to renew uranium production as part of the nuclear fuel cycle, specifically with the recent permitting of the Pinon Ridge Uranium Mill in southwestern Colorado. Stephanie asks whether nuclear power provides a socially sustainable solution in the age of climate change mitigation.
Stephanie's current fieldwork includes multi-year and multi-sited ethnographic research interrogating the community, environmental justice, and environmental health outcomes of unconventional oil and gas production (including the notorious hydraulic fracturing stage). She also co-leads a Water Center Research Team project examining environmental justice issues among various water users in the Rio Grande Basin. Stephanie also has on-going projects examining just transitions, uranium development, and the intersections between water, agriculture, and energy development. In fact, Stephanie is part of an interdisciplinary team that recently received National Science Foundation funding to initiate a multi-year graduate training program focused on Food-Energy-Water nexus issues in the semi-arid West.
In her precious free time, Stephanie spends time with her husband, Matt, and jogging her herding dog mutt, Jasper. She also loves being an aunt to Avery and Emmett!! Camping, hiking, cycling, yoga/meditation, exercising, stargazing, cooking 'clean', traveling, and thinking about long-lost hobbies like painting and drawing take up the remainder of her time.
SOC 322: Introduction to Environmental Justice
This course traces the development of environmental justice activism and research. We examine issues of environmental racism, classism, political economy, and social movements. The course focuses on energy development and environmental injustices related to uranium milling, hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, and other types of development.
SOC 460: Society and Environment
In this course, we interrogate a broad array of environmental issues, delving deeply into environmental problems, their potential causes, social movement responses, and potential solutions. This course encourages students to see how social and political-economic structures relate to environmental degradation at the micro, meso, and macro levels of social interaction.
SOC 461: Water, Society, and Environment
In this class, we explore and analyze the sociology of water – or how human societies interact with and depend upon water. How does water scarcity relate to environmental problems and social conflicts? How do political institutions manage and regulate water? How do consumption habits and privatization of water intertwine? These are just a few of the questions we will explore in SOC 461 this semester! Water has long been a central component of human societies and of life in general, and issues like scarcity, privatization, and pollution will impact each of us. This course is both reading and writing intensive, and it will require you to contemplate concepts you may not have explored before. I ask that you remain open to new ideas explored in this course, while sharing your own unique and valuable perspectives on the Sociology of Water.
SOC 668: Environmental Sociology (Graduate)
In this course, we focus on a variety of natural resource types – including water, uranium, coal, and oil/gas – and utilize an environmental sociology lens to examine related community conflicts and social mobilization. We focus particularly on conflicts and activism pertaining to environmental, health, and other social inequalities. This seminar challenges students to analyze conditions that encourage or discourage activism in various circumstances, while also critiquing and theorizing other sociological outcomes. Using a political-economic theoretical lens and a global development perspective, we will discuss US cases as well as global case studies. Thus, political and ethical debates in natural resource development decisions will be examined in the context of theories of development. The course will be organized as a seminar, allowing students the opportunity to shape class discussions and add their own interests to the mix.
The course begins with an overview of seminal works in natural resource sociology, focusing on social problems and poverty stemming from natural resource dependence. The course then establishes theoretical models used in our course, followed by a focus on the role of institutions (particularly the World Bank) in development projects. We then focus on particular resources and the most recent findings about how their extraction/over-use interacts with sociological variables such as poverty, inequality, uneven development, and demographics. Finally, we will delve in to the problem of global climate change and solutions. The class concludes with discussion of solutions and student presentations on your own research topics. (This is a graduate seminar. While it is open to advanced undergraduates, permission is required from the professor.)