Associate Professor


  • Find Me On:

  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Associate Professor
  • Concentration:

    • Environmental and Natural Resources Sociology
    • Rural Development
    • Environmental Justice &
    • Health
    • Social Movements
    • Environmental Governance
    • Sociology of Energy &
    • Extraction
  • Department:

    • Sociology
  • Education:

    • Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Brown University
    • PhD, Utah State University
  • Curriculum Vitae:


The Highlights:

Stephanie A. Malin, Ph.D. is an environmental sociologist specializing in the community impacts of extraction and energy production. Her main interests include environmental justice, environmental health, social movements, and the social and ecological effects of market-based economies. She also examines communities building more distributive and regenerative systems. Stephanie serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Colorado State University, and she is an adjunct Associate Professor with the Colorado School of Public Health.
Stephanie co-founded and co-directs the Center for Environmental Justice at CSU. She is an award-winning teacher of courses on environmental justice, water and society, and environmental sociology. Stephanie is the author of two books, Building Something Better: Environmental Crises and the Promise of Community Change (2022) with Meghan Elizabeth Kallman, and The Price of Nuclear Power: Uranium Communities and Environmental Justice (2015). She has published her research in journals such as Social Problems, Social Forces, Environmental Politics, Journal of Rural Studies, and Society and Natural Resources. Stephanie conducts public sociology and engaged scholarship, and her work can additionally be found in news outlets like The Conversation and High Country News’ Writers on the Range.
Stephanie's work has been supported by grants from the Department of Energy, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (part of National Institutes of Health), the American Sociological Association, the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, the Rural Sociological Society’s Early Career Award, and the Colorado Water Center. 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, working with Dr. Phil Brown and his Contested Illnesses Research Group, after earning her Ph.D. in Sociology from Utah State University.


  • 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 315: Applications of Qualitative Research

    Social scientists examine how the world operates and why – and how social systems may shift and change over time. Research methods give social scientists the tools to ask pertinent questions, conduct research ethically and rigorously, and analyze the results with validity and reliability. This course focuses on qualitative methods of inquiry. We will learn the ethics and epistemologies underlying qualitative social science, how to conceptualize and operationalize concepts and ask useful questions, how to conduct different kinds of fieldwork, and how to work with and analyze the data you collect. This course will also show you how to write up and share your findings so that they can affect people’s lives and social policies. Finally, we will situate these skills within the contexts of critical environmental sociology and public social science.

  • 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.)

  • SOC 564: Environmental Justice

    In this course, we focus on intersectional root drivers of environmental injustices – and how to build better systems by examining patterns in the injustices. After all, examining drivers of inequities can help us diagnose how to build more equitable systems quickly – in the face of climate crises worldwide. The course begins with an overview of seminal works in environmental sociology and environmental justice. The course then establishes theoretical models used in our course, followed by a focus on the role of institutions in working to promote environmental justice. Throughout the course, we will examine how race, class, gender, and other social variables have shaped inequities. We will also focus on extractivism and its roles in creating environmental injustices that can affect communities hosting industrial sites. And we explore how settler colonialism and other state-led and systemic forms of violence continue to perpetuate and create environmental injustices. Health impacts, social movement dynamics, and political economic systems are consistent themes as well. The class concludes with discussion of solutions and student presentations on your own research topics.