Lauren Richter

ABOUT


I am an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, where I teach and do research on social inequality, health, and the environment. I use  interviews, ethnography, and archives to examine adverse environmental health impacts. Currently I study U.S. regulatory frameworks to understand the social production of knowledge and ignorance. My research and teaching are inspired by critical race theory, environmental justice, science and technology studies, and environmental sociology.

I have published in Environmental Sociology, Environmental Health, Environmental Science & Technology, Social Studies of ScienceOrganization & Environment, the American Journal of Public Health, and Sociological Perspectives. In 2016, I co-founded the Racial Equity Task Force for the American Sociological Association Section on Environmental Sociology, co-organized the 2018 Bridging the Gap: Race and Environment Conference at Temple University, and am currently guest editing a special collection on race and the environment for Environmental Sociology. In the past year, I provided expert testimony in hearings on three bills related to chemical regulation in the Rhode Island State House.

Prior to joining RISD, I was the recipient of a Leadership Grant from the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, spending a year as a research fellow at the Silent Spring Institute and Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute at Northeastern University. Between M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, I worked at the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment in California, and taught courses on Environmental Justice at the University of San Francisco. In 2018 I completed a two-year certification program in anti-racist mindful facilitation, studying with Rainbow Markell and Lee Mun Wah in Berkeley, California.