Richter CV PDF


Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Department of History, Philosophy + Social Science, Rhode Island School of Design. Providence, RI. August 2019 – present.

Research Fellow, Silent Spring Institute and Social Science Environmental Health Research Institute. Boston, MA. 2018 – 2019.


Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Ph.D., Sociology, 2018
Dissertation Title: Unseen Science: The Social Re-Discovery of Per- and Polyfluorinated Compounds

Washington State University
M.A., Sociology, 2008. Thesis: Patterns of Hazardous Waste in the United States: Analyzing Rural Environmental Justice with Spatial Data 

Connecticut College
B.A., Sociology, with Distinction, 2005
Certificate in Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies


2009 – 2013. Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment, Development Director. Oakland, CA.


Alissa Cordner, Lauren Richter, and Phil Brown. 2019. Environmental Chemicals and Public Sociology: Engaged Scholarship on Highly Fluorinated CompoundsEnvironmental Sociology. 5(4): 339-351.

Lauren Richter. 2019. Challenging Dominant Breast Cancer Research Agendas: Perspectives on the Outcomes of the Interagency Breast Cancer and Environment Research Coordinating Committee. Environmental Health. 18(41).

Elicia Cousins, Lauren Richter, Alissa Cordner, Phil Brown, and Sokona Diallo. 2019. Risky Business? Manufacturer and Retailer Action to Remove Per- and Polyfluorinated Chemicals From Consumer Products. New Solutions. 2(29): 242-265.

Alissa Cordner, Vanessa De La Rosa, Laurel Schaider, Ruthann Rudel, Lauren Richter, and Phil Brown. 2019. PFAS Drinking Water Guideline Levels: The Role of Scientific Uncertainty, Risk Assessment Decisions, and Social Factors. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology. 29:157-171. (Winner Best 2020 JESEE Article Award).

Lauren Richter, Alissa Cordner, and Phil Brown. 2018. Non-Stick Science: Sixty Years of Research and (In)Action on Fluorinated CompoundsSocial Studies of Science. 48(5): 691-714.

Lauren Richter. 2018. Constructing Insignificance? Applying Critical Race Theory to Institutional Failure in Environmental Justice Communities. Environmental Sociology. 4(1): 107-121. (Winner 2018 Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences Best Student Article Award).

Leif Fredrickson, Chris Sellers, Lindsey Dillion, Jennifer Ohayon, Nick Shapiro, Marianne Sullivan, Stephen Bocking, Phil Brown, Vanessa De La Rosa, Jill Harrison, Sara Johns, Katherine Kulik, Rebecca Lave, Michelle Murphy, Liza Piper, Lauren Richter, and Sara Wylie. 2018. Paving the Way for Trump: Past Presidential Assaults on Environmental Protection. American Journal of Public Health. 108(S2): S95-S103.

Cordner, Alissa, Lauren Richter, Phil Brown. 2016. Can Chemical-class Approaches Replace Chemical-by-Chemical Strategies? Lessons from Recent FDA Regulatory Action on Perfluorinated Compounds. Environmental Science & Technology. 50(23): 12584-12591.

Rosa, Eugene A. and Lauren Richter. 2008. Durkheim on the Environment: Ex Libris or Ex Cathedra: Introduction to Inaugural Lecture to a Course in Social Science, by Emile Durkheim 1887-1888. Organization & Environment. 21(2): 182-188.

Under Review:

Lauren Richter, Alissa Cordner, and Phil Brown. Producing Ignorance Through Environmental Regulatory Structure: The Case of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS). (revise & resubmit).

Eric Nost, Sara Wylie, Chris Sellers, Becky Mansfield, Kelsey Breseman, Gretchen Gehrke, Lourdes Vera, Lauren Richter, and EDGI. Environmental Data for the Green New Deal. Science for the People (accepted).

Jennie Ohayon, Alissa Cordner, Phil Brown, Andrea Amico, and Lauren Richter. Persistent Chemicals, Persistent Activism: How Scientific Opportunity Structures Shape Social Movement Organizing Around PFAS Contamination.

Articles in Preparation:

Lauren Richter, Alissa Cordner, and Phil Brown. Strategic Science Production and the Obviation of Regulation of Highly Fluorinated Chemicals.

Lauren Richter. Critical Race Theory and Environmental Sociology. Invited book chapter in The Racial Structure of Sociological Thought, Edited by Jennifer Mueller and Victor Ray.

Lauren Richter. Corporate Viability and Preemptive Problem Resolution: PFAS as a Non-Problem.

Lauren Richter. Re-Centering the Right: Deploying Whiteness Post-1960.


Phil Brown, Alissa Cordner, Lauren Richter, David Andrews, and Olga Naidenko. 2020. Mapping the PFAS Contamination Crisis. Environmental Working Group, News and Analysis.

Elisabeth Wilder, Lauren Richter, Michael Mascarenhas, Raoul S. Lievanos, and Jennifer Carrera. 2019. Confronting White Space and White Ignorance: A Summary of the Committee on Racial Equity’s Mission and Work (2016-2019). American Sociological Association, Section on Environment and Technology, Fall Newsletter.

Christopher Sellers, Lindsey Dillon, Jennifer Liss Ohayon, Nick Shapiro, Marianne Sullivan, Chris Amoss, Stephen Bocking, Phil Brown, Vanessa De La Rosa, Jill Harrison, Sara Johns, Katherine Kulik, Rebecca Lave, Michelle Murphy, Liza Piper, Lauren Richter, Sara Wylie. 2017. The EPA Under Siege. Environmental Data & Governance Initiative.

Mascarenhas, Michael, Lauren Richter, Elisabeth Wilder, Jennifer Carrera. 2017. Diversity in Sociology and Environmental Sociology: What We Know About Our Discipline. American Sociological Association, Section on Environment and Technology. Spring Newsletter.

Mascarenhas, Michael, Elisabeth Wilder, Lauren Richter, Jennifer Carrera. 2017. Environmental Sociology Section Survey Analysis. Committee on Racial Equity, American Sociological Association.

Richter, Lauren. 2015. Why Community-Based Research Matters to Science and People. The Equation. Union of Concerned Scientists.

Rosa, Eugene A. and Lauren Richter. 2007. Review of Organizational Encounters with Risk (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) Edited by Bridget Hutter and Michael Power. American Journal of Sociology. 113(3): 886-888.


New Faculty Research Grant, Rhode Island School of Design, 2020, $1,500.

Professional Development Grant, Rhode Island School of Design, 2020, $3,150.

Professional Development Grant, Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, 2019, $500.

Leadership Grant, Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation, 2018, $22,000.

National Science Foundation Conference Award for “Bridging the Gap: Race and Environment Conference,” American Sociological Association Pre-Conference, 2018, $19,000.

National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Award, 2017, $7,500

Summer Research Grant, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Northeastern University, 2014 $500, 2015 $500, and 2017 $2,000

New World Foundation Grant, “Crowdsourcing Disaster Response in Colorado” with Sara Wylie and Public Lab, 2014, $25,000


Kendall Fellowship, Union of Concerned Scientists, 2019 (declined).

Robert & Patricia Switzer Environmental Fellow, 2017 – 2018, $15,000

Department of Sociology & Anthropology “Outstanding Public and Applied Research Award,” Northeastern University, 2015

Travel Award, First Annual Citizen Science Association Conference, 2015, $300

Young Nonprofit Professional Network Career Development Committee “Volunteer of the Year,” Bay Area Chapter, 2010

Thomas S. Foley Institute Graduate Fellowship, Foley Institute, WSU, 2008, $2,000

Boeing Graduate Fellowship in Environmental Studies, College of Liberal Arts, WSU, 2008, $2,000

Fred R. Yoder Memorial Graduate Fellowship, Department of Sociology, WSU, 2007, $2,000

American Sociological Association Student Honors Program, 2005


Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI

Environmental Justice, Fall 2019

Social Movements and Backlash, Fall 2019

Environmental Sociology, Spring 2020

University of San Francisco, Instructor, San Francisco, CA

Environmental Justice, Fall 2009

Environmental Justice, Fall 2011 (co-taught with Alégria De La Cruz).


Learning to Listen: Facilitating Conversations on Racism. Workshop Organizer and Facilitator. College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, ME. 2018.

StirFry Seminars & Consulting, Certificate in Mindful Facilitation, Berkeley, CA. 2016 – 2018.

Nova Group. English Language Instructor. Iwaki, Japan. 2005 – 2006.