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Panel Discussion: Understanding and Supporting Environmental Actions: From the Local to the Global

Panel: Michael Paolisso, Sacoby Wilson, and Christina Prell
When Apr 23, 2014
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 0124B Cole Student Activities Building
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Talk

Research on the relationships between population and environment is a central part of one of the MPRC’s signature themes, People and Place. This panel discussion focuses on the relation between actions and behaviors at the individual, community and global levels and the challenges of environmental threats. It features a cross-disciplinary view of research projects that are seeking to improve our understanding of the relationship between human action and environmental change and how culture and social process can be harnessed to foster resiliency and effective action. Panel participants include:

  • Sacoby Wilson, an environmental health scientist, will discuss the science underlying models of community engagement and the value of these models in empowering communities on environmental justice and health issues in the Washington DC region, South Carolina, and North Carolina; 
  • Michael Paolisso, an environmental anthropologist, will talk about cultural approaches used by anthropologists in environmental research using his work on developing resilience to climate change with a wide range of science, policy, and community stakeholders as an example; and
  • Christina Prell, a sociologist, will touch on her past research on the influence of social networks in natural resource management as well as current research on global trade, consumption behavior, and environmental pollution.

Julie Silva, a geographer, will moderate a discussion in which we will explore commonalities, differences, and complementarities among the approaches of the three speakers as well as implications for action at the local and global levels for environmental change and population resilience to change.

About the Speakers


Michael Paolisso

Michael Paolisso is Professor of Anthropology. Professor Paolisso’s research applies a cognitive and cultural model approach to issues related to resource management and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. His primary interest is to demonstrate that cultural analysis is an essential research approach to our interdisciplinary efforts to study and manage the natural resources of the Chesapeake Bay, and by extension to other natural environments, urban and rural.

Visit Professor Paolisso's webpage

Christina Prell 

Christina Prell is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. Professor Prell draws upon network theories and network analysis to research environmental issues, including studies of how social networks influence perceptions and strategies towards land management, and how an understanding of network structure can help one better understand distributions of wealth and pollution on the global level.

Visit Professor Prell's webpage

Sacoby Wilson

Sacoby Wilson is Assistant Professor at the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health. Professor Wilson is an environmental health scientist with expertise in community-engaged research, exposure science, environmental justice and environmental health disparities. His work as researcher-advocate addresses health issues for populations impacted by environmental injustice and health disparities through community-university partnerships, community-based participatory research, and empowerment science in the Washington DC region, particularly Maryland, and the Southeastern US.

Visit Professor Wilson's webpage

Julie Silva

The moderator of the panel, Julie Silva, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Geographical Sciences. Professor Silva’s research interests include economic globalization, uneven development and global justice, human dimensions of global change, and spatial econometrics.

Visit Professor Silva's webpage



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