UCSB Faculty Interviews

Peter Alagona, History & Environmental Studies.

“I’m trained primarily as an environmental historian…In my historical work, what I often do is look at the roles of science, law, economics, politics and policy, all coming together into a larger politics of the environment.”

“The question is what role does science play in shaping the way we think…how’s that related to the laws we have that are supposed to govern the decisions that we make? How do people make collective decisions about the environment and how do they end up fighting about the environment and why do those fights look the way that they do?”

John Foran, Sociology.

“My research now is focused on the climate issue, the problem of climate change and the social movement I participate in…the global youth climate justice movement.”

“My passion [is] social movements. I’ve always wanted to see a better world, I’ve always wanted to think about how do we make a better world and thus as a sociologist the first big topics for me were questions of social movements…I finally encountered what i think is the most revolutionary, most hopeful, most life affirming social movement of all, which is this global climate justice movement.”

David Cleveland, Environmental Studies

“I was raised on a farm and always interested in being outside and being in gardens…[I realized] how many different ways people interacted with their environment in terms of the whole process of obtaining, processing, and eating food. That’s been something I have never lost my passion for.”

“My research has focused on this idea of how we need to shift from a supply side relationship with our environment in terms of food, which we’ve been doing for 13,000 years…we need to think in terms of demand side solutions.”

Ken Hiltner, English & Environmental Studies, EHI Director

“[I am interested] in the [historical] notion that we could get back to nature. What I began to realize is that this idea is alive and well today…Recently I’ve been thinking about how we can alter that way of thinking, thinking not back towards nature but a forward to nature, moving toward a better relationship, not something wistfully in the past.”

“My big focus in the last ten years has been climate change [and] climate change denial…[Climate change] is being debated now in what I do with words and language and narrative. I really want to understand how that’s happening.”