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A number of student researchers support the Environment and Society Research Collective (ESRC) at CU Denver. 

Current Students

Anna Bierbrauer

PhD Student

My research combines political ecology, environmental history, and critical physical geography into the landscape architecture and planning professions to understand current and historical equity issues related to the use and management of water and vegetation in cities of the American West.



Hillary Quarles

PhD Student

My research brings together political ecology, actor-network theory, critical cultural geography and food studies to illuminate the evolution of the food system and its effects on people and the environment. My current project is focused on the people and patterns of food delivery in Denver, Colorado.


My research interests include social and nature theory, science and technology studies, climate communications, Anthropocene histories, agnotology and scientism, women's geographies, resources management, post-Neoliberalism, geographies of fear and violence, and political ecology.

Martha Ripley Gray

MA Student

Former Students

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Alix Bakke

MA Student

My research examines disaster management and community adaptation to climate change. Specifically, my project explores household interactions with Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPSs) in fire prone areas. This research reviews the unintended impacts of PSPSs and examines how households prepare for future shutoffs.



Elly Evans

MA Student

My research interests include digital geographies, nature & wilderness, critical & qualitative GIS, and science & technology studies. My project looks at digital representations of nature on Instagram and explores how this digital nature space reflects and influences different outdoor user’s environmental values and interactions with material nature. 



Nick Russell

MA Student

My research investigates the role of private firefighters in wildfire suppression and mitigation efforts around the American West. The project characterizes the growing role of private firefighters and examines the social implications and inequities that result from sector privatization.




Isaac Singer

MS Student

I am part of the food delivery research project. My research examines the environmental implications of food delivery applications, particularly in terms of how food delivery alters the total distance traveled to retrieve food items. 

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Sarah Mellote

MA Student

My research explores the environmental imaginaries and experiences of women in agriculture in South Carolina. I approach the subject through a political ecology lens, using mixed methods to understand how female farmers are shaping and are shaped by the food system in the American South. 


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