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Mellichamp Chair in Environmental Justice at the Department of Statistics and Applied Probability

University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California
Closing date
Jun 17, 2023

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Position Type
Research Scientist / Analyst
Full Time
Environmental Anthropology
Organization Type
Environmental harms and benefits are not shared equitably, either domestically or internationally. Throughout the world, low-income and marginalized groups, particularly communities of color and Indigenous populations, experience the greatest exposure and vulnerability to pollution, climate risks, and their associated negative health effects. These inequities are driven by multiple forces, including structural racism perpetrated by government institutions, corporations, and discriminatory and inequitable legal systems.

Environmental and racial justice scholars have recognized the ways these intersecting and cascading socio-environmental crises reinforce and amplify each other. Policies that confront unequal environmental harms represent an important step towards racial justice, while racial justice is a precondition for lasting solutions to climate disruption, environmental instability and societal adaptation. There is a fundamental need for interdisciplinary scholarship that holistically explores these intertwined challenges. UCSB, a Hispanic-Serving and Asian American, Native American, and Pacific Islander-Serving Institution, seeks to hire a cluster of four scholars whose research and professional activities describe, diagnose, and propose solutions to the inequities that permeate attempts to manage the environment. These hires will be appointed as Mellichamp Chairs in Racial Environmental Justice, joining the existing Mellichamp Chairs in Racial Environmental Justice and a strong and expanding group of faculty across numerous departments, and colleges at UCSB with expertise in environmental, climate, food, Indigenous, and social justice. They will be expected to participate in collaborative activities with the other scholars hired as part of this cluster, including, but not limited to: cross-university working groups, workshops, and conferences. These efforts will be supported with campus and chair resources.

The new cluster of Mellichamp Chairs in Racial Environmental Justice will amplify existing campus strengths in both interdisciplinary environmental research and environmental and climate justice. These scholars, appointed at the Associate or Full Professor level, will be primarily housed in or across the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, the Environmental Studies Program, and the Department of Statistics and Applied Probability, interacting with faculty and possibly having joint appointments across multiple departments including Anthropology, Asian American Studies, Black Studies, Economics, Global Studies, Political Science, and Sociology. With these positions we have three objectives: (1) prioritizing race as a critical lens through which to understand environmental injustices; (2) building UCSB's capacity for collaborations among humanistic, qualitative, and quantitative research teams on racial environmental justice; and (3) expanding definitions of (and imagining the redesign of) the environment to include the built and urban spaces that many marginalized communities inhabit.

As part of the Mellichamp Chairs in Racial Environmental Justice cluster hire, UCSB's Department of Statistics and Applied Probability seeks to hire a faculty member who engages in environmental and/or climate justice challenges through Statistics and Data Science methods. The candidate's data-analytic transdisciplinary research to study racial inequities in environmental exposures, and/or health and environmental policies, public health, morbidity, food security, climate and urban analytics, will expand campus strengths in quantitative environmental justice research and promote more just and inclusive policies. We especially seek applicants with research agendas in spatial/temporal data science, causal inference, big data analytics, extreme values and uncertainty quantification in climate, environment and health sciences including environmental epidemiology, statistical assessment of cumulative burden of environmental and social injustice, and data-driven decision making. The ideal candidate will actively engage in collaborative research with the Statistics and Data Science group in the department as well as Data Science Initiatives on campus, other cluster Chairs, and contribute to cross-disciplinary quantitative social science or demographic research centers/programs on campus. The Chair will be expected to contribute to our ongoing departmental and campus efforts to recruit and support students and scholars from underrepresented minority groups and first generation students. Responsibilities of faculty members include the development of an actively funded research program of the highest quality, teaching at undergraduate and graduate levels, recruitment, supervision, and mentorship of graduate students, and participation in department leadership, university service and professional activities. We welcome applicants from Statistics, Biostatistics and Computational Social Science backgrounds.

The University is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the academic community through research, teaching, and service as appropriate to the position.

For more information on the department, please visit
  • -- Other Cluster Hires ---

As part of the Mellichamp Chairs in Racial Environmental Justice cluster hire, the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management seeks to hire a faculty member who engages on issues of environmental inequities and environmental justice through scholarship, teaching, service, and professional activities. We seek a scholar who has an exemplary record of research that builds evidence about the causes of, consequences of, and solutions to environmental inequities using quantitative methods. Scholars who take advantage of the burgeoning availability of data on the distribution of environmental harms and benefits have the potential to transform our understanding of environmental injustices, which in turn can inform the design of novel and effective solutions to environmental inequities. Such a faculty member could contribute to one or more of the Bren School's strengths in areas like pollution prevention and remediation, climate impacts and policies, water resources management, and conservation planning, as well as to existing Bren research in environmental inequality, thus contributing to strategic investments in departmental research strengths. Additionally, we welcome applications from faculty who can expand Bren School's expertise in urban environmental management or behavioral and decision sciences and contribute to the newly launched Master of Environmental Data Science (MEDS). We envision this faculty member helping to connect related efforts across UCSB and at the Bren School, strengthening an emerging area of cross-campus collaboration. We welcome scholars from political science, economics, sociology, communication, public policy, epidemiology, biostatistics, data science, and related fields. For more information about our department, visit:

[Recruit Ad:]

The Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies invites creative scholars whose insights on racial justice focus on the natural and built environments and center academic queries about our environment with those of race and/or immigration. The Mellichamp Chair in Racial Justice for the Built and Natural Environment seeks scholarship, for instance that ties politicized struggles over water and land with our Mexican and Mexican-Indigenous farmworker communities; offers a racial material analysis of tourism's impact on local ecological communities and labor patterns; investigates how immigrant communities transform local environments; or how climate justice impacts larger struggles over immigrant detention. The faculty member should have an exemplary record of scholarship, teaching, service, and professional activities that demonstrate how racial capitalism shapes the conditions of environmental inequality. The successful candidate would find collaborative synergies on our campus with fellow Ethnic and Feminist Studies departments and active Environmental Justice research groups across the disciplines. The ideal candidate should have a strong background in Ethnic Studies, Chicana/o/x Studies, Latina/o/x Studies or any related discipline that centrally examines social inequalities based on environmental factors related to racial injustices. The candidate should also be prepared to teach and mentor at the undergraduate and graduate level in these areas. We especially value candidates that actively integrate DEI issues into their research, teaching and service. For more information about our department, visit:

[Recruit Ad:]

Environmental Studies Program: Just, Resilient, and Sustainable City Futures

As part of the Mellichamp Chairs in Racial Environmental Justice cluster hire, UCSB's Environmental Studies Program seeks to hire a faculty member who engages environmental and/or climate justice challenges through a focus on just, resilient, and sustainable city futures. The faculty member should have a record of scholarship, teaching, service, and professional activities that place a clear emphasis on researching urban environments to explore the driving forces behind environmental and climate injustices, what the varied consequences of those dynamics are for cities and their inhabitants, and what data-driven solutions look like. By 2050, 70% of all people will live in urban environments, driving important environmental changes and transforming the way that human society interacts with its environment. Urban settings highlight striking inequalities in access to a clean environment - disadvantaged and racially diverse communities in the world's cities are exposed to some of the most polluted conditions on earth, while wealthy residents often have access to abundant natural amenities. The successful candidate's research and teaching should confront these challenges while also identifying ways in which cities can simultaneously become more just, resilient and sustainable. This faculty position is part of a larger cluster hire focused on the study of racial environmental injustices using quantitative methods. UCSB's Environmental Studies Program has a strong focus on multi-disciplinary, equity-based, and solutions-driven scholarship and teaching. This position will be searched in Academic Year 2023-2024.


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