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Mellichamp Chairs in Racial Environmental Justice: Chair in Statistics of Environmental Justice

University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, California
Closing date
May 30, 2024

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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. For more information on the cluster, please see below.

Chair in Statistics of Environmental Justice

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, demography and population health, and data-driven decision making. We welcome applicants from Statistics, Biostatistics, Geography and Computational Social Science backgrounds. Candidates are encouraged to consider joint appointments or affiliated appointments with other relevant campus departments.

The ideal candidate will actively engage in collaborative research with the Data Science Initiatives on campus, other cluster Chairs, and contribute to cross-disciplinary quantitative social science, demographic and geoanalytical research centers/programs at UCSB. The Chair will be expected to contribute to 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.

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 the Department of Statistics and Applied Probability Website

Other Cluster Hires:

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. Applicants are encouraged to consider applying to more than one of the Mellichamp Chairs in Racial Environmental Justice searches simultaneously.

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 scholars steeped in research, 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; the impact of gentrification on Black and Brown communities and labor patterns; investigations on how immigrant communities transform local environments; and/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 the Chicana/o Studies Department visit the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies website.

[Recruit Ad:]

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. Examples of relevant areas of emphasis may include (but are not limited to): environmental racism, climate injustice/apartheid, urban design/planning, political economy, migration and mobility studies, as well as place-based, multiscalar, and planetary scale conceptual and methodological approaches. 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. UCSB's Environmental Studies Program has a strong focus on multi-disciplinary, equity-based, and solutions-driven scholarship and teaching. For more information about the ES program, visit the Environmental Studies Program website

[Recruit Ad:]

Benjamin Banneker Initiative:

In 2023-24, UC Santa Barbara departments are partnering with the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to launch a special faculty recruitment initiative named after Benjamin Banneker, the 18th-century African American mathematician, astronomer, antiracist, engineer, ecologist, and peace advocate. Funded by an Advancing Faculty Diversity grant from the UC Office of the President, the Banneker Initiative proposes to hire scientists, engineers and interdisciplinary scholars as UCSB faculty, whose disciplinary and interdisciplinary work shares Banneker's concerns as an African American scientist, especially his desire to advance scientific and engineering knowledge for the public good.

With the goal of creating a diverse community around such concerns, applicants may be eligible to be fellows in the Benjamin Banneker Initiative. The community of Banneker Fellows will receive funding for cohort building and professional development activities, including enrollment in the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity Faculty Success

Program, proposal writing training, and seed grants.

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