- Ph.D., University of Southern Mississippi, English Literature and Creative Writing, with a specialty in environmental literature
- M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology
- M.A., The Johns Hopkins University, Creative Writing (Fiction)
We no longer live at Walden Pond. Many of us never did.
But we all share a planet where glacier ice is rapidly melting, where coral reefs are dying, where permafrost and ocean floors are releasing methane, where the ecosystem services that support human life are at risk of destruction. In this time of climate crisis and global pandemic, we must learn to listen to each other, to build community among ourselves and in our classrooms, to work on issues of environmental justice, to have discussions about difficult content, and to tell the stories of deep adaptation, climate mitigation, and human survival.
I am Latine and grew up in poverty in Texas. My teaching, my writing, and my work all emerge from that ongoing struggle. My nightmares are too often now filled with children in cages.
As a result, I teach 21st century environmental humanities, creative environmental writing, and practical hands-on environmental communication. My classes, whether on Zoom or face to face, are highly interactive. My students and I see each other every class day — to check in, to discuss, to debate, and to support each other. My classes at all levels are live laboratories in narrative and scholarship that explore the issues of privilege, the problems of justice, the pathways toward social and environmental sustainability, and/or the practice of storycraft in the support of environmental argument and policy.
I joined the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences in 2014, the fall after I finished my doctorate. The projects on my desk include an analysis of 3 years of data collection during and after an urban water crisis in a mid-sized midwest town. I have presented pieces of this material and plan eventually to complete a nonfiction book on public risk in urban water policy. The second project is a novel emerging from my own experiences in working with a city alder on water policy and as a private citizen working on environmental justice issues in the urban South. The third project is a short story collection emerging from my interests in the environment and social justice.
I run two online journals: Alluvian (www.alluvian.space), my private online fledgling international creative environmental journal (in production since fall 2015) and Roots (icgrowingroots.space), an online science outreach journal run by students as part of a course I teach in the fall. I also offer on occasion closely mentored independent study in creative environmental communication.
Note: I have been laid off effective May 2022.
Courses I teach
ENVS 11900 Introduction to Environmental Humanities (fall)
ENVS 31200 Topics in Environmental Communication (fall)
ENVS 36000 Advanced Topics in Environmental Humanities (spring), topics:
Environmental Democracy: The Problem of Activism
Homesteading: Memoirs of Living on the Land
The Unnatural Disaster: "Memoirs" of Climate Change
Environmental Piracy: Stories of Environmental Contamination
Against All Odds: Activist Papers (Environmental Justice, Environmental
Activism, Scientist Advocacy)
"Open at the Throat," Artful Dodge, 52/53, 2016. AWP (National) Intro Journal Award for Fiction.
"The Flyover," New World Writing, 2016.
"Summer Blues." In Beach Reads. Third Street Press, 2017.
Romberg, T. R., Carpenter, T. A., & Dremock, F. (Eds.). Understanding Mathematics and Science Matters. Erlbaum, 2005.
And the Baby Gods Sprout Like Milkweed, Dancing Girl Press, 2014.