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Mellichamp Chairs in Racial Environmental Justice


With the generous support of Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp, UCSB has established a new cluster of Mellichamp Chairs in Racial Environmental Justice. We are creating a strong interdisciplinary research community that addresses the intersection of environmental, racial, and climate justice issues. A holistic approach is crucial to addressing the inequitable distribution of environmental harms that disproportionately affect marginalized communities. The cluster will contribute to faculty diversity and integrate racial justice issues into STEM fields, aiming to produce actionable research that  resonates with underrepresented students and aid in their success and retention.

Participating Units & Key Personnel

Involved academic units include the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies, Environmental Studies Program, Department of Statistics & Applied Probability, and Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. 

Management Plan & Leadership

An initial leadership team, comprised of faculty from the Bren School, the Division of Social Sciences, and the Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences, will jointly manage scholarly and programmatic activities, evolving as new Mellichamp Chairs are hired. Dr. Dolores Inés Casillas, Professor and Director of the Chicano Studies Institute, and Dr. Sarah E. Anderson, Professor and Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, join Prof. David Pellow as the on-campus Mellichamp Chair who spearheads the initiative. This team has a track record in developing Environmental Justice programs and serves as the PI team on a National Science Foundation Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) grant to establish the Center for Equitable Environmental Sciences.

Anticipated Positions

Four new Mellichamp Chairs will be established:

  • Racial Justice for the Built and Natural Environment
  • Racial Environmental Justice
  • Causality or Spatial Statistics for Environmental Justice
  • Just, Resilient, and Sustainable City Futures


Each department has convened its own hiring committee, including outside members and with input from the leadership team to ensure coherence across the chairs

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