Fellowship Project: Environmental Justice Report Card for Colorado Cities
As a JPB fellow, Dr. Dickinson will pursue collaborative, community-engaged research partnerships to improve health and reduce health disparities in Colorado.
An environmental economist by training, Dr. Dickinson’s interdisciplinary research examines how people perceive and respond to risks, and the impacts of policies and interventions on environmental, health, and social outcomes. Several past and current projects have addressed problems at the nexus of environmental quality, economic development, and human health, including water and sanitation, household energy and air pollution, and mosquito-borne diseases. Other branches of research have looked at responses to natural hazards, including wildfire and hurricanes.
Katie received BS and MS degrees in Earth Systems from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University in 2008. She did her postdoctoral training as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society scholar at the University of Wisconsin from 2008 to 2010, and at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) from 2010 to 2013. Before joining EOH, Katie spent four years as a Research Scientist/Project Scientist with joint positions at NCAR and CU Boulder.
Current Research Projects:
- Environmental justice and oil and gas development in Colorado
- Mosquito-borne disease risks and mosquito control policy in Texas
- Household energy transitions and air pollution impacts in Ghana
Environmental Justice Report Card for Colorado Cities
Environmental justice (EJ) requires that all people live, work, and play in a healthy environment and have a voice in shaping what that environment looks like and includes (or excludes). Too often, environmental policies and actions reflect the interests of people with power, creating an inequitable distribution of environmental benefits and burdens. This proposal builds a research agenda aimed at motivating and empowering cities to improve EJ outcomes through a detailed and actionable diagnosis of current EJ patterns and drivers. Specifically, we will develop a comprehensive EJ Report Card reflecting EJ Plans, Actions, and Outcomes in Colorado’s largest cities. In this phase, the first aim is to generate an EJ Planning Score focused on cities’ planning documents, while the second aim is to analyze secondary data on EJ Outcomes and assess patterns of (mis)alignment between plans and outcomes. Results will shed light on potential avenues towards better integration of environmental and social justice actions at multiple scales, to be further tested in subsequent work.