Research

A picture of me defending my dissertationAs a sociologist, I focus on social structures and how they shape socio-environmental processes. Linking larger social patterning—including systems of power—to pollution distribution reveals a bigger picture. My research and teaching works to render visible the connections within our society with social theories, data, and statistics.

Current Projects:

  • My first project uses theories from the sociology of race and ethnicity to better understand race and racism and its role in pollution exposure and health inequities.  One project within this frame situates Latinx destinations and estimated cancer risk from air toxics with the frameworks of assimilation and place stratification. Another line of work uses intersectionality theory to better understand multiplying effects of air toxics health risk by developing an innovative modeling technique—eco-intersectional multilevel (EIM) modeling.
  • Another current project theorizes and examines the U.S. military within an environmental justice lens. One early article of mine found national militaries led to a significant increase in freshwater withdrawals. Another article of mine found proximity to U.S. military facilities in Las Vegas leads to greater environmental health from air pollution. A recent article outlines the ways that the U.S. military and the militarization of institutions intersect with environmental injustices. 

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A picture of my during my undergraduate thesis presentationI received my PhD and MA in sociology from the University of Oregon. I earned double BAs in mathematics and sociology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I am from a working-class family and my parents are Mexican immigrants. They moved our family to Las Vegas, Nevada during the 1990s casino boom. I cultivated my sociological imagination in Las Vegas to better understand immigration, Latinidad, labor, space, and the environment.