UNC Greensboro



The Sustainability Lecture and Dialogue Series features UNCG researchers addressing issues integral to transforming our knowledge of and connections to the environment in order for us to build vibrant and thriving communities. Check our Google Calendar for event dates and times.


Electrification in Transporation: An Equitable and Just Transition
Dr. Selima Sultana & Greg Carlton

Dr. Selima Sultana is a Professor in the Department of Geography, Environment, & Sustainability at UNC Greensboro and recipient of the 2021 Edward L. Ullman Award from the American Association of Geographers Transportation Geography Specialty Group (AAG TGSG) for her significant contribution to the field of transport geography. In this talk, Dr. Sultana and her doctoral student research assistant, discuss the growing concerns of climate change and how the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) has become an accelerated priority of world leaders as a key strategic goal for reduction of transport-related greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Framed using social and environmental justice theories, this lecture will layout a foundation for an inclusive and just transition to adoption of Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs).


Clean Cooking, Gender Equality, and The Environment
Shannon Lloyd

Shannon Lloyd is currently a Senior Associate on the Evidence and Impact team at the Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA), as part of the United Nations Foundation. Her role involves contributing to several projects, including, managing research efforts related to livelihoods and gendered time use, and helping source and contract cookstove testing labs globally to expand ISO testing availability. Prior to joining CCA, Shannon worked as a Research Assistant in the Forest Use, Energy, and Livelihoods (FUEL) Lab at the University of Michigan where she researched the intersection of gender, energy, and the environment in the clean cooking sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her graduate thesis looked at the role of social capital in improved cookstove adoption via a quasi-experimental data collection effort involving two cookstove firms in Lusaka, Zambia. Shannon holds an M.S. in Environment and Sustainability, specializing in Environmental Policy and Planning and Geospatial Data Science from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in Geography from the UNCG.


Spirit of Place: Found & Foraged Color
Tara Webb

Tara Webb is a theatre artist specializing in costume design and costume technologies. Tara has collaborated with contemporary performance companies and artists that utilize interdisciplinary and contemporary playmaking and choreographic processes in San Francisco, New York, and Philadelphia. She is currently teaching costume technology for the UNCG School of theatre and working on a local color palette of natural dyes from plants and organic materials as part of her UNCG Sustainability Faculty Fellowship. She has an MA in Visual Culture: Costume Studies from NYU and a BA in Theatre Studies from Swarthmore College. You can find more images of some of her previous costume design work at In this talk, Professor Webb discusses her research of dye plants from the UNCG area and how discovering the 'genius loci' of a place can be tied to color. She also talks about plants she has grown for dye research as part of her UNCG Sustainability Faculty Fellowship as well as common kitchen scraps that can be used to create color.


Social & Environmental Determinants of Health in Latino Communities
Dr. Sandra Echeverría

Dr. Sandra E. Echeverría earned her Ph.D. in epidemiology from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health and is a tenured Associate Professor in Public Health Education, at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. As a social epidemiologist, her research program examines how built environment, immigrant, and sociopolitical determinants influence cardiovascular health in oppressed groups, particularly communities of Latin American origin. She focuses on understanding how the social environment reinforces health behaviors such as physical activity and works with community partners in the translation of research evidence to intervene on social and environmental injustices shaping chronic health conditions.


Household Water Security
Dr. Cassandra Workman & Love Odetola

Dr. Cassandra L. Workman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at UNC Greensboro. She is interested in the biopsychosocial drivers and consequences of water insecurity, sanitation insecurity and food insecurity. In order to understand these complex interactions, she engages medical anthropology, environmental anthropology and other disciplines such as human geography and public health. Current research includes an NSF-funded multi-disciplinary collaboration between UNCG, NC State and Sokoine University of Agriculture which will examine water insecurity, food insecurity and infectious disease in Tanzania.

Love Odetola is a final year PhD student in the Department of Public Health Education at UNC Greensboro. As a maternal & child health professional, she works to improve the health of mothers and children from a holistic perspective. Currently, her research interests focus on household-level environmental exposures and maternal-child health outcomes, among African Immigrants. Prior to the doctoral program, Love served as a consultant with the World Bank, recognizing that women are the backbone of Climate-Smart Agricultural initiatives.


Dr. Tad Skotnicki & Dr. David Wight

Dr. Tad Skotnicki is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro and studies the culture and politics of capitalism. His recent book, The Sympathetic Consumer: Moral Critique in Capitalist Culture (Stanford, 2021), traces the historical development of consumer activism in the Atlantic world since the late eighteenth century.

Dr. David M. Wight is a Visiting Assistant Professor of History at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro. He is the author of Oil Money: Middle East Petrodollars and the Transformation of US Empire, 1967-1988 (Cornell University Press, 2021) as well as multiple articles and book chapters on the history of international relations, the United States, and the Middle East.


Climate Change & Bioarchaeology
Dr. Gwen Robbins Schug

This talk addresses common questions and misconceptions about human responses to climate change in the past--violence, migration, disease, and civilizational collapse--with the goal of demonstrating how anthropology is the key to creating a nuanced view of the human experience through time and to creating an equitable, sustainable future.

Dr. Gwen Robbins Schug is a Professor of Anthropology at Appalachian State University in Boone and a Visiting Professor at UNCG (2020– 2022). Her research focuses on adaptive challenges for human communities, including human-environmental interactions and climate change throughout the Holocene in South Asia and more recently, in Bronze Age Oman and modern Italy.


Animal Ethics
Sena Crutchley, Dr. Gwen Hunnicutt

Sena Crutchley is a UNC Greensboro speech-language pathology professor by day and a social justice and environmental activist 24/7. Sena is a member of UNC Greensboro’s Sustainability Council, where she brings her expertise in food systems and their effects on the environment. She is the president of Piedmont Area Vegan Educators (PAVE), a local, grassroots vegan advocacy group, has a microsanctuary for chickens (Ruby’s Refuge), and is a volunteer mentor for new vegans through the Peace Advocacy Network. Her talk is entitled, "fHarming Animals and the Environment."

Dr. Gwen Hunnicutt is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Cross-Appointed Faculty in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at UNCG. Her recent book, Gender Violence in Ecofeminist Perspective: Intersections of Animal Oppression, Patriarchy and Domination of the Earth (2020), aims to begin an eco-centered, eco-feminist, informed discussion about the ways in which gender, patriarchy and violence are bound up with our relationship to the environment. The title of her talk is "Trans-species harm and the multiplicity of violence from climate change."


Black American Environmental History
T'Shari White

T'Shari White received her Bachelor's in Environmental Studies in 2014 from UNC Greensboro. She received her Master's at SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry and is currently a 3rd year Ph.D. student in UNCG"s Geography, Environment, and Sustainability Department. In her talk, "The South is a Sick Place" she discusses how in retrospect the racial violence against Black Americans in the American South has impacted their contemporary participation in nature exploration. She explains what a "sick place" is and how the South has met that criteria for Black people in an environmental and geographical context.


Climate Justice
Dr. Meredith Powers, Ms. LeeCee Jones, Dr. Steve Kroll-Smith

Dr. Meredith Powers and Ms. LeeCee Jones discuss their collaborations on climate justice literacy, including their recent endeavors writing children’s books together, starting with one about climate justice, and their work to launch the nonprofit, called the “Implementing Diverse Equitable Accessible Literacy (IDEAL) League”.

Dr. Steve Kroll-Smith is one of two Research Coordinators for the Social Science Research Council’s Project Katrina and is the author of the book "Recovering Inequality, Hurricane Katrina, the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, and the Aftermath of Disaster." The title of Dr. Kroll-Smith's talk is "The Long Goodbye: Adapting to a Disappearing Ancestral Island, The Story of Isle de Jean Charles."


City of Streams
Dr. Sarah Praskievicz

Dr. Sarah Praskievicz studies the environmental aspects of river systems, including impacts of climate change on water resources. She and her students conduct field-based research to characterize the status of and threats to Greensboro’s urban streams and how the condition of those streams can be improved. This year their research will support stream enhancement projects at sections of the North Buffalo Creek at Revolution Mill and in the East Greensboro neighborhood of Cottage Grove.


Urban Planning & Social Equity
Dr. John Stehlin, Dr. Marcia Hale

Dr. John Stehlin's presentation entitled, "Highway Removal Projects, Urban Development Politics, and Spatial Justice in the United States and Spain," focuses on urban political economy, mobility and transportation infrastructure, and questions of spatial justice. He teaches economic geography, qualitative research methods, and environmental political economy and is the author of Cyclescapes of the Unequal City: Bicycle Infrastructure and Uneven Development (University of Minnesota Press, 2019).

Dr. Marcia Hale's presentation entitled, "Cities as Instruments of Human Security? Water, food and trauma within environmental and climate injustice," seeks to understand complex systems and to guide social change toward positive peace by addressing injustice and social brutalities – essentially asking the question: How do we live together better? She is especially interested in how cities can serve as agents of global human security. Her research sits at the nexus of global environmental change, environmental justice, migration, water and agriculture.


Urban Agriculture & Food Systems
Dr. Plaxedes Chitiyo, Dr. Marianne LeGreco

Dr. Plaxedes Chitiyo, in her presentation, "Steel City reinventing itself? Urban agriculture perspectives from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania," discusses how Pittsburgh, a city with a dirty industrial past is reinventing itself through sustainable initiatives such as urban agriculture.

Dr. Marianne LeGreco's presentation, “We Still Have to Eat: Considering Sustainability Across Local Food Systems During COVID-19,” highlights some of her recent research with Greensboro’s Corner Farmers Market, which is a partnership supported by the National Communication Association’s Center for Communication, Community Collaboration, and Change.


Social & Environmental Injustice
Dr. Stephen Sills

For the last fourteen years, Dr. Stephen Sills has conducted housing and community based research in North Carolina. He has served as the principal investigator, co-principal investigator, evaluator, and methodological consultant on over 100 applied and community-engaged projects. In his presentation, he discusses historical housing segregation policies known as red-lining that have lead to economic and environmental injustices that continue today in Greensboro.