About Peter's Work

Peter Nguyen is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Davis, where he is researching the relationship between migration, resilience, climate change adaptation, and environmental and climate justice. Grounded in public and community-engaged scholarship, his dissertation research focuses on the Vietnamese community in New Orleans, Louisiana in the Gulf South. He is currently exploring the connection between refugee migration and experiences of forced displacement, post-disaster resilience, and climate change adaptation to study community-based strategies to best support locally-led resilience and adaptation.

As a second-generation Vietnamese American and child of refugees, Peter is dedicated to public and community-engaged scholarship as a practice that bridges community knowledge with interdisciplinary research to advocate for environmental and climate justice. He received his B.A. in Environmental Studies and Geology from Oberlin College. During his graduate studies at UC Davis, as a research assistant, he contributed to two research projects engaged in community-based environmental justice research. The first study examined the lack of access to safe drinking water in disadvantaged unincorporated communities (DUCs) in the San Joaquin Valley, California. The second study analyzed how communities most impacted by air pollution in California can actively engage in the reduction of pollution exposure and improve health through the AB 617 Community Air Protection Program. He is also a co-founder of a non-profit organization called Axis Lab, which builds upon the legacy of the Southeast Asian community in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago to advocate for inclusive and equitable development. His goals for engaging in community-engaged scholarship is to be more than a bridge of information, rather, to cultivate a robust platform for community members to exchange stories, experiences, and innovative ideas for social change. These goals and values inspire his work to uplift communities of color as well as raise the importance of including refugees and immigrants within environmental and climate justice.