Lauren Richter is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 2018 she was the recipient of a Leadership Grant from the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation to work at the Silent Spring Institute as a research fellow. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Northeastern University, and her research focuses on social inequality, environmental justice, and health social movements. Drawing on participant observation, interviews, and archival research, she traces the production of scientific knowledge and ignorance pertaining to the human health effects of exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). Her research aims to strengthen regulatory frameworks to more effectively characterize and prevent adverse environmental health effects. Lauren’s second area of research uses critical race theory to examine how race structures environmental exposures which in turn shape legal, scientific, and regulatory recourse. Lauren has published articles in Environmental Science and Technology, Environmental Sociology, the American Journal of Public Health, and Organization and Environment.
Prior to pursuing her Ph.D. she worked at the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment in California from 2009-2013, and completed an M.A. in Sociology from Washington State University in 2008. She served on the board of directors at Alternatives for Community and Environment, a Roxbury-based environmental justice organization from 2013-2017. In 2016 she was a founding member of the Racial Equity Task Force for the American Sociological Association Section on Environmental Sociology.
Fellow at a Glance
Rhode Island School of Design
Environmental Policy & Law