Dr. Melissa Checker (PhD NYU, 2002) is a member of the Urban Studies Department at Queens College. Her research focuses on grassroots environmental justice activism, the politics of urban sustainability, and voluntary relocation/managed retreat after technological and environmental disasters. Her book manuscript, Sustainaphrenia: Environmental Gentrification and the Greening of the Big Apple is currently under contract and in process with NYU Press. She is also the author of Polluted Promises: Environmental Racism and the Search for Justice in a Southern Town (NYU Press, 2005) which won the 2007 Association for Humanistic Sociology Book Award and was a finalist for the Julian Steward Award and the Delmos Jones and Jagna Sharff Memorial Book Prize. She co-edited two volumes: Sustainability in the Global City: Myth and Practice (with Cynthia Isenhour and Gary McDonogh, Cambridge 2015) and Local Actions: Cultural Activism, Power and Public Life (with Maggie Fishman) Columbia U Press, 2004), In addition, she has authored a number of academic articles and book chapters, as well as articles for popular magazines and newspapers. She serves on the faculties of the PhD Program in sAnthropology and in Environmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center. She was one of the founding editors of the “Public Anthropology Reviews” section of the American Anthropologist.
Checker is the Hagedorn Professor of Urban Studies and directs the Service Learning program along with Scott Larson. She serves as the Advisor for the Environmental Studies Major/Minor Program and as the Advisor for the Labor Studies Major/Minor Program. She teaches the Department’s introductory course, Urban Poverty and Affluence, as well as courses on Urban Environments and Environmentalism, Contemporary Urban Theory, and Service Learning Practicum.