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 post-disaster recovery on Staten Island. She is 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 also co-edited the upcoming volume, Sustainability in the Global City: Myth and Practice (with Cynthia Isenhour and Gary McDonogh, Cambridge 2014) and she co-edited (with Maggie Fishman) Local Actions: Cultural Activism, Power and Public Life (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 was one of the original co-editors of the “Public Anthropology Reviews” section of the American Anthropologist.
Checker serves as the Advisor for the Environmental 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. She is the Faculty Advisor to the Urban Studies Club.