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Geography and Sustainability Professors awarded three separate research grants

Ratner, Luna, and Healy

Geography and Sustainability Professors Keith Ratner, Marcos Luna and Noel Healy were awarded three separate research grants connected to biking sustainability, climate justice and nature-based solutions, and fossil fuel politics.

Chair of the Geography and Sustainability Department Professor Keith Ratner was awarded a Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation 2022 grant to conduct research in the Netherlands on its biking culture. His broader project is exploring the impacts of Electric bicycles (E-Bikes) on the built environment in urban areas in the United States and Europe.

Professor Marcos Luna's project is entitled "From Analysis to Action: Strategies for Promoting Climate Justice when Implementing Nature-based Solutions to Coastal Risk". His research aims to identify communities along the Massachusetts coast that are especially vulnerable to sea level rise and related risks of climate change, and to explore community concerns about interventions that are aimed at enhancing coastal resilience but which may inadvertently have regressive social or economic effects.

Professor Luna, the principal investigator for this project, will be collaborating with environmental economists at IEc, an environmental consulting firm, and students from the graduate Geo-Information Science program at Salem State University, to study this issue and develop assessments of vulnerability and make recommendations for more equitable approaches to NBS. This year-long project is generously funded by the Stone Living Lab, a partnership of the City of Boston, UMass Boston School for the Environment, Boston Harbor Now, the National Parks of Boston, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, and the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation, which engages scientists and the community in research, education, and the promotion of equity.

Professor Noel Healy received a Climate Obstruction Research Grant from the Climate Social Science Network at Brown University. Prof. Healy was one of thirteen scholars from twelve universities in six countries being funded in eight project teams. His project is entitled “Exploring Regulatory Capture at the Federal Energy Regulatory Authority (FERC)”. His project aims to fill a critical gap in knowledge on the structure of power in US government decision-making on energy by investigating the links between fossil-fuel interests and federal energy regulators. Professor Healy and six Salem State students will start working on this project during the summer of 2022.

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