Assistant Professor Highlights the Need for Racial Diversity In Climate Change Science

Bala Chaudhary, Dartmouth assistant professor of ecology, recently co-authored a paper in Nature Sustainability showcasing interest among indigenous students and students of color in environmental studies, climate science, and climate activism.

In a study published this month by Nature Sustainability, Professor Bala Chaudhary explores the growing interest in climate science, environmental science, and climate activism among BIPOC students, whose homes tend to be disproportionately impacted by the changes wrought by climate change and widescale pollution. Her study, "Students of colour views on racial equity in environmental sustainability," explores ways that colleges and universities can better ensure that these students do not face barriers or become excluded from these fields. Professor Chauhary and her co-authors interviewed 24 people of color enrolled in undergraduate programs, many of whom expressed a need to see greater diversity represented in both the faculty and in the curriculum.

"I definitely wish that there were more professors of color, who understand the need to talk about these issues from a different perspective," says one participant. States another, "It's encouraging, too, to see people you can more closely identify within leadership roles."

Professor Chaudhary arrives at Dartmouth this fall as an assistant professor in the environmental studies program. She previously taught at DePaul University after receiving her PhD from Northern Arizona University. Her research focuses on plant-soil-microbial ecology as it relates to natural and managed ecosystems.