My research focuses on applying feminist theories to issues and problems related to social inequalities. The two major dimensions of my research agenda has a macro focus, applying critical social theories and mixed-methodologies to social inequality and the environment, and a micro-level focus, analyzing core dynamics of intimate partner violence in LGBTQ communities. Below is a brief discussion of current research studies.
Addressing Environmental Health Concerns of Community Residents of Kettleman City, CA: A community-based approach to examining exposure and assessing community health [2018-2020]
Funded by the UC Davis Environmental Health Sciences Core Center (EHS CC P30ES023513), this research endeavors to investigate key linkages between environmental exposure and human health in a disadvantaged, rural community utilizing an innovative participatory process and mixed-method experimental design. The purpose of this study is to ascertain environmental exposure of the community of Kettleman City, CA relative to California’s; establish feasibility for a larger study; and to produce a model for community engaged science that informs environmental policy and regulation. To this end five types of data will be collected, environmental health and perception survey data, in-depth interviews with residents, biological monitoring, personal ambient AQ sampling, and household water samples. Each type of data lends itself to measuring a chemical identified by and of concern to the community. For instance, water will be tested for mercury, arsenic, and pesticides; air will be tested for benzene particles; and, serum and plasma will be sampled for PCBs. This research draws on skills, expertise, and knowledge of scientists across the University ranging from Public Health Sciences to Civil and Environmental Engineering. This research is also supported by the Center for Regional Change (UC Davis) and the Feminist Research Institute (UC Davis).
Exposure to Environmental Hazards: Analyzing the Location and Distribution of Landfills Across the Contiguous United States [2016-present]
Funded by NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, Sociology Division, (NSF#1602813) ($11,999), this research included multi-year data collection of latitude, longitude, and type of all landfills across the continental U.S. Data were analyzed using GIS, structural equation modeling, and advanced statistical techniques (i.e. negative binomial regression, geographically weighted regression). Findings have been presented nationally at American Sociological Association annual meeting, Society for the Study of Social Problems, and Rural Sociological Society, among others. Undergraduate students were mentored and trained.
North American Domestic Violence Intervention Program Survey [2014-2018]
Funded by Wisner Center for Research on Families and Children at Tulane School of Social Work ($10,000), this research included development of a survey distributed to over 3,000 batterer intervention programs across the U.S. and Canada. Surveys were subsequently analyzed using content analysis and SPSS. Findings have been presented at the International Family Violence and Child Victimization Research Conference, Society for Social Work Research, and has been published in peer-reviewed journals, Partner Abuse and Journal of Family Violence, among others.
Climate Change, Flood, and Rat Risk Perceptions [2016-2018]
The aims of this research, funded by a NSF Coupled Human Natural Systems($1,600,000; PI: Mike Blum; NSF#1313703), is to connect ecological studies of rats with sociological perceptions of climate change, flood, rat, and mosquito risks. We distributed three waves of surveys designed to measure these perceptions. Data were subsequently analyzed using ordinal logistic regression. Findings have been presented at ASA and Tulane 10, a conference to share disaster and resilience research conducted after Hurricane Katrina. Research from this study has been published in Disasters.