Critical Climate Adaptation
Conventional adaptation practices overlook place-specific histories of dispossession, political oppression, longstanding confrontations with injustice, and everyday efforts to survive. To remedy this, I examine placemaking and placekeeping practices across space and time, from colonial encounters to development schemes and climate adaptation. In this body work, I focus on nations at the frontlines of the climate crisis.
Gray, S. (2023). In The Shadow of the Seawall: Coastal Injustice and the Dilemma of Placekeeping. University of California Press.
Derr, T. and S. Gray (2019). “Critical Adaptation Studies” UC-CSU KAN NXTerra Digital Platform and Knowledge Action Network
Gray, S., and Foran, J. (2015) “Climate Injustice: The Real History of the Maldives” Berkeley Journal of Sociology 59: 14-25.
Gray, S. (2014). “Gone Before the Wave” (2014) The Occupied Times of London, 26: 9
Critical Disaster Studies
No one can escape the impacts of climate change, not even those who live in the wealthiest and most privileged parts of the world. I saw this firsthand in 2017 and 2018 when a tragic series of events culminated in deadly debris flows in Montecito, California. I spent many hours watching news and community meetings, taking notes, thinking about how evacuation zones are drawn, and learning about how recovery processes mirror existing social inequalities and uneven relationships of power. I have started to integrate post-disaster recovery into my body of work in order to highlight the importance of residual injustice, or circumstances in which harm is transferred from one place and time to another through unjust recovery and adaptation practices.
Gray, S. (2023). “Rethinking Disaster Utopia: The Limits of Conspicuous Resilience for Community-based Recovery and Adaptation” Disasters (open-access)
Gray, S. (2022) “Flows of Injustice: Linking Disaster Waste and Uneven Recovery to the Social Implications of Climate Disruption” Environmental Justice
Goto, E.A., Gray, S., Keller El, and Clarke, K. (2021) “Using Mixed-Methods to Understand Community Vulnerability to Debris Flows in Montecito, CA.” Pp. 435-440 in Guzzetti, F., Arbanas, S.M., Reichenbach, P., Sassa, K., Bobrowsky, P.T., and Takara K. (Eds.) Understanding and Reducing Landslide Disaster Risk Vol. 2, Springer.
Keller, E., Adamaitis, C., Alessio, P., Goto, E., and Gray, S. (2020). “Montecito Debris Flows of 9 January 2018: Physical Processes and Social Implications,” 95-114 in Heermance, R.V., and Schwartz, J.J. (Eds.) From the Islands to the Mountains: A 2020 View of Geologic Excursion in Southern California: Geological Society of America Field Guide, Volume 59, Geological Society of America.
Keller, E., Adamaitis, C., Alessio, P., Anderson, S., Goto, E., Gray, S., Gurrola, L., and Morell K (2019) “Applications in Geomorphology.” Geomorphology 336: 1-19.
Climate Justice Movements
Throughout my career, I have dedicated my attention to climate justice and the question of what can be done to address global inequality and climate inaction. I have been fortunate to collaborate with activists and scholars to advance climate justice as a new interdisciplinary field of study. I have studied the motivations of youth activists at the U.N. Climate Treaty Negotiations. I have also written on the concept of “Marine Justice” with members of the Mellon-Sawyer Seminar on Sea Change at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Gray, S., Grosse, C., Mark, B., and Morrell, E. (2021) “Climate Justice Movements and Sustainable Development Goals” In Leal Filho W., Azul A.M., Brandli L., Özuyar P.G., Wall T. (Eds.) Climate Action. Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Springer. *equal authorship
Martin, J., Gray, S., Aceves-Bueno, E., , et al. (2019) “What is Marine Justice?” Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 9:234-243.
Foran, J., Gray, S., Grosse,C., and LeQuesne, T. (2018) “This Will Change Everything: Teaching the Climate Crisis.” Transformations: The Journal of Inclusive Scholarship and Pedagogy 28(2): 126-147.
Foran, J., Gray, S. and Corrie, G. (2017) “Not Yet the End of the World: Political Cultures of Opposition and Creation in the Global Youth Climate Justice Movement.” Interface: A Journal for and About Social Movements 9(2): 353-379
Foran, J., Gray, S. and Ellis, C. (2014). At the COP: Global Climate Justice Youth Speak Out. The Climate Justice Project, University of California, Santa Barbara. E-book.