Faculty Profile

Heather Bedi

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies (2014)

Contact Information

on sabbatical 2018-19


Kaufman Hall Room 110


Dr. Bedi’s research examines environmental and social injustices related to energy, climate change, land grabbing, and industrial ecological transitions. Her published work includes articles on how Indian socio-environmental movements craft organizing identities around food (Environment and Planning, A), Special Economic Zones and land-use protest (Contemporary South Asia), the fallacies of mining environmental impact assessments (Development and Change), the human rights and agricultural implications of coal extraction in Bangladesh (Geoforum), the geographies of contested corporate capitalism and development (Geoforum), the judicialization of socio-environmental movement land claims in India (Journal of Contemporary Asia), the political economy of land resistance (Oxford Development Studies), and a chapter on the symbolic identities of land use planning protest (Routledge: Industrializing Rural India: Land, Policy and Resistance). An advocate of place based learning and teaching, Dr. Bedi’s nascent research examines energy injustice through the lens of shale gas extraction (fracking) in Pennsylvania. Building from her work on cumulative environmental injustices in South Asia’s coal hubs, her current work examines the everyday of energy poverty, solar energy access, and climate change vulnerabilities.


  • B.A., Occidental College, 2000
  • M.S., University of Michigan, 2002
  • Ph.D., University of Cambridge, 2012

2017-2018 Academic Year

Fall 2017

ENST 161 Environmental Connections
Permission of Instructor Required.

ENST 161 Environmental Connections
Permission of Instructor Required.

ENST 252 Interdisciplinary Prob Solving
This course introduces students to the skills and methods of social science and natural science research as used in the field of environmental studies. Students will develop a set of analytical and textual interpretive skills that can be applied to environmental studies problems, regardless of the topic. This training will enhance students’ abilities to engage in close reading and interpretation of interdisciplinary environmental problems and solutions. Students will be introduced to field research methods and group learning techniques, develop the ability to design and analyze information, and communicate new knowledge in a variety of formats. Through lectures, discussions, group projects, presentations, and field and laboratory exercises, students will investigate environmental and societal dynamics, and critically assess ideas, scientific evidence, and popular arguments for possible solutions to current environmental problems. The course content will vary according to expertise of specific instructors. Four hours laboratory a week. Prerequisite: 161 and 162.

Spring 2018

SOCI 230 Environmental & Social Justice
Cross-listed with ENST 280-01. This course reviews social inequities in relation to environmental issues. We examine the social construction of notions of equity and justice, and apply this learning to understand how societies frame environmental risk. Drawing from domestic and international case studies, we will explore how marginalized communities disproportionately experience environmental externalities. The social and environmental consequences of uneven development across places exemplify justice and capitalism contradictions. A review of community agency to re-appropriate or reframe their environment will allow us to explore collective action to contest social and environmental injustices.

ENST 280 Environmental and Soc Justice
Cross-listed with SOCI 230-03.

ENST 311 Food, Poverty and Place
Permission of Instructor Required.This community service learning course examines food access, agriculture, poverty, and social justice concerns in Central Pennsylvania. Increased reliance on food assistance programs reflect rising poverty and food insecurity in Cumberland County. Working closely with community partners, students in the class will conduct qualitative research in the county to document these vulnerabilities and highlight food opportunities. Drawing from their research, students will collectively complete a food assessment and will present the report to community members. The class will also create an online story map using spatial tools to visually communicate the food assessment to a larger audience.