Faculty Profile

Heather Bedi

Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies (2014)

Contact Information

bedih@dickinson.edu

Kaufman Hall Room 110
717.254.8168

Bio

Grounded in political ecology and development, Dr. Bedi’s research examines how mining, land, and industrialization projects and policies are experienced and contested in South Asia and the United States. She has published on 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 resource extraction (Geoforum), the geographies of contested corporate capitalism and development (Geoforum), and the judicialization of environmental claims in India (forthcoming). An advocate of place based learning and teaching, Dr. Bedi’s nascent research examines energy activism through the lens of hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania.

Education

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

2015-2016 Academic Year

Fall 2015

SOCI 230 Environmental & Social Justice
Cross-listed with ENST 311-04.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 311 Environmental & Social Justice
Cross-listed with SOCI 230-05.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 330 Env Disruption & Pol Analysis
This course examines the effect of environmental policies on environmental quality, human health and/or the use of natural resources at local, national and international levels. It considers the ways scientific knowledge, economic incentives and social values merge to determine how environmental problems and solutions are defined, how risks are assessed and how and why decisions are made. The course examines a range of tools, processes and patterns inherent in public policy responses and covers issues ranging from air and water pollution and toxic and solid waste management to energy use, climate change and biodiversity protection. A combination of lectures, case studies, and field trips will be used. Prerequisite: 131 and 132 or 130, or permission of instructor. This course fulfills the WID graduation requirement.

ENST 406 Environmentalism & Capitalism
Some argue that a livable planet and capitalism are not compatible. Others contend that environmentalism is not equipped to address contemporary ecological and social challenges, and that the environmental movement has become a special interest. As a capstone in Environmental Studies and Science, this course will examine assertions about modern environmentalism and capitalism from natural science, social science, and humanities perspectives. Following a review of key course concepts, we will explore differing ideas on the use or abuse of capitalism as a tool to address environmental problems and related ecological and social outcomes. Students will select case studies of interest that exemplify the opportunities and contradictions associated with efforts to address environmental and social concerns in an era of capitalism. For example, students could examine a range of issues that explore the commodification of nature and people including: payment for ecosystem services; carbon trading; royalty payments for resource extraction; economic valuation of human life; environmental health offsets; etc.. Student topics will frame the focal areas for course case studies, and will allow us to examine capitalism and environmentalism in practice.