Faculty Profile

Heather Bedi

(she/her/hers)Associate Professor of Environmental Studies (2014)

Contact Information


Kaufman Hall Room 110


Dr. Heather Plumridge Bedi's interdisciplinary research examines human-environmental injustices associated with climate change, food access, and energy systems. Her research has been funded by the Fulbright Program, the Cambridge Political Economy Society Trust, the UK-India Education Research Initiative, the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, and a Mellon Foundation grant at Dickinson College. Her research and teaching interests include environmental and social justice, political ecology, development, planning, and just energy transitions. Her current work examines the everyday of energy poverty, solar energy access, and climate change vulnerabilities in South Asia. Dr. Bedi also examines energy injustice through the lens of shale gas extraction (fracking) in the United States. Dr. Bedi’s published work appears in Contemporary South Asia; Development and Change; Economic and Political Weekly; Energy Research and Social Science; Environment and Planning, A; Geoforum; Journal of Contemporary Asia; and Oxford Development Studies. She serves on the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Environmental Justice Advisory Board and the Cumberland County Food Systems Alliance's board. Dr. Bedi received the American Association of Geographer's Harm de Blij Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.


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

2023-2024 Academic Year

Fall 2023

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

ENST 338 A Just Energy Transition
With advancing climate change, many nations are undertaking energy transitions, which involve a comprehensive effort to shift to low or no-carbon energy systems. This major undertaking, perhaps the largest global transition since the industrial revolution, focuses predominantly on the economics of the energy debate, with corporations, countries, and institutions rarely mentioning the need for the transition to be ‘just’. Students in this course will explore what the energy transition and nascent efforts to prioritize justice. The ‘just transition’ term encapsulates efforts to undergo these energy transitions using justice as a guiding principle, acknowledging that environmental and social inequalities will endure as nations pursue lower-carbon alternatives unless power and resource inequalities are acknowledged and addressed. As energy access is intimately connected to human development indicators, a just energy transition prioritizes equity concerns, including disproportionate pollution exposure, health access, and educational attainment. A key step to implementing a development-centered approach to an energy transition that is socially and environmentally responsible is to consider recognitional, procedural, and distributional justice concerns in all decisions regarding renewable energy. In this Writing in the Discipline course, students will select and research an energy transition case study. Through research, peer review, and multiple rounds of editing, students will explore the elements of justice in relation to their energy transition case study.ENST 161 or permission of instructor.

Spring 2024

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

ENST 280 Environmental and Soc Justice
Cross-listed with SOCI 230-02.

ENST 406 Env Innov & Activism Capstone
Innovative approaches are needed to address urgent environmental and social concerns, including the climate crisis. As a capstone in Environmental Studies and Science, this course will examine environmental challenges, innovations, and activism from natural science, social science, and humanities perspectives. Following a review of key course concepts, the group will explore how diverse actors, groups, and governments approach environmental innovations and activism. Students will each select an environmental challenge and examine related innovations or activism for their capstone project. These student topics will frame the focal areas for course case studies and will allow the class to examine how a range of stakeholders attempt to contest and address pressing environmental issues.