Jill Lindsey Harrison, Close up Photo
Associate Professor

Office:  103c Guggenheim

Affiliated Departments


Research Interests

Environmental Justice, Environmental Politics, Political Ecology, Agriculture and Food Systems.


Ph.D. 2006 University of California-Santa Cruz


I am Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Colorado-Boulder. My work is motivated by the following questions: What causes government agencies, social movement actors, and others to engage in practices that reinforce environmental injustice? How might such actors be reformed to better support environmental justice (EJ)?  I have used my research on political conflict over agricultural pesticide poisonings in California, escalations in immigration enforcement in rural Wisconsin, and government agencies’ environmental justice efforts to identify and explain the persistence of environmental inequalities and workplace inequalities in the United States today. Most recently, I have used extensive confidential interviews with staff of state and federal environmental regulatory agencies across the U.S., as well as ethnographic observation of public and closed-door agency meetings, to demonstrate that the disappointing pace of government agencies’ EJ reform efforts stems in part from dominant elements of regulatory workplace culture, especially colorblind racist notions of bureaucratic neutrality and utilitarian ideas of effectiveness that circulate among staff. As an interdisciplinary scholar, I have drawn on a wide range of debates in geography, political ecology, sociology, science and technology studies, anthropology, and beyond. I have been especially influenced in recent years by debates on the prospects for EJ through the state, contemporary race theory, theories of justice, organizational culture, bureaucratic discretion, and insider activism. I have authored two books: From the Inside Out: The Fight for Environmental Justice within Government Agencies (MIT Press, 2019), which received Honorable Mention for the 2020 Allan Schnaiberg Outstanding Publication Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Environmental Sociology, and Pesticide Drift and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice (MIT Press, 2011), winner of the 2012 Fred Buttel Outstanding Scholarly Achievement Award from the Rural Sociological Society and the 2012 Association of Humanist Sociology Book Award, as well as many articles and chapters in edited volumes.