Higher Education


Social Sciences

Beyond the Fields: Cesar Chavez, the UFW, and the Struggle for Justice in the 21st Century (2008)
Beyond the Fields describes how Chavez and the UFW’s imprint can be found in the modern reshaping of the American labor movement, the building of Latino political power, the transformation of Los Angeles and California politics, the fight for environmental justice, and the burgeoning national movement for immigrant rights. [An e-book is available.]

Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality (2008, 3rd edition)
A classic environmental justice text by Robert Bullard. [Note: The link directs to a Google preview of the book, but it is not complete: Some sections are excerpted.]

Environmental Justice: Grassroots Activism and Its Impact on Public Policy Decision Making (2000)
This article gives an overview of the history of grassroots activism around EJ and its impact on federal policy.

H2A Guest Workers and the State in North Carolina: From Transnational Production to Transnational Organizing (2009).
This chapter in Global Connections and Local Receptions: New Latino Immigration to the Southeastern United States is based on seven years of participant observation by the author and over 120 interviews farm workers, farmers, state employees, nonprofit representatives, and others. The chapter overviews the politics of farm labor, brokered labor such as the H2A program, and the impact of labor organizing by the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC). [Note: The link directs to a Google preview of the book, but it is not complete: Some sections are excerpted.]

In the Wake of the Storm: Environment, Disaster, and Race After Katrina (2006)
This interdisciplinary report, written by professors from around the country, illuminates the environmental justice implications of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The researchers focus on race disparities and linkages to environmental quality in the US, and the ways in which these disparities influence the preparation and relief efforts: before, during, and after a disaster.

And God Saw That It Was Good: Catholic Theology and the Environment (1996)
This collection addresses the need for religious believers to approach environmental issues from a theological and pastoral foundation rising from religious tradition, including scripture, spirituality, liturgy and worship, ethics and social teaching.

Toxic Wastes and Race in the United States: A National Report on the Racial and Socio-Economic Characteristics of Communities with Hazardous Waste Sites
This seminal report, released in 1987 by the United Church of Christ Commission for Racial Justice, demonstrated that race was the most significant variable when siting hazardous waste facilities on a national level.

Toxic Wastes and Race at Twenty 1987-2007
Twenty years after the original report, this companion found that the racial disparities in the distribution of hazardous waste not only persist – they are larger than previously reported.
Executive Summary only (19 pages)

Natural Sciences

Brain anomalies in children exposed prenatally to a common organophosphate pesticide (2012)
A Columbia study on the effects of chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate pesticide, on children’s development. The study found that the chemical negatively impacted brain development, including lower IQ and decreased attention.

Two short videos were made about the study’s findings (also posted under Toxicology).

Ecological Developmental Biology: Integrating Epigenetics, Medicine, and Evolution (2008)
Ecological developmental biology (“eco-devo”) is a new field studying development in the “real world” of predators, pathogens, competitors, symbionts, toxic compounds, temperature changes, and nutritional differences. These environmental agents can result in changes to an individual’s phenotype, often implemented when signals from the environment elicit epigenetic changes in gene expression. The field also provides a systems approach to studying pathology, integrating development with studies of diabetes, cancers, obesity, and the aging syndrome.

A New Way to Inherit Environmental Harm (2005)
Epigenetics is showing that environmental influences can be inherited – even without any mutations in the genes themselves. In other words, the cancer you get today may have been caused by your grandmother’s exposure to an industrial poison 50 years ago, even though your grandmother’s genes were not changed by the exposure.

Our Stolen Future: Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence and Survival? (1997)
This book lists the compelling effects of chemical contamination revealed from wildlife studies, laboratory experiments and human data. Synthetic chemicals are now linked to reproductive problems, neurological and developmental disorders in children, the abnormal functioning of the thyroid, endocrine and immune system and mental and emotional development.

Protecting Public Health & the Environment: Implementing the Precautionary Principle (1999)
This book is a collection of articles that were first presented at the Wingspread Conference in 1998 in which the term “precautionary principle” was first articulated. The authors discuss how this principle, representing the Hippocratic promise to “first, do no harm,” can influence environmental policy, law, and corporate behavior.

Race, Wealth, and Solid Waste Facilities in North Carolina (2007)
Summary of the article can be found here.
UNC researchers found that solid waste facilities in North Carolina are disproportionately located in low-income and minority communities and represent an environmental injustice.

Bringing Current Science into the Classroom
Developed by the UNC Superfund Research Program, this lesson plan introduces Superfund, the Superfund Research Program, and current environmental research into the classroom.

Introducing the Fundamentals of Toxicology
In addition to introducing fundamental concepts of toxicology, the goal of the eTOXIC environmental toxicology curriculum is to make biomedical research accessible to high school students. Thus the “Everyday Toxicology” module is structured around laboratory activities in which students design, plan, execute, and interpret their own experiments. (Note: although this module is geared towards high school students, it would be easily modifiable for undergraduate students with little experience in toxicology.)

Ambient: Toxicology Module
Developed by NIH, this page links to problem-based learning modules that introduce students to toxicology.

NIEHS Lesson Resources for Teachers
Fact sheets, bookles, flyers, interviews, videos, and websites to support teachers who wish to teach toxicology.

Case Studies & Syllabi

Detroit Intermodal Freight Terminal
Modified from the original University of Michigan case study.

Houston v. Chevron
Modified from the original Colby College case study.

Austin, Texas: Saltillo Redevelopment District
Modified from the original Duke University case study.

Case Study Activities
This document outlines questions that can help guide the discussion of the above case studies.

SAF Farmworker Advocacy Syllabus
Student Action with Farmworkers developed a 14-week syllabus for a semester seminar.

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