Environmental Policy & Justice
Dr. Linda Estelí Méndez-Barrientos
I am an Assistant Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, where I lead the Environmental Policy & Justice research group (epjr), which is dedicated to understanding how inequality and power asymmetries shape institutional change processes and environmental justice.
As an environmental social scientist, I research and teach about environmental policy, with a focus on water governance and environmental justice in the western United States and the "Global South". Using a mixed-methods approach, I examine the implementation of sustainability and equity reforms in California and South Africa, cooperation and conflict in environmental justice cases across the world, and water justice in Colorado River policy processes. I’m also the founder of s2e-Science to Empower, an environmental justice initiative that facilitates applied research to support the defense of human and nature rights.
I’m the recipient of a number of prestigious awards, including the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (2016-2021), NSF Integrative Graduate Education & Research Traineeship (2015-2017), and European Commission Agris Mundus Scholarship (2008-2010). Born and raised in Nicaragua, I earned a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California Davis, and hold two master’s degrees, one on Water Management from Wageningen University in the Netherlands, and the other on Tropical Agrarian Systems from Montpellier SupAgro in France.
Victoria MacClements is a second-year Global Environmental Sustainability Master’s candidate at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She is specializing in Food and Water Security and is interested in pursuing Water Policy and Water Law. Originally from Austin, TX, Victoria received her BA in Plan II Honors and Sustainability Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.
Aden Stern is a second-year Global Environmental Sustainability Master’s candidate at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. He specializes in Environmental Policy and Environmental Justice and plans to pursue his Ph.D. in Environmental Sustainability after graduating from DU this spring. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Aden received his BA from the University of Colorado-Boulder where he studied Sociology and Political Science.