Hello, I’m Sarah Jaquette Ray.
I came to researching, teaching, and collaborating on addressing climate anxiety through my academic background and my personal experience teaching in and leading environmental studies programs at the college level.
Although my scholarly training is in interdisciplinary environmental studies, environmental justice, and the environmental humanities, I began to research and teach about practical tools for existential resilience in the Anthropocene when I realized that my students (and I) were growing increasingly despairing and immobilized by the state of the planet and politics.
My research, teaching, and my own personal practices began to shift toward cultivating the personal resilience needed to face a life of working on climate justice advocacy. I developed tools informed by contemplative practices and mindfulnesss, spiritual orientations to the climate crisis, affect studies, social and eco-psychology, social movement theory and activism, community resilience, art, trauma studies, and climate communication. I want to continue to develop these tools in collaboration with all the many people who are engaging in this work.
I have a BA in Religious Studies, with a minor in Women’s Studies, from Swarthmore College. My MA is American Studies from University of Texas at Austin, where I became fascinated by the social justice dimensions of environmental issues, which prompted me to do my PhD at the University of Oregon’s Environmental Sciences, Studies, and Policy program, with English as my focal department.