Faculty And Staff

Sabina Shaikh

Director, Program on Global Environment
Senior Lecturer, Environmental and Urban Studies in the College
Faculty, Committee on Geographical Sciences
Faculty Director, Chicago Studies

Faculty Co-Lead, Environmental Frontiers Initiative, Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation
Faculty Fellow, Center for International Social Science Research, University of Chicago, 2017-present
Faculty, Seed Grant Recipient, Social Science Research Council, University of Chicago 2018-present

Dr. Sabina Shaikh is the Director of the Program on Global Environment and  a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Studies and Public Policy Studies in the College at the University of Chicago.  

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Julie Erdmann

Program Administrator

(773) 702-1673

Julie joined the Program on the Global Environment in August 2017. She holds a BS in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management from the University of Minnesota. She has a background in nonprofits and ecological restoration, and is interested in the intersection of social justice and the environment. She is also an MA candidate at the Harris School of Public Policy. 

Ray Lodato

Assistant Instructional Professor

Raymond Lodato is a Lecturer in the Environmental and Urban Studies and Public Policy Studies programs at the University of Chicago.  Dr. Lodato teaches courses on environmental policy, law, and politics, as well as urban sustainability. He has presented at numerous conferences and given talks to a wide variety of academic and general audiences, addressing topics ranging from Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si, comparative urban sustainability policy, and money in politics.  He is the Principal Investigator of the Study of Non-Voters in America, a study of why eligible Americans in swing states choose not to participate in high-profile elections.  The pilot project for this study was sponsored by The Carnegie Foundation and received generous support from the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.   Additionally,  Lodato is currently completing a study by the late Dr. William J. Grimshaw on the obstacles to political and socioeconomic mobility faced by African-Americans in Chicago in the 20th and early 21st centuries.

Possessing an extensive background in survey research, Dr. Lodato has conducted research projects for the NAACP, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  For ten years, he served as Project Director for the Washington State Achievers Longitudinal Survey and Tracking Study, a survey of low-income scholarship recipients and applicants, that examined their career and life outcomes.  He has served on the selection committee of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship at the University of Chicago, and worked closely with the University’s Office of Civic Engagement when serving as an aide to three Chicago aldermen.

Dr. Lodato received his Ph.D. and A.M. degrees in Political Science from the University of Chicago. He earned his B.A. at Manhattan College in Government and Peace Studies and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

Alison Anastasio

Assistant Instructional Professor


Trained in Evolutionary Genetics and Field Ecology, Dr. Anastasio's early contributions to science include a patent describing the identification and variants of the pharmaceutically relevant gene AGTR1, substantial collections and demographic information on Arabidopsis thaliana in Sweden, and publications on plant population genetics and local adaptation. More recently she is the long-time steward at Rainbow Beach Dunes, has organized conference sessions on the history of ecology, and botanizes regularly in the Calumet Region. Her current focus is on the characterization of plant populations in novel urban environments. At University of Chicago, Dr. Anastasio teaches courses from a biological perspective, including urban ecology, human health and the environment, history of ecology, and Environmental and Urban Studies core sequence.

Dr. Anastasio received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago and her B.A. in Biology from Carleton College.

Evan Carver

Assistant Instructional Professor

With a background in German, Dr. Carver started his career in publishing, working for publishing houses in New York City and Boulder. Working with authors on topics like environmental justice, segregation, and sustainability inspired him to pursue graduate school in planning. His academic interests focus on individual interactions with their environments and the concept of environmental stewardship, as well as film in the urban context. At the University of Chicago, he teaches courses that explore public space, environmental policy, and participation, as well as the fall 2019 course, Cities through Space and Time.

Dr. Carver received his Ph.D. in Urban Design and Planning at the University of Washington and his Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Colorado Denver. He graduated from Carleton College with a B.A. in German.

Damien Bright


Damien Bright is a PhD candidate in Sociocultural Anthropology. He studies the politics of environmental science and conservation in North-Eastern Australia. He has conducted ethnographic research on projects to design, engineer, and forecast “life support” systems for Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, tracing the connections between experimental approaches to environmental care and the social and scientific legacies of settler colonialism. His dissertation queries the new descriptions and uses of environment that arise under conditions of mass endangerment, and the resultant social economies of affect, knowledge, and action. His research interests include political ecology, environmental history, feminist science and technology studies, queer theory, and psychoanalysis. Damien teaches social sciences in the College, and has presented his research at scholarly gatherings in the United States, Europe, and Australia.

Amy Coombs

Preceptor (Major Requirements)

Amy Coombs is a PhD candidate in the Department of History. She holds an MS in Forestry and Natural Resources from Purdue.

Ilana Ventura


Ilana Ventura is a graduate student in Sociology. She is interested in immigrant and second-generation labor market integration and employment outcomes in the context of contemporary changes in occupational, fertility and demographic patterns. Her work takes into account spatial and temporal context, with special attention to differences between urban, suburban and rural settings.  Ilana is also a Methodologist at NORC, and works on issues of data quality methodology, and survey designs specific to Hispanic, bilingual and other hard-to-reach groups. She has presented work at the International Conference on Survey Methods in Multinational, Multiregional and Multicultural Contexts (3MC), American Association of Public Opinion Researchers (AAPOR), Midwest Association of Public Opinion Researchers (MAPOR) and the Women in Statistics and Data Science Conference. She holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Amherst College.