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Jennifer L. Rice

Professor of Geography
Graduate Coordinator
Affiliate Faculty: UGA Institute for Women's Studies & Center for Integrative Conservation Research

Contact info

Geography-Geology Building, Room 135
Research Interests:

social justice, scholar-activism, feminist and anti-racist praxis and pedagogy, urban political ecology, climate and carbon governance

Urban Climate Justice: Theory, Praxis, Resistance  Edited by Jennifer L. Rice, Joshua Long, and Anthony Levenda. UGA Press.    Available May 1, 2023.   ORDER here.

Urban Climate Justice book cover

I am an urban geographer interested in concrete strategies for social and environmental justice. My longest project has focused on urban climate justice and resisting climate apartheid. More recently, my work has expanded to include housing justice in the "tech city" and racial justice in the wake of settler-colonial urbanization and higher education. I focus on North American cities and utilize community engaged research methods when possible. 

UGA is located on the Indigenous territories of Muscogee-Creek, Cherokee, and Chickasaw Peoples upon which I teach, work and live; further I acknowledge the enslaved peoples, primarily of African descent, whose labor built much of the University of Georgia. Land Back. Reparations. 

  • Ph.D. (2009), Geography (minor Global Change), University of Arizona
  • Master of Arts (2005), Geography, The Ohio State University
  • Bachelor of Science (2003), Geography (concentration Resource and Environmental Studies), Texas State University-San Marcos

Rice, J.L. (2020). A People’s Climate Action Plan: Creating the Just City in the Era of Climate Change. Cultural and Political Ecology (CAPE) Scholar-Activists Award, American Association of Geographers. 

Rice, J.L. (2020). Examining the Tech City in the Era of Climate Change. American Association of Geographers Research Grant.

Lee, C.K and Rice, J.L. (one of 23 co-PIs). (2019). Documenting the History of Slavery at the University of Georgia, 1785-1865. University of Georgia.

Rice, J.L., Long, J., Cohen, D.A., Jurjevich. (2017). Carbon Gentrification in the Climate Friendly City: A New Paradigm for Housing Justice Research. Housing and Demographic Research Center (UGA) Faculty Housing Research Award. 

Capps, K., McKay, K., and Rice, J.L. (Co-PIs). (2016). Building a Community of Investigators: Identification of Collaborators and Stakeholders in the Restoration and Management of the Proctor Creek Watershed, Atlanta, GA. University of Georgia, Center for Integrative Conservation Research, Faculty Research Development Grant. 

One of numerous Co-PIs, L-PI T. Gragson. (2014-2016). Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER): The Interacting Effects of Hydroclimate Variability and Human Landscape Modification in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. National Science Foundation’s DEB Division of Environmental Biology and BIO Directorate for Biological Sciences. 

N. Heynen and J.L. Rice (Co-PIs) (2012). Developing Ethnographic Methodologies for Long-Term Socio-Ecological Science: Preliminary Approaches from the Coweeta Listening Project (Supplement to the Coweeta LTER) National Science Foundation, SBE, Cultural Anthropology Program. 

J.L. Rice (PI), D. Ferguson, C. Woodhouse (Co-PIs) (2009-2012). Knowledge to Action: An Assessment of the Transfer of Climate Science to Decision Making. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Sectoral Applications Research Program. 

Robbins, P. (PI) J.L. Rice (Co-PI). (2008). From Nations to Networks: Global Climate Change and Local Climate Governance in the United States. National Science Foundation (NSF) Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant. 

Selected Publications:

The following are my primary areas of research and associated publications.

Urban climate and carbon governance, with an emphasis on the challenges and opportunities for climate justice:

Municipal governments across the US have been designing and implementing their own greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation and adaptation programs during the past few decades. These new forms of climate policy are firmly embedded within urban governance, the behaviors of city residents, and community-based activism, signaling a dramatic shift away from the top- down approach to climate regulation once thought to be the only avenue to global climate governance. This arrangement of political authority has allowed cities to achieve some successes in mitigation and adaptation efforts, but policy-makers and activists also face significant governance challenges. For example, recent efforts at climate mitigation and adaptation are causing new forms of ecological gentrification, something I call carbon gentrification. These shifts occur within the wider context of neoliberalism, settler colonialism, and racial capitalism. In a more global sense, I see these urban climate governance challenges as part of an emerging system of climate apartheid


Rice, J.L., Long, J. Levenda, A. Against Climate Apartheid: Confronting the persistent legacies of apartheid for climate justice. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space

Long, J. and Rice, J.L., Climate urbanism: Crisis, capitalism, and intervention. Urban Geography. 46(2): 721-727.

Long, J., Rice, J. L., & Levenda, A. (2020). Climate urbanism and the implications for climate apartheid. In Climate Urbanism: Towards a Critical Research Agenda. Palgrave Macmillan.

Rice, J.L., Cohen, D.A., Long, J., Jurjevich, J.R. Contradictions of the Climate Friendly City: New Perspectives on Eco- Gentrification and Housing Justice.  International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 44(1), pp.145-165.

Long, J. and Rice, J.L. (2020). From Sustainable Urbanism to Climate Urbanism. Urban Studies. 42(6): 721-727.

Rice, J.L. (2018). "Climate Science and the City: Consensus, Calculation and security in Seattle, Washington." Handbook on Spaces of Urban Politics. Eds. K. Ward, A. E. G. Jonas, B. Miller, D. Wilson. Routledge

Rice, J.L. (2016). “The Everyday Choices We Make Matter:” Urban Carbon Politics and the Post-Politics of Responsibility and Action. Eds., Bulkeley, H, Patterson, M., Stripple, J. The Cultural Politics of Climate Change: Devices, Desires, and Dissent. Cambridge University Press. 

Bee, B.A., Rice, J.L., Trauger, A. (2015). A feminist approach to climate change governance: Everyday and intimate politics. Geography Compass. 9(6): 339-350.

Rice, J.L. (2014). An Urban Political Ecology of Climate Change Governance. Geography Compass. 8(6): 381-394.

Rice, J.L. (2014). Public Targets, Private Choices: Urban Climate Governance in the Pacific Northwest. Professional Geographer. 66(2): 333-344.

Rice, J.L. (2010). Climate, Carbon Territory: Greenhouse Gas Mitigation in Seattle, Washington. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 110(4): 929-937.

Feminist and Anti-Racist Praxis and Pedagogy: 

Member: History of Slavery at the University of Georgia working group.

Co-Convener: Athena Co-Learning Collective (with Amy Trauger). 


Athena Co-Learning Collective. Rehumanizing the Graduate Seminar by Embracing Ambiguity. Gender, Place, and Culture.

Rice, J.L. Against “Seattle-ization:” Housing Justice and Activism in the Age of Amazon. (2021) In: Urban Cascadia and the Pursuit of Environmental Justice. Janos, N. and McKendry, C., Eds. University of Washington Press. 

Athena Co-Learning Collective. (2020). Toward Emergent Scholarship: Aligning Classroom Praxis with Liberatory Aims. Antipode Interventions.

Goldfisher, E., Rice, J.L., Black, S. (2020) Obstinate Curiosity for Urban Political Ecology. Geography Compass, 14(2), pp 1-11.

Athena Co-Learning Collective. (2018). A Femifesto for Teaching and Learning Radical Geography. Antipode Interventions


Past Research Areas

Integrative Studies of Socio-Environmental Issues, with an emphasis on climate science and policy:

Because the complexity of socio-environmental issues is beyond the capacity of any one discipline (or epistemology) to fully comprehend, integrative research is needed to help researchers and practitioners understand and address contemporary socio-environmental challenges. An integrative approach requires, therefore, that individuals respect and engage epistemological difference as a way of deepening our understanding by highlighting multiple dimensions of socio-ecological problems, rather than seeking modes of convergence and synthesis. With this in mind, my research explicitly examines the politics of knowledge involved in how environmental problems are defined, and what solutions are seen as viable and appropriate. This includes understanding science and policy not as separate spheres of knowledge and practice, but as co-produced as researchers and decision-makers work to collectively define environmental problems and the information necessary to address them. It also requires careful examination of the social justice issues associated with technocratic and engineering-based solutions for environmental problems, like climate change, which often focus on efficiency and feasibility over more structural changes to a carbon-intensive economy. My research demonstrates decision-making communities in climate policy are often limited to a small number of government workers and scientific experts, showing that much work remains to make these processes more inclusive and democratic than they currently tend to be.


Burke, B.J., M. Welch-Devine, S. Gustafson, N. Heynen, J.L. Rice, T. Gragson, S. Evans, D. Nelson. (2016). Can Science Writing Collectives Overcome Barriers to More Democratic Communication and Collaboration? Lessons from Environmental Communication Praxis in Southern Appalachia. Environmental Communication.10(2): 169-186

Hirsch, P.D., J.P. Brosius, S. O’Connor, A. Zia, M. Welch-Devine, J.L. Dammert, A. Songorwa, T.C. Trung, J.L. Rice, Z.R. Anderson, S. Hitchner, J. Schelhas, T.O. McShane. (2013). Navigating Complex Trade-offs in Conservation and Development: An Integrative Framework. Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies 31: 99–122.

Rice, Jennifer L., Connie A. Woodhouse, and Jeffrey J. Lukas. (2009). Science and Decision-Making: Water Management and Tree-Ring Data in the Western United States. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 45(5): 1248-1259.


Environmental governance in southern Appalachia, with an emphasis on the politics of climate change and fracking:

I engage in long-term place-based research through my participation in the Coweeta Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site and the Coweeta Listening Project (CLP). Working with a team of social scientists who are closely connected with ecological researchers, I examine the relationship between environmental governance, climate change, and exurban development in southern Appalachia, with a specific focus on the democratization of knowledge surrounding climate change in the region. We have developed a suite of new methods for facilitating this long-term participatory action research with local residents, regional decision-makers, and LTER scientists. More recently, I have also been working with activist groups concerned about the possibility of fracking in North Carolina. I incorporate public engagement in this research through my involvement in the CLP, where, among other things, we write a bi-weekly column called “Science, Community, and Public Policy” in a local newspaper, The Franklin Press. Together, this model of long-term, participatory, and publicly engaged research is working to better understand the ways in which the production, circulation, and utilization of ecological knowledge affects issues of socio-ecological vulnerability and socio-ecological justice.


Rice, J.L. and Burke, B.J. (2018) Building More Inclusive Solidarities for Socio‐Environmental Change: Lessons in Resistance from Southern Appalachia. Antipode, 50(1): pp.212-232.

Rice, J.L. and  B.J. Burke, N. Heynen. (2015). Knowing Climate Change, Embodying Climate Praxis: Experiential Knowledge in Southern Appalachia. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 105(2): 253-262 (Special issue “Futures: Imagining Socio-Ecological Transformation” edited by Bruce Braun).

Gustafson, S., N. Heynen, J.L. Rice, T. Gragson, J.M. Shepherd, C. Strother. (2014). Megapolitan political ecology and urban metabolism in southern Appalachia. Professional Geographer. 66 (4), 664-675.

Research Areas:
Articles Featuring Jennifer L. Rice

On Monday, October 3rd, a temporary "living" mosaic was created at Memorial Hall Plaza to honor the former Linnentown neighborhood. UGA Geography professor Dr. Jennifer Rice collaborated with students in Dr. Lynn-Sanders Bustle's First Year Odyssey (FYO) Art…

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