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Rachael Budowle

Rachael Budowle, Collegiate Assistant Professor

As a cultural anthropologist, Rachael Budowle’s research program sits at the intersection of environment and society. She focuses on a range of social-ecological community resilience, sustainability, and justice and equity issues including: (1) food systems, security, justice, and sovereignty; (2) local sustainability transformations and community-based climate action; and (3) community engagement around emerging and potential energy sources and siting. Rachael is particularly interested in community-based participatory, ethnographic, and narrative approaches, primarily through transdisciplinary and collaborative projects that often engage student co-researchers. She is lead principal investigator for a three-year Department of Energy-funded project, Engaging Wyoming Communities in an Environmental Justice Approach for Advanced Nuclear Energy Facility Siting.

Rachael earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Wyoming, M.S. in Animals & Public Policy from Tufts University, and B.S. in Psychology from Virginia Tech—where she completed the then Honors Program. She has extensive experience teaching interdisciplinary environmental studies, sustainability, and community-engaged and place- and project-based courses. Her years of practitioner experience, including as a sustainability coordinator at Virginia Tech and MIT, enrich her teaching and scholarship.