Dr. Miriam Gay-Antaki
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
Describe your research in about 200 words.
My work focuses on human-environment relations in the era of anthropogenic global climate change. I draw from the frameworks of political ecology and feminist geography to trace climate change policy development as a series of networked connections ranging from formal political spaces, such as the UN Conference of the Parties, to scientific spaces such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, to the towns and communities where climate policies are implemented. In the context of Mexico, and particularly in the state of Oaxaca, I use these frameworks to understand the ways in which societal structures shape the development and implementation of transnational climate change policies such as gendered climate interventions, and how people, mostly those who are excluded in the decision-making process, actively accept, reject or change climate policies to fit their needs. My work also investigates the participation, and sometimes the exclusion, of women scientists and stakeholders in international climate change research and policy arenas.
What’s the most interesting thing you have learned from a student?
Conversations that take shape in academic circles, and that many times remain in that sphere, are transformed in the classroom. Rather than talking at my students about things that I have learned along the way, in the classroom high-brow debates are transformed into collective discussions. Students adopt concepts that are valuable to them and question or discard those that are not. This pushes me to reevaluate what aspects of academic work are worth sharing and which are those that matter. Students have taught me the value of communicating my research clearly and the importance of articulating why my research matters in simple terms. Framing my research as such has really pushed me to think about the research that I do, and why I do it beyond the publish or perish mentality. This has inspired me to do more research, not for the sake of publishing but because it is important.