Reading Lists

Do you want to expand your knowledge and awareness of how folks from a variety of backgrounds experience the world? Are you interested in learning more about the intersections between DEI and the environment? Need some resources on the links between racism and DEI? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Please check out our reading lists below.

Topics include: Anti-Racism (with sub-sections on Colorism, Intersectionality, Privilege, and Redlining), Confronting Bias, Decolonizing the Curriculum with a section on Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, Disability, Environmental Justice with sections on Climate Justice & Local Environmental Justice Resources, Environmental Readings by African American, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and Native American authors, Forestry (including a section on Works by Women in the Early U.S. Forest Service), Indigenous Worldview, Marine Conservation Equity & Inclusion, Mental Health (including sections on Burnout, Mindfulness, and Race and Mental Health), Microaggressions, Race and Environment, and Regenerative Agriculture across the global (think: international perspectives).

Are you a PhD student looking for some inspiration? Check out NSOE alum Edgar Virguez’s How I balanced my Ph.D. research with opening doors for others.






Climate Change

See Religion and Climate and Climate Justice sections.

Confronting Bias

To confront your own background and biases,  it is highly recommended that you read and reflect prior to, while, and after decolonizing your curriculum. This could mean reviewing some of the myriad book on bias and becoming anti-racist: e.g., Blind Spot (Banaji), White Fragility (DiAngelo), How to Become an Anti-Racist (Kendi), Me and White Supremacy (Saad), and Mindful of Race (King). Check out these reading lists if you’re interested in more resources:

This might also mean participating in caucus groups, joining a reading group, taking workshops addressing various aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion, taking implicit bias quizzes (e.g., Harvard University’s Project Implicit), and journaling. Those that are quite serious about this journey might consider finding a coach to work through the Intercultural Development Inventory.

Decolonizing the Curriculum (also Culturally Inclusive & Culturally Relevant Education)

If you’ve never engaged with this literature, you’re invited to visit the Decolonizing the Curriculum Duke University Library Guide, curated by Janil Miller. For another perspective on the language of “decolonization” consider reading Frames by Bri Alexander. If you’re particularly interested in dismantling racism in the classroom, you might read this NPR Article with resources. Also,  considering reading the following:

  • Morreira and Luckett (2018)’s article on Questions Academics Can Ask to Decolonise Their Classrooms
  • Race, Whiteness, and Education by Zeus Leonardo
  • Feeling White: Whiteness, emotionality, and education by Cheryl Mattias
  • Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire (N.B. This book isn’t a teaching technique book, but is considered foundational literature in understanding the roles of colonization and oppression in education, see Annotated Biography below).
  • Tuck, E. and K. W. Yang. 2012. Decolonization is not a metaphor. Decolonization Indigeneity, Education & Society 1(1): 1-40
  • Paris. D. 2012. Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy: A Needed Change in Stance, Terminology, and Practice. Educational Researcher 41(3): 93-97
  • The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein (2007) (An example of the use of science and academia to legitimize horrendous violence around the world, particularly in Latin America. Extremely heavy trigger warning for violence, torture). 

Other disciplinary specific books to read include (Liboiron 2019):

  • Chandra Prescod-Weinstein’s Decolonising Science Reading List
  • An entire reading list devoted to Decolonizing Conservation
  • A reading list dedicated to Decolonizing Primatology, but with links to great reading and TEDx videos on the subject of decolonization.
  • Cannon, Sara E. (2019). Decolonizing Conservation: A Reading List. Zenodo.
  • Colonial Botany by Schiebinger and Swan
  • Indigenous Statistics by Walter and Anderson
  • Green Imperialism by Grove
  • Ecology and Empire by Griffith and Robin
  • Science and an African Logic by Verran
  • The Rise of the American Conservation Movement: Power, privilege, and environmental protection by Dorceta Taylor
  • Sciences from Below: Feminisms, Postcolonialities, and Modernities by Sandra Hardings
  • The Land Was Ours by Andrew Kahrl (discussing how capitalism and law has shaped the dispossession of Black coastal lands).
  • After Nature by Jedediah Purdy
  • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz
  • A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None by Yussuf (geology/earth science) (summary of one chapter available in annotated bibliography below).

Culturally Relevant Pedagogy. Numerous books that deal with culturally-responsive teaching and culturally-relevant pedagogy in some form have been written, some recommendations include:

  • Teaching Across Cultural Strengths by Alicia Fedelina Chavez and Susan Diana Longerbeam – this is aimed at college-level teaching and is really fantastic.
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain by Zaretta Hammond, clear explanations of neuroscience and appropriate teaching methods, really well done.
  • For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood: Reality Pedagogy and Urban Education by Christopher Emdin (includes fantastic examples of cooperative classroom structures)
  • Teaching Through Challenges fue Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) by Burrell Storms, Donovan, and Williams
  • The Integrative Mind by Tobin Hart
  • Diversity and Equity in Science Education by Okhee Lee and Cory A. Buxton (check out p24-8, Is Science Independent of Culture?)
  • Cultural Competence: A Primer for Educators by Jerry Diller and Jean Moule
  • Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice by Adams, Bell, Goodman, and Joshi (eds)

Other quick guides online to culturally-inclusive pedagogical practices include:

Useful journal articles include:Dewsbury (2019)’s Deep teaching in a college STEM classroom. Dewsbury (2019) builds on Freirian principles and the work of Gay (2010) and Aronson and Laughter (2016) to offer a teaching model based on (1) self awareness of the educator, (2) empathy for students, (3) active learning pedagogy melded strongly with liberation pedagogy (i.e., instructor-student dialogues, student agency) and centering marginalized voices (4) developing a trusting classroom climate, and (5) leveraging networks to create a broader sense of community around STEM.


Environmental Justice

Climate Justice

Community-based Environmental Management and Civic Science

Environmental Justice – General

Local Environmental Justice Resources

Environmental Readings

Written by African Americans

  • The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors by James Edward Mills
  • Carolyn Finney’s Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors (2014)
  • Black Nature: Four centuries of African American Nature Poetry edited by Camille Dungy
  • Black on Earth: African American Ecoliterary Traditions by Kimberly A. Ruffin
  • Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World edited by Alison H. Deming and Lauret E. Savoy
  • The Home Place by Drew Lanham
  • The Rise of the American Conservation Movement by Dorceta Taylor
  • Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape (2015) by Lauret Savoy

Written by Asian American & Pacific Islanders

  • Sonia Shah is an award-winning Indian American journalist and the author of Crude: The Story of Oil (2004), Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind for 500,000 Years (2011).
  • Arthur Sze is a second-generation Chinese American poet who address scientific, natural, and environmental phenomena and issues in Ginkgo Light (2009), which views the nuclear collapse at Hiroshima through the perspective of a ginkgo and Sight Lines (2019), which addresses the Anthropocene through the voices of various characters, both human and non-human.
  • Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing is a Chinese American anthropologist whose ethnographic books include the Realm of the Diamond Queen: Marginality in an Out-of-the-Way Place (1993), which emphasizes a marginalized community that lives in the South Kalimantan rainforest in Indonesia, and Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection (2004), which focuses on communities, labor, and global natural resource markets, and The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins (2015).
  • Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio is a kānaka maoli (Native Hawaiian) who addresses identity and cultural resilience and has written Remembering Our Intimacies: Mo’olelo, Aloha, ʻĀina, and Ea (2021).
  • Craig Santos Perez is an Indigenous Chamoru (Chamarro) environmentalist poet from Guam. Check out Habitat Threshold (2020)

Written by Native Americans

  • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
  • Nick Este’s Our History is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance, Verso, 2018.
  • Natalie Díaz’s Postcolonial Love Poem is an award winning poetry collection that addresses idea of erasure of BIPOC people with attention to relationships to the land.

If you have a particular interest in indigenous ways of knowing and indigenous science, consider reading these books (adapted from Snively and Williams 2016):

  • Snively, G. and W. L. William’s (2016) Knowing Home: Braiding Indigenous Science with Western Science. Victoria, B. C. Canada: University of Victoria.
  • Aikenhead, G., & Michell, H. (2011). Bridging cultures: Indigenous and scientific ways of knowing nature. Toronto, ON: Pearson Canada.
  • Berkes, F. (2017). Sacred Ecology, 4th Ed. Abingdon, UK: Routledge Press.
  • Cajete, G. (1994). Look to the Mountain: An ecology of Indigenous education. Skyland, NC: Kivaki Press.
  • Cajete, G. A. (1999). Igniting the sparkle: An Indigenous science education model. Skyand, NC: Kivaki Press.
  • Cajete, G. (2000). Native science: Natural laws of interdependence. Santa Fe, NM: Clear Light Publishers.
  • Inglis, J. Ed. (1993). Traditional ecological knowledge: Concepts and cases. Ottawa, ON: International Development Research Centre (IRDC) Books.
  • Menzies, C. R. (2006). Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Natural Resource Management. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
  • Nelson, M. K. and D. Shilling. (2018). Traditional Ecological Knowledge: Learning from Indigenous Practices for Environmental Sustainability. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Context and connectivity are key elements of the practice indigenous science. These practices recognize human embeddedness in the natural world, which often is a stark contrast to the stance of objectivity that Western Science upholds. For a perspective on why context, particularly history, should be paired with Western Science, check out Saini’s (2020) Want to do better science? Admit you’re not objective (pers.comm, 25 Feb 2021, Dr. Elaine Gomez-Guevara).

Want to see an example of a research paper that showcases both Traditional and Western Ecological Science? Check out Bonta et al.’s (2017) Intentional Fire-Spreading by “Firehawk” Raptors in Northern Australia. Interested in learning about Indigenous systems of ecological care? Check out the work of Dr. Yuria Celidwen’s work on ecological ethics


UPCOMING: Women in Forestry Congress!

Works by Women in the Early U.S. Forest Service (in order of publication date; n.b. as historian Rachel Kline notes (FHS Presentation, May 25, 2022) “the early Forest Service is primarily a white story”)

  • Edith Mosher’s (1909) Fruit and Nut-Bearing Trees, Our Oaks and Maples, and Our Cone-Bearing Trees
  • Lydia Marie Hensley’s (1933) Our Forests: What They Are and What They Mean to Us

Indigenous Worldview (see also Environmental Readings – Written by Native Americans above)

Marine Conservation Equity & Inclusion*

* Many of these marine resources have been gleaned from this highly recommended resource: Cannon, Sara E. (2019). Decolonizing Conservation: A Reading List. Zenodo.

Nature & Nature Study

Early U.S. Women & Nature Study

  • Susan Fenimore Cooper: Rural Hours (1850), Country Rambles: Journal of a Naturalist (1853)
  • Olive Thorne Miller (pen name of Harriet Mann Miller): Birds’ Ways (1885), In Nesting Time (1888)
  • Celia Thaxter: Among the Isles of Shoals, (1878)
  • Sarah Orne Jewett: The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896)
  • Anna Botsford Comstock: The Handbook of Nature Study (1911)
  • Gene Stratton Porter: What I Have Done With Birds (1907), Moths of the Limberlost (1912)
  • Mary Hunter Austin: The Land of Little Rain (1903)
  • Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry
  • Black on Earth: African American Ecoliterary Traditions

Mental Health

General Mental Health



  • Meditation: Flow of Gratitude in Nature:

Race and Mental Health


Did you know? In 2021 the Duke University Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Climate Survey revealed that more than half of Black, Hispanic, Asian, female and LGBTQ+ members of our Duke community experienced microaggressions in the past year.

*Many thanks to Jay Spenser Darden for providing a number of these resources.

Race and Environment

Please check out the environmental readings list above that includes sub-lists of writings by environmental authors from a variety of backgrounds. For additional readings that will help stimulate your own reflection, could possibly be used in class, and can help contextual the need for this work, check out this reading list from a recent ASLE post on teaching about race and nature (that also includes a look at a class assignment):

  • Purdy, Jedediah, “Environmentalism’s Racist History,” The New Yorker 15 August 2015
  • Brave-Noisecat, Julian, “The Environmental Movement Needs to Reckon with its Racist History,” Vice
  • Cronon, William, “The Trouble with the Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature,” Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, edited by William Cronon, W.W. Norton & Co., 1995, 69-90.
  • Selections from Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne, An Indigenous People’s History of the United States. Beacon Press, 2015.
  • Selections from Estes, Nick. Our History is the Future: Standing Rock Versus the Dakota Access Pipeline, and the Long Tradition of Indigenous Resistance, Verso, 2018.
  • Selections from Finney, Carolyn, Black Faces, White Spaces: Reimagining the Relationship of African Americans to the Great Outdoors. U of North Carolina P, 2014.
  • Selections from Spence, Mark, Dispossessing the Environment: Indian Removal and the Making of the National Parks, Oxford UP, 2000.
  • Whyte, Kyle, “Our Ancestor’s Dystopian Now” and “Indigenous (Science) Fiction”
  • Tuck, Eve and K. Wayne Yang, “Decolonization is Not a Metaphor.” Decolonization, Indigeneity, Education & Society 1, 1, 2012, 1-40.
  • Selections from Yusoff, Katherine. A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None, U of Minnesota P, 2019.

Regenerative Agriculture: An International Perspective

  • Nicole Masters explores soil-based approaches to regenerated landscapes in Australia and North America in For the Love of Soil.
  • David Montgomery writes about soil use and abuse across cultures, ancient and modern, in Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations and about restorative agricultural practices across the globe in Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life.
  • Alan Savory writes about regenerative agriculture in his homeland, Zimbabwe, in Holistic Management: A Commonsense Revolution to Restore Our Environment.

Religion and the Environment

Religion & Climate Change

  • Beyond Belief: Opportunities for Faith-Engaged Approaches to Climate-Change Adaptation in the Pacific Islands (2021) edited by Johanees M. Luetz and Patrick D. Nunn
  • A Buddhist Response to The Climate Emergency (2009) edited by John Stanley, David R. Loy, and Gyurme Dorje
  • Caring for Creation: Inspiring Words from Pope Francis (2016) edited by Alice Stamwitz
  • Christianity in a Time of Climate Change: To Give a Future with Hope (2020) by Kristen Poole
  • Climate Change and the Art of Devotion: Geoaesthetics in the Land of Krishna, 1550-1850 (2019) by Sugata Ray
  • Climate Change – Cultural Change: Religious Responses and Responsibilities (2013) edited by Anne F. Elvey and David Gormley-O’Brien
  • Climate Change, Religion, and Our Bodily Future (2021) by Todd Levasseur
  • Communication Strategies for Engaging Climate Skeptics: Religion and the Environment (2019) by Emma Frances Bloomfield
  • Ecology, Ethics, and Interdependence: The Dalai Lama in Conversation with Leading Thinkers on Climate Change (2018) edited by John D. Dunne and Daniel Goleman
  • How the World’s Religions are Responding to Climate Change: Social Scientific Investigations (2013) edited by Robin Globus Veldman, Andrew Szasz, and Randolph Haluza-DeLay
  • Our Only Home: A Climate Appeal to the World (2020) by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Franz Alt
  • Religion in Environmental and Climate Change: Suffering, Values, Lifestyles (2012) edited by Dieter Gerten and Sigurd Bergmann
  • The Spirit of Hope: Theology for a World in Peril (2019) by Jurgen Moltman
  • Sacred Acts: How Churches are Working to Protect Earth’s Climate (2012) by Mallory McDuff
  • Spiritual Life on a Burning Planet: A Christian Response to Climate Change (2020) by David T. Bradford
  • Theology and Climate Change (2021) by Paul Tyson
  • T&T Clark Handbook of Christian Theology and Climate Change (2019) edited by Hilda P. Koster and Ernst M. Conradie
  • Understanding Climate Change through Religious Lifeworlds (2021) edited by David L. Haberman
  • Weather, Religion, and Climate Change (2020) by Sigurd Bergmann

Religion & Ecology