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Erika S. Weinthal

John O. Blackburn Distinguished Professor
Environmental Sciences and Policy
Box 90328, Durham, NC 27708-0328
9 Circuit Drive, Environment Hall 4119, Durham, NC 27708

Outreach & Engaged Scholarship


Bass Connections Team Leader - Story+ · 2022 - 2023 Projects & Field Work
Bass Connections Team Leader - Collecting Oral Histories of Environmental Racism and Injustice · 2022 - 2023 Projects & Field Work
Bass Connections Team Leader - Mapping WASH and COVID-19 in the Middle East and North Africa · 2020 - 2021 Projects & Field Work Global Health
Bass Connections Faculty Team Leader - ACRE-Duke Partnership to Improve Sanitation Access in Lowndes County, Alabama · 2018 - 2019 Projects & Field Work flag Alabama

Primary Theme: Energy & Environment

Over the past several years, stories of failing and inadequate water infrastructure in urban areas of the United States—most notably, the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan—have caught the attention of the media and the public. While attention has increasingly focused on the problem of dilapidated water and sanitation infrastructure in urban America, less attention has been paid to the ways in which the absence or poor quality of existing infrastructure can undermine health and economic opportunities in rural America. Lowndes County is illustrative of a host of social and environmental inequalities facing rural communities of color in the American South, including endemic poverty, lack of economic opportunity, hazardous health conditions and inadequate infrastructure. Only two municipalities in the county maintain centralized wastewater treatment plants, while the remaining rural population is served by on-site septic systems or lack adequate sanitation. Poor sanitation poses serious health risks. The Baylor College of Medicine found evidence of five tropical diseases, including hookworm (previously thought to be eradicated in the U.S.), in fecal samples from residents. Since 2014, Duke’s Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute and the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise (ACRE) have partnered to address the inadequacy of wastewater treatment infrastructure, which is an economic, racial and environmental injustice entrenched in many communities in rural, black America.

Bass Connections Faculty Team Member - Exploration and Design of Student-led International Rural Electricity Access Projects · August 2015 - May 2016 Projects & Field Work flag United States of America
Bass Connections Team Leader - Story+ · 2022 - 2023 Projects & Field Work
Bass Connections Team Leader - Collecting Oral Histories of Environmental Racism and Injustice · 2022 - 2023 Projects & Field Work
Bass Connections Team Leader - Mapping WASH and COVID-19 in the Middle East and North Africa · 2020 - 2021 Projects & Field Work Global Health
Bass Connections Faculty Team Leader - ACRE-Duke Partnership to Improve Sanitation Access in Lowndes County, Alabama · 2018 - 2019 Projects & Field Work flag Alabama

Primary Theme: Energy & Environment

Over the past several years, stories of failing and inadequate water infrastructure in urban areas of the United States—most notably, the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan—have caught the attention of the media and the public. While attention has increasingly focused on the problem of dilapidated water and sanitation infrastructure in urban America, less attention has been paid to the ways in which the absence or poor quality of existing infrastructure can undermine health and economic opportunities in rural America. Lowndes County is illustrative of a host of social and environmental inequalities facing rural communities of color in the American South, including endemic poverty, lack of economic opportunity, hazardous health conditions and inadequate infrastructure. Only two municipalities in the county maintain centralized wastewater treatment plants, while the remaining rural population is served by on-site septic systems or lack adequate sanitation. Poor sanitation poses serious health risks. The Baylor College of Medicine found evidence of five tropical diseases, including hookworm (previously thought to be eradicated in the U.S.), in fecal samples from residents. Since 2014, Duke’s Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute and the Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise (ACRE) have partnered to address the inadequacy of wastewater treatment infrastructure, which is an economic, racial and environmental injustice entrenched in many communities in rural, black America.

Bass Connections Faculty Team Member - Exploration and Design of Student-led International Rural Electricity Access Projects · August 2015 - May 2016 Projects & Field Work flag United States of America
Bass Connections Faculty Team Member - The Effects of Unconventional Shale Gas Development on Rural Communities · August 2015 - May 2016 Projects & Field Work flag United States of America
Bass Connections Faculty Team Member - Exploring the Intersection of Energy and Peace-building through Film · June 2014 - May 2015 Projects & Field Work flag United States of America
Bass Connections Faculty Team Member - Exploring the Intersection of Energy and Peace-building through Film · August 2013 - May 2014 Projects & Field Work flag United States of America