Michael Anthony Mendez

James and Mary Pinchot Faculty Fellow; Associate Research Scientist

Photo of Michael Anthony Mendez

Tel: 203-436-5362

Faculty Support

Eleanor Migliore
203 432-5732


UC Berkeley

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

For more information visit: www.michaelanthonymendez.com

Dr. Michael Mendez serves as the inaugural James and Mary Pinchot Faculty Fellow in Sustainability Studies at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Michael has more than a decade of senior-level experience in the public and private sectors, where he consulted and actively engaged in the policymaking process. This included working for the California State Legislature as a senior consultant, lobbyist, gubernatorial appointee, and as vice chair of the Sacramento City Planning Commission.

During his time at Yale, he has contributed to state and national research policy initiatives, including serving as an advisor to a California Air Resources Board member, and as a participant of the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s workgroup on “Climate Vulnerability and Social Science Perspectives.” Most recently, Michael was appointed by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to the Board on Environmental Change and Society (BECS). He also serves as a panel reviewer for the National Academies of Sciences’ Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP).

Michael holds three degrees in environmental planning and policy, including a PhD from UC Berkeley's Department of City and Regional Planning, and a graduate degree from MIT. His research on the intersection of climate change and communities of color has been featured in national publications including Urban Land (published by the Urban Land Institute), the Natural Resources Defense Fund Annual Report, the American Planning Association’s Planning Magazine, Green 2.0: Leadership at Work, USA Today, and Fox Latino News.

Dr. Mendez’s forthcoming book “Climate Change from the Streets,” will be published by Yale University Press (Accepted, Fall 2019). In the book, he uses a combination of theoretical and policy-relevant research to analyze the narratives of climate change as articulated by social movements, experts, and subnational governments. Particular focus is placed on the story of how environmental justice groups in California are enacting multiscalar climate solutions, not only to tackle a global phenomenon, but also to address the needs of local communities already facing air pollution’s adverse impacts. Their example illustrates the potential for new directions in climate change policy worldwide.

From the streets of Oakland to the legislative halls of the state capitol, and beyond the tropical forests of Mexico and Brazil, in the book, Michael traces environmental justice groups as they travel between geographies and policy scales to contest or legitimize climate policies. The movement of environmental justice actors across space and time demonstrates how these community-based groups are influencing climate change policy formation and implementation within and between nation-states. Through this multiscalar analysis, he argues that the integration of alternative types of knowledges and practice can inform better climate policy solutions.



For more information, visit: wwww.michaelanthonymendez.com



Course Fall 2018 Spring 2019 Fall Spring
Environmental Justice, Nature, and Reflective Practice Seminar
W - 1:00-3:50