Sara Jo Breslow

Social Science and Incubators Lead at EarthLab, University of Washington
Photo of Sara Breslow, credit Justine Webster

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PhD Anthropology, University of Washington, 2011
BA Biology, Swarthmore

I’m an environmental anthropologist broadly interested in the interdependencies of sustainability and social justice. As the Social Science and Incubators Lead at EarthLab at the University of Washington, I convene people from broadly diverse disciplinary and professional backgrounds to spark innovative and collaborative approaches to environmental challenges. I promote and experiment with transdisciplinary, participatory, and arts-based practices, and lead an internship program for students seeking mentorship in these approaches. In my research, I use ethnographic and mixed methods to study senses of place, environmental conflict, and human well-being, with a focus on the Salish Sea region. I translate such social science insights into tools for decision-making at local to international contexts. Previously, I served as the George S. Mickelson Fellow with the Office of Governor Gregoire and the Western Governors’ Association on their Get out West! initiative to promote outdoor recreation, conservation, and health, and subsequently led the Social Well-being Indicators for Marine Management (SWIMM) project as a National Academy of Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center. In addition to my job at EarthLab, I serve on the Social Science Advisory Committee for the Puget Sound Partnership, as an author and advisor to the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and as a subject matter expert on several multidisciplinary working groups in Alaska, British Columbia, and California. I hold a PhD in anthropology from the University of Washington, and a BA in biology from Swarthmore College.


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