Wells.jpgE. Christian Wells, Ph.D.

Department of Anthropology
University of South Florida
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Christian Wells — an SfAA Fellow and member since 2005 — is professor of anthropology, director of the Center for Brownfields Research & Redevelopment, and former chief sustainability officer at the University of South Florida. He is an applied environmental anthropologist with over 20 years of experience working to improve human and environmental health outcomes of redevelopment efforts in marginalized communities in the Southeastern U.S., Central America, and the Caribbean. With over $8 million in support from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other organizations, his research examines the role of equity and sustainability in community redevelopment efforts. He has authored or edited 10 books and journal issues, more than 100 articles and essays, and over 150 conference presentations. His research has been covered by various media outlets, including The New York Times and New Scientist. Dr. Wells is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is the recipient of the Sierra Club’s Black Bear Award in recognition of outstanding dedication to sustainability and the environment. He currently serves as President-elect of the Florida Brownfields Association, the state’s largest nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to brownfields redevelopment and improving public health through environmental justice.

Dr. Wells has a long history of service to the profession (most notably the AAA and SAA) and to his community, and currently leads the EPA-funded Center for Brownfields Research and Redevelopment (http://usf.edu/brownfields) at the University of South Florida. The Center was established in 1998 by an act of the Florida Legislature and has as its principle mission to leverage interdisciplinary scientific expertise at USF to inform community-based and participatory research on environmental toxicants, land use legacies, community health, environmental justice, and sustainable and equitable development throughout the state of Florida. The three main goals of the Center are: 1) Engagement…with community partners to identify problems and context-sensitive solutions; 2) Convergence…of multiple perspectives, voices, and approaches for holistic and outcome-driven scientific research; and 3) Translation…of scientific findings for community impact. The Center developed and maintains the Florida Brownfields Redevelopment Atlas, a GIS-based online decision support tool for evaluating social, economic, and environmental data regarding brownfields redevelopment. The Center specializes in providing technical assistance to environmental justice communities and works with brownfields industry partners on environmental data collection and statistical analysis as well as community outreach and education regarding redevelopment resources and opportunities.

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