Deidre Zoll

Deidre Zoll

Course Instructor | Independent Study Mentor

Area of Interest

Environmental justice, environmental racism, climate risks, climate adaptation, social vulnerability


I’m a postdoctoral fellow in Integrated Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. I finished my Ph.D. in Community and Regional Planning at the University of Texas at Austin. My research investigates the connections between city-led climate adaptation planning and environmental racism in the United States. I use mixed methods including plan evaluation, spatial statistics, and case studies to identify the ways structural racism influences exposure to climate risks and proximity to adaptation interventions, and how urban planners and community activists navigate these dynamics.

Before landing in Texas, I studied Global Environmental Policy and International Development (MA, 2008) at American University and Environmental Policy and Planning (BA, 2003) at Alaska Pacific University.

Why students should study GIS

GIS helps us conduct applied research through analysis and visualization tools to answer questions related to the spatial distribution of things like flood risks, species distribution, gentrification, and socio-ecological inequalities. There is a consistent demand for employees to have GIS and spatial analysis skills across multiple sectors ranging from NGOs to government agencies, which can open up new career trajectories or opportunities.