SESYNC Welcomes Dr. Mary Collins

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Jun 12, 2013

Mary CollinsThe National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) is pleased to welcome our newest Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Mary B. Collins. At SESYNC, Mary’s research will focus on the mechanisms by which sociopolitical power disparities influence the creation of ecological harm and environmental injustice, and their relationship to socio-ecological vulnerability. She will examine the magnitude and distribution of water pollution from individual producers in the pulp and paper industry in watersheds across the United States, positing that there are important interrelationships between industrial pollution load intensity, ecosystem integrity, institutional performance, and the social vulnerability of receptor populations.

Click here to read more about Mary’s postdoctoral project.

Mary comes to SESYNC from the University of California Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (co-funded by the National Science Foundation [NSF] and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA]) and the NSF Center for Nanotechnology in Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she was a Postdoctoral Scholar. With collaborators, she conducted novel social research aimed at assessing nanotechnology risk and benefit perceptions among U.S. publics in order to learn more about how views and beliefs about risk develop alongside emerging technologies.

Mary received her PhD in Environmental Science and Management from the University of California, Santa Barbara in fall 2012. She also holds a MA in Applied Sociology from the University of Central Florida and a BS in Sociology and Research/Analysis from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Mary can be contacted at or (410) 919-9139.


The National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) is a national research center funded through a National Science Foundation grant to the University of Maryland.

Located in Annapolis, MD, SESYNC is dedicated to solving society’s most challenging and complex environmental problems. We foster collaboration amongst scholars from a diverse array of the natural and social sciences (such as ecology, public health, and political science), as well as stakeholders that include resource managers, policy makers, and community members.

Socio-environmental synthesis is a research approach that accelerates the production of knowledge about the complex interactions between human and natural systems. It may result in new data products—particularly ones
that address questions in new spatial or temporal contexts or scales—but may also involve evaluating textual or oral arguments, interpreting evidence, developing new applications or models, or identifying novel areas of study.

Click here to see a list of projects funded by SESYNC.

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