Megan Thiele

Megan Thiele Strong

Associate Professor
Department of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences


climate destabilization, environmental justice, environmental sociology , social justice education, social stratification, antiracism, sustainability, inter-group dialogue, mental health, bikablity, teacher pay 

Current Research Activities

My most current scholarship of engagement asks about how dialoguing and collective talk can help inform, care for and motivate people to strategize action about climate destabilization, social justice and sustainability. The goals of my research are to process and problem solve the climate and social justice crisis through collective talk. Through dialoguing, participants do social justice work, process trauma and brainstorm action. Towards these ends, I designed a facilitated conversation and/or focus group space anchored with an environmental justice framework which prompts focus group participants to: 1) to develop an increased awareness of institutionalized environmental harm, 2) to learn different coping mechanisms to sit with this growing awareness and finally, 3) to motivate personal investment in climate solutions. In short, How can we challenge the "white male effect" and save ourselves from collective self-harm?

* citation for and/or more information about white male effect:


Research Connections to Current Events

My current RSCA guides us and participants in the research and practice/community engagement towards several understandings that are directly related to the current event of climate destabilization and the fight for sustainability: 1) that a threat to our collective environment/climate sustainability is a reality, 2) that anthropocentrism and the nature versus human bifurcation framework is outdated, non-holistic and not sustainable, 3) that we are part of nature, not bifurcated from it, and that recognizing this offers an outlet to cope with an increasing awareness of climate reality and our part in it and 4) the unsustainability of our environmental climate and our disconnect from earth is reflected in the unsustainability of our social systems, i.e. institutionalized environmental harm is coupled with/works with institutionalized racism, classism, and sexism.


Personal Connections to Research

Pursing facilitated dialogue on environmental justice relates to academic and non-academic activities of mine. I am able to incorporate research, teaching, love of the earth, science and also things like yoga and non-secular belief systems. I am motivated by teaching Environmental Sociology courses and I am inspired by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Cori Bush and Adrienne Maree Brown.


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