Mia Dawson is a scholar and activist working to radically reimagine the relationship between environment, race, science, and technology in the United States. She grounds her work in a rich history of black activism, especially black feminism. Mia earned her BA from Oberlin College where she studied biology and geology. After graduating, she worked with the Bureau of Land Management on Seeds of Success, a nationwide native plant restoration program.
Mia is currently a master's student in the Geography Graduate Group at the University of California, Davis. She is developing applications of geographic technology to bring equity and justice to the forefront of environmental decision-making. In this effort, she collaborates with research teams in the UC Davis Center for Regional Change on two projects. One project involves the use of spatial data to inform legal advocacy for equitable access to clean drinking water in the San Joaquin Valley. The other project predicts neighborhood-level health impacts of proposed changes to transportation infrastructure in Sacramento County. Mia's thesis research explores the use of geographic technology to advance environmental justice within a theoretical framework that draws upon political ecology, critical race studies, and science and technology studies. She demonstrates that racial exploitation and environmental destruction share deep connections in terms of both their origins and their persistence. She believes that an intersectional approach is necessary to confront either of these threats to human welfare. Mia is dedicated to building coalitions that jointly pursue social justice and environmental improvement.