Environment and Society in a Changing World

Meet the Instructor and TAs


Elise Quinn 

My name is Elise Quinn; you may refer to me by my first name. I will be your course instructor and primary contact throughout the course. I'm a doctoral candidate in Geography, and my research is broadly interested in the processes by which social difference is (re)produced in space, on the one hand, and traditions of resistance and liberation on the other. Over the past four years, I've mainly studied these dynamics in a U.S. geographic context and centering Black radical (i.e., anti-capitalist) thought and social movements. I am looking forward to getting to know each of you throughout the semester!

Vivian Rodriguez Rocha

Vivian is originally from Mexico City, where she earned a bachelor's degree in Latin American Studies at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She also holds a master’s degree in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Currently she is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Geography at Penn State. Her research explores instances of care-activism in the movement for women’s lives in Mexico.

Connor Chapman

Hello, everyone! My name is Connor Chapman and I am happy to be working with you all this semester. I am a high school earth science teacher in the Harrisburg, PA area. Additionally, I am working on my Ph.D. in Geography/Climate Science through Penn State, focusing on land-atmosphere interactions in the Midwest U.S. More broadly, my research interests include climatology, physical geography, and meteorology. 

Feel free to contact me at if you have any questions. I look forward to meeting you all over the coming weeks!