J. Timmons Roberts
Ittleson Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology:
Environmental Studies and Sociology
Phone: (401) 863-5152
Timmons Roberts is Ittleson Professor of Environmental Studies and Sociology at Brown University, where he was Director of the Center for Environmental Studies from 2009 to 2012. During 2012-13 he was Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. He taught at the College of William and Mary and directed its Program in Environmental Science and Policy from 2001 to 2009, and before that he held a joint appointment in Latin American Studies and Sociology and co-directed the Environmental Studies program at Tulane University from 1991 to 2001. Timmons was a James Martin 21st Century Professor at Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute in 2006-2007, and a Research Fellow at William and Mary's Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations in 2008-2009. His 1992 Ph.D. was from Johns Hopkins University in Sociology's Program in Comparative International Development. His B.A. was in Biology (with research in tropical and temperate ecology) from Kenyon College.
Co-author and editor of eight books and edited volumes, and of over seventy articles and book chapters, Timmons' current research focuses on climate change and international development. It has three threads: 1. How shifting relations between the global North and South affect the United Nations negotiations on climate change; 2. The role of foreign aid in the negotiations and in assisting developing countries cope with climate impacts and greening their economies; and 3. What social factors explain national "pathways" (being relatively high or low carbon emitters for their level of human development). In all three his core focus is on how equity affects our ability to address this complex global problem.
A co-founder of AidData.org, Timmons is part of an international effort to produce a quantum leap in transparency in climate finance, and in foreign aid more broadly. His Climate and Development Lab at Brown provides research support to the Least Developed Countries Group--the world's 48 poorest nations--in the U.N. climate negotiations. He is a leader in Rhode Island's efforts to plan for how to adapt to climate changes, serving on the RI Climate Change Commission, which was created in 2010 by legislation written by him and his Brown students. Professor Roberts has worked for many years with students on greening initiatives and with community groups and local, state and national governments. He teaches environmental sociology, globalization and the environment, and practicum group workshop courses on environmental policy issues. Most recently, he was appointed to the Board on Environmental Change and Society of the National Academy of Sciences.
2012 Named Non-Resident Senior Fellow, the Brookings Institution
2011 Selected for National Academy of Sciences Board on Environmental Change and Society
2011 Named Ittleson Professor of Environmental Studies, Brown University
2008 Fred Buttel Distinguished Contribution Award, the Environment and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association
2001 Graduate Student Association "Teacher of the Year" Award, Department of Sociology, Tulane
2001 Latin American Studies Graduate Student Association Teaching Award
2000 Presidential Certificate in Undergraduate Teaching in recognition of the Service Learning Teaching Award
2000, 2001 Mortar Board (Alpha Sigma Sigma Chapter) Award for Outstanding Teaching, Newcomb College
1999 The Tulane College Senior Class Outstanding Advisor Award for Exemplary Service to Students
1993, 1996 Nominated for the Tulane Graduate School Student Association Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching
American Sociological Association
Section on Environment and Technology
Section on Political Economy of the World System
International Studies Association
International Sociological Association
Working Group 24 Environment and Technology
Environmental Sociology; Globalization, Development and Social Change; Research Methods; Environmental Governance and Policy; Environmental Justice; Latin America; Climate Change; Environmental Studies
2008-2015 Co-Principal Investigator, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Grant to the Project-Level Aid Research Project, awarded May, 2008. $500,000 and $250,000 supplement; $1.0 million awarded in 2010.
2008-2011 Co-Principal Investigator, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grant to the Project-Level Aid Research Project, awarded August, 2008. $1.44 million and $1.5 million supplement.
2010-2012 Principal Investigator, Rhode Island Foundation. Support for Rhode Island Climate Change Commission. Collaborative project with the Statewide Planning office, the Senate Policy Office, and the Environment Council of Rhode Island to provide staff assistance for a new commission created by legislation penned by my students. $25,000.
2008-2011 (Former) Program Director, Mellon Foundation Grant for the Creation of Postdoctoral Teaching and Research Fellowships in Environmental Science and Policy, and the Creation of a Center for Geospatial Analysis at the College of William and Mary. $1.5 million.
2009-2011 Principal Investigator, UK government Department of International Development (DFID) commissioned research: "Measuring DFID Spend on Climate Adaptation." $82,000
2009-2014 Lead of contract research team for US Department of Defense MINERVA research project to University of Texas on Fragile States and Climate Change in Africa. Total Award $66,131.
2006-2007 James Martin 21st Century Professor, Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University. Office, travel, research, conference organizing, and living support totaling over $40,000.
2005-2008 Director and Lead Writer, Renewal Grant from Mellon Foundation "Enhancing Undergraduate Environmental Science and Policy at the College of William and Mary." $300,000 ($530,000 in institutional match).
2005-2008 Co-Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation Political Science Program Research Grant: "Collaborative Research: Analyzing Development Finance Using PLAID Data" [Project-Level Aid]. Michael Tierney, PI. Total Costs: $253,000.
2003-2006 Co-Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. "Interdisciplinary Watershed Studies," P.I. Randy Chambers, Director of the Keck Environmental Field Laboratory. Total costs: $200,621.
2002-2003 Co-Principal Investigator, Virginia Environmental Endowment. "Environmental Impacts of Development in Southeastern Virginia Watersheds: Interdisciplinary Measurement and Analysis." Total Costs: $25,944 plus $25,977 matching grant.
1993-1995 Principal Investigator, National Science Foundation Sociology Program Grant: "Social Roots of Environmental Damage: A World-Systems Analysis of Global Warming and Deforestation." Total costs: $140,438.
1993-1994 Principal Investigator, Department of Energy Grant: "Risk, Stress and Restructuring in the U.S. Petrochemical Industry: A Case Study from Louisiana." (Administered through Tulane/Xavier Consortium). Total costs: $38,892.
'92, '93, '97,'00 Research Fellow, Mellon/Tinker Foundations/Tulane Latin American Studies. Summer research grants for research in Brazil, $4000 each.
1989-1990 Fulbright Commission Doctoral Research Fellow, Grant Total: $14,000.