Michael is a a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Brown University, where he is affiliated with the Climate and Development Lab, the Initiative in Spatial Structures in the Social Sciences (S4), IBES, and The Watson Institute for International Studies as an IGERT Fellow.
Michael is broadly interested in how axes of social difference (race, class, gender) influence how human individuals and collectives are able to relate to their environments, the land, and nonhuman nature. His dissertation analyzes slavery and dispossession, in colonial Rhode Island, as dual processes that patterned human relations to the environs based on racialized understandings of African slaves and indigenous Americans. In addition, he is a member of the Climate and Development Lab, working on various aspects of the international politics of aid to address climate change. He is also working with Scott Frickel to collect historical data on small and large waste generators and their potential contributions to the contamination of Mashapaug Pond watershed in Providence, as well as a project that examines the knowledge flows and blockages of the EPA Superfund Research Program.
Michael received his B.A. in Sociology from the University of San Diego, where he also studied Philosophy and Peace and Justice Studies.