International Development and Social Change

Tamara (Sasha) Adkins

Tamara (Sasha) Adkins, Ph.D. candidate

Visiting Assistant Professor
International Development, Community, and Environment Department
Clark University
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

Email: sadkins@clarku.edu
Phone: 508-793-8874


Education

Ph.D. Candidate, Antioch University New England (Environmental Studies)
M.P.H., Oregon State University (International Health)
Bachelor of International Studies, School for International Training (World Issues Program)

Research Interests

Environmental justice, occupational health, endocrine disruption, low-dose toxicology, plastic marine debris

Biography

Ms. Adkins is a certified childbirth educator and birth doula, and has apprenticed with midwives in both in- and out-of-hospital settings. Thinking about how society could promote safe and healthy pregnancy and birth led her to graduate work in endocrine disruption (the study of how chemicals in our everyday lives, even at very low levels, affect our hormones). Sasha began studying plastics from production to disposal, and particularly how plastic marine debris impacts the food web. Her doctoral research demonstrates that certain plastics concentrate methyl mercury from sea water.

Ms. Adkins is a fellow with GreenFaith, an interfaith leadership training program in sustainability, spirit, and stewardship. She has created adult education programs in environmental racism and sustainability for faith communities in Vermont and Washington, DC. These classes involved hands-on components, such as in one case converting a church lawn to a community garden and involving senior citizens in passing on skills in food preparation and preservation to at-risk youth.

One of the central questions that motivates Ms. Adkins is how to make environmental health research relevant and accessible to the communities most directly impacted. She has developed bilingual health education programs for migrant and seasonal farm workers and has co-created environmental health classes with adult learners in a GED program in DC. Recently, she has begun experimenting with incorporating Theater of the Oppressed into the academic classroom.

Selected Publications

Adkins, S. "Plastics as a Spiritual Crisis" in Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith and Practice, Edited by Ched Myers. Wipf & Stock (forthcoming)

Adkins, Tamara. "Plastics." Achieving Sustainability: Visions, Principles, and Practices. Ed. Debra Rowe. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2014. 588-592.

Adkins, T. 2010 "How Wide Is the Ocean," Whole Terrain, Volume 17 (pp 14-16).