Holly Jean Buck

Holly Jean Buck is an expert on the social and political dimensions of environmental policies, and of strategies and technologies for preventing and adapting to climate change.

She is an Assistant Professor of Environment and Sustainability at the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, New York.  Holly is interested in how communities can be involved in the design of emerging environmental technologies. She works at the interface of environmental sociology, international development, and science and technology studies.  Her diverse research interests include agroecology and carbon farming, new energy technologies, artificial intelligence, and the restoration of California’s Salton Sea.

At present, she is studying how technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere might affect landscapes in the central US, and how policy for scaling up carbon dioxide removal can be designed for community benefit.  Her book After Geoengineering: Climate Tragedy, Repair, and Restoration examines best-case scenarios for carbon removal.  She has written on several aspects of climate engineering, including humanitarian and development approaches to geoengineering, gender considerations, and human rights issues.

Prior to her academic life, she has worked as a foreign affairs analyst, a geospatial technician for a remote sensing company, and a creative writing teacher.  She holds a doctorate in Development Sociology from Cornell University and an MSc in Human Ecology from Lund University, Sweden.



“It’s very easy to see the path, which is probably the default path, where this technology is developed by elites, for the benefit of elites, for the profit of elites, and I think there’s another option. What if these technologies were democratically controlled, democratically researched and governed, and collectively owned? Don’t we have a responsibility to think about what that might look like not just for our generation but for all the future generations?”



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