Diane Austin

Director, School of Anthropology

Research Anthropologist (BARA)

Diane Austin is an applied environmental anthropologist whose work focuses on community dynamics amid large-scale industrial activity, alternative technologies to address environmental and social problems, environmental education, impact assessment, and community-based, collaborative research and outreach. She spent seven years as a public school teacher and has more than 20 years of experience managing large interdisciplinary and multiyear projects and developing and implementing participatory research and outreach approaches in diverse communities in the United States and Mexico. She has developed and maintained long-term, multisectoral and community-based partnerships with Native American communities, U.S. and Mexican border communities, and communities along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. She has served as an advisor to local, state, and tribal governments and consortia in the United States and Mexico; was a board member and chair of the Good Neighbor Environmental Board, the U.S. federal advisory dedicated to environmental infrastructure needs along the U.S.-Mexico border; and currently serves the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine as a member of the Gulf Research Program Advisory Board.

Research Interests: Environmental Anthropology, Environmental Education, Community Development, Social impact assessment, Environmental Justice, Cognitive mapping