Rebecca Walker
PhD Student
55-08 Humphrey School
Currently reviewing Ph.D. applicants
Faculty Advisor
Office of the Dean
Areas of Expertise
Urban Environmental Planning, Urban Sustainability Policy, Environmental and Housing Justice


    Originally from Tidewater Virginia, Rebecca's interests were shaped by watching the impact of development, climate change, and environmental policy on the waters of the Chesapeake Bay.  Long interested in the relationship between people and their environment, she earned a B.S. in Environmental Sciences and Anthropology from the University of Virginia and an M.S. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis before starting her Ph.D. at the Humphrey School. 

    Rebecca's research considers the intersection of housing, equity, and the environment in American cities. Using a racial equity lens, she examines the historic and contemporary housing and environmental policies that have produced and reproduce urban environmental landscapes, asking questions like "how do historic patterns of racial housing segregation shape patterns of urban heat today?" or "what are the implications of green infrastructure policies for housing justice?" 

    This research uses critical GIS perspectives and methodologies to interrogate urban landscapes of environmental injustice, the historic policies that produced them, and how sustainability interventions today might challenge or deepen spatial inequalities.  Her research questions and methods are guided by the voices and leadership of environmental justice activists in Minneapolis and beyond.  


    M.S. in Ecology (University of California, Davis, 2018)

    B.S. in Environmental Sciences & Anthropology (University of Virginia, 2015)

    Walker, R. H., & Derickson, K. D. (2022). Mapping Prejudice: The Limits and Opportunities of Data for Anti-Racist Planning. Journal of the American Planning Association, 1-13.

    Walker, R. H. (2021). Engineering gentrification: urban redevelopment, sustainability policy, and green stormwater infrastructure in Minneapolis. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 23(5), 646-664.

    Keeler, B. L., Derickson, K. D., King, H. J., Leneman, K. B., Moskowitz, A. F., Mrutu, A., ... & Walker, R. H. (2022). Community-Engaged Scholarship for Graduate Students: Insights from the CREATE Scholars Program. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 26(2).

    Walker, R. (2022). From the Inside Out: The Fight for Environmental Justice Within Government Agencies: Jill Lindsey Harrison (2019). MIT Press, 328 pages, $35 (paperback).