A PhD student and NSF GRFP recipient in the Environmental Social Science specialization area
I have a B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from Florida International University with a certificate in Agroecology and a certificate Biodiversity Conservation and Resource Management. I was awarded a research grant to study second generation biofuels in Bangalore and Tamil Nadu, India in 2010 and later returned to Florida International University to complete an MS in Environmental Studies. I focused my efforts on managing the university organic garden for experiential learning and mentoring undergraduates in the Agroecology program. I am well versed in organic and sustainable agriculture, particularly in urban environments. For my thesis, I converted invasive plants into biochar and measured soil carbon sequestration and impact on crop growth at several rates of application. After graduating, I taught two courses at Florida International University, Environmental Science and Global Environment and Society, and confirmed that academia is truly my passion. I chose to come to Ohio State in 2015 to merge my background in natural sciences and social science through the Environmental Social Science PhD program. I was awarded a University Fellowship for 2015-2016 and awarded an NSF GRFP Fellowship in 2016.
My work is at the intersection of environmental science and sustainable agriculture. My academic background allows me to utilize lenses from both the natural and social sciences, with disciplinary strength in sociology and social psychology. I have worked on projects studying climate change, resource conservation, and agroecology. My current work is on alternative food systems (as a social movement) and the analyzing the capacity of anchor institutions to create sustainable and resilient food systems.
- Alternative food movements: local food, fair-trade, food justice, agroecology (as practice and movement).
- Building resilience for a changing climate through regional food systems planning.
- Voluntary simplicity, ecological citizenship, and post consumerism.
- Pro-environmental behavioral change and norms.
Peer Reviewed Manuscripts:
Ard, K., Colen, C., Becerra, M., Velez, T. 2016. Two Mechanisms: The Role of Social Capital and Industrial Pollution Exposure in Explaining Racial Disparities in Self-Rated Health. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 13(10):1025.
Velez, Thelma. 2017. Treehugger Organic Farm: Sustainability Visions in Urban Agriculture (Chapter 23). In, Palgrave Handbook of Sustainability Case Studies, Sandra Garren and Robert Brinkman (eds.). Palgrave MacMillan. In Press.
Velez, Thelma and Kerry Ard. 2017. Green Spaces in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Cities around the World: Struggles and Solutions to Urban Life. ABC-CLIO. In Press.
Velez, Thelma I. 2017. The changing politics of organic food in North America. Author: Lisa F. Clark. Agriculture and Human Values, Feb. 14, DOI: 10.1007/s10460-017-9769-9.
Hoy, Casey, et al. 2017. Purchase of Local and Sustainable Food by 2025: The Ohio State University Panel on Food Sustainability Progress Report, May 2017.
Kerry Ard, advisor