Diversity & Inclusion at the Nicholas School of the Environment


Diversity matters. Environmental professions in the U.S. have historically been dominated by middle class white Americans. Environmental problems, however, disproportionately harm people of color and people who are poor. As the demographics of the U.S. change, for our society to continue understanding and protecting the environments we inhabit, incoming generations of environmental scientists and professionals must be increasingly racially diverse. Most importantly, the environment matters to all people who live within it, and environmental fields should welcome any person invested in environmental issues regardless of their personal identity.

The Nicholas School of the Environment strongly endorses Duke University’s position on diversity and inclusion:
Duke aspires to create a community built on collaboration, innovation, creativity, and belonging. Our collective success depends on the robust exchange of ideas – an exchange that is best when the rich diversity of our perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences flourishes. To achieve this exchange, it is essential that all members of the community feel secure and welcome, that the contributions of all individuals are respected, and that all voices are heard.  All members of our community have a responsibility to uphold these values.

The Nicholas School believes that environmental issues affect us all.  We thus look to honor diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences by engaging all people in the pursuit of environmental solutions.

We are Duke Environment.

At the Nicholas School, we strive to build a community that welcomes people to the environmental sciences and other environmental professions regardless of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identification, or other important characteristics of their identity. We value our strong partnership with Duke's Office of Institutional Equity and their long-term support of our expanding efforts to create an inclusive and diverse school and to graduate alumni who will go on to build an inclusive and diverse field of environmental professionals.

On this page, you will find

  • Information about our past and upcoming events, including:
    • a series of professional development workshops to help our students, faculty, and staff recognize and address unconscious biases as well as
    • other events that explore how specific groups of people interact with or are affected by the environment.
  • Related news articles.
  • A range of resources on and off campus, including campus organizations, support services, and reference materials (see left column)


Screen Shot 2016-12-20 at 9.41.35 AM.png

Diversity & Inclusion Committees

  • D&I Strategic Planning Committee
  • D&I Actionators
  • D&I Student Group


Faculty & Educational Programs

  • Dean Urban
    Senior Associate Dean for Academic Initiatives


Student Services


  • Paul James
    Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Office of Institutional Equity