Emily Williams

Emily is a graduate student and NSF fellow (Graduate Research Fellowship Program) in Geography at UC Santa Barbara, a member of 350 Santa Barbara, a co-founder of the Climate Justice Project, and part of the Fossil Free UC Alumni Core Team.

She did her undergraduate work at UCSB, graduating in 2013 with a B.S in environmental studies. While at UCSB, she was heavily involved in scholar activism: she interned for two summers with the NASA DEVELOP National Program at Ames Research Center, conducted her senior thesis on quantifying the external costs of coal and relating them to UCSB’s investment policy, and cofounded the Fossil Free UC campaign.


After graduating, Emily worked for the California Student Sustainability Coalition as a Campaign Director for Fossil Free and cofounded the Climate Justice Project, as part of the UCSB delegation to COP 19 in Warsaw, Poland. Over the next two years, she worked on the Fossil Free campaign and attended COPs 20 and 21 in Lima, Peru and Paris, France, respectively. At the COPs, she grew an interest in how climate solutions are often pitted against climate justice on local, national, and international scales, and became active in demanding youth have a voice in the negotiations process.

In 2015, she joined the Climate Hazards Group as a research assistant to study climate impacts, furthering her quantitative skills. Her research interests are in the intersection of climate impacts, extractivism, accountability, and policy, all within a frame of climate justice. She hopes to use that research and groups such as the Climate Justice Project to help bridge the gap between academia and organizing.

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