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Dana R. Fisher

Director, Program for Society and the Environment and Professor of Sociology, University of Maryland
Areas of Expertise:
  • Environment & Energy
  • Civic Engagement
  • Democracy & Governance
  • Media & Public Opinion

About Dana

Fisher focuses on understanding the relationship between environmentalism and democracy - most recently by studying American climate politics, social protest, activism, and environmental stewardship. She is currently focusing much of her attention on how climate and energy policy networks evolve around the 2016 election. She is also tracking the collective action that has erupted in the U.S. in response to the election of Donald Trump. Fisher has collaborated with the U.S. Forest Service and a variety of local environmental stewardship groups in cities in the Northeast since 2007 as part of her work on urban stewardship.


No Jargon Podcast

In the News

Dana R. Fisher quoted on 2020 election in Sasha Pezenik, "2020 candidates who are among the 1% face challenges in championing the 99%" ABC News, July 11, 2019.
Dana R. Fisher quoted on youth activism in Elizabeth Weise, "Climate change the new Vietnam War? Generation Z poised to change US politics with activism" USA Today, May 6, 2019.
Dana R. Fisher quoted on the Women's March in Marissa J. Lang, "The Women’s March drew more moderates in its third year. It’s all Trump, researchers say." The Washington Post, January 26, 2019.
Guest to discuss confrontational politics on CNN News Day Saturday, Dana R. Fisher, January 19, 2019.
"Here’s why the protests against Kavanaugh (and the Trump administration) won’t go away," Dana R. Fisher, Monkey Cage, The Washington Post, October 6, 2018.
"Will Scientists Gear Up for Activism in the Age of Trump?," Dana R. Fisher (with Scott Frickel), The American Prospect, July 12, 2018.
"Who came out in the brutal heat to the ‘Families Belong Together’ march? Here’s our data.," Dana R. Fisher, Monkey Cage, The Washington Post, July 3, 2018.
Dana R. Fisher quoted in Nicole Winfield and Seth Borenstein, "Pope Summons Oil Execs to Vatican to Talk Climate Change" Associated Press, June 1, 2018.
Dana R. Fisher quoted in Adam Gabbatt, "Vietnam to Parkland: How America's Protesters are Getting Younger" The Guardian, April 15, 2018.
"Here’s who actually attended the March for Our Lives. (No, it wasn’t mostly young people.)," Dana R. Fisher, Monkey Cage, The Washington Post, March 28, 2018.
Guest to discuss March for our Lives on Morning Joe MSNBC, Dana R. Fisher, March 26, 2018.
Guest to discuss growth of the 'resistance' on Morning Joe MSNBC, Dana R. Fisher, January 22, 2018.
Dana R. Fisher quoted on resisting the Senate health care bill in Charlotte Alter, "Parents of Sick Kids are a Powerful Weapon against the Senate Health Bill" Time, June 28, 2017.
"The Demographics of the #Resistance," Dana R. Fisher (with Dawn Marie Dow and Rashawn Ray), The Conversation, May 31, 2017.
"Scientists Actually Did Some Science at the March for Science," Dana R. Fisher, Wired, April 24, 2017.
Guest to discuss political activism on National Public Radio, Dana R. Fisher (with Sarah Sobieraj), March 3, 2017.
Dana R. Fisher quoted on activism in Brian Resnick, "4 Rules for Making a Protest Work, According to Experts" Vox, January 28, 2017.
Dana R. Fisher quoted on activism in Nancy Benac, "DC Women's March Drew Many First-Time Protesters" Associated Press, January 26, 2017.
Guest to discuss the future of activism in the Trump era on KCRW, Dana R. Fisher, January 23, 2017.
"Waking Up in Trump’s America and Watching the Ocean Rise," Dana R. Fisher, Huffington Post, November 9, 2016.
Dana R. Fisher quoted on climate change policy under a Trump administration in Karl Ritter and Seth Borenstein, "Trump Win Raises Questions about U.S. Pledge in Climate Deal" Associated Press, November 9, 2016.
"American Leadership and the Silent Energy Revolution," Dana R. Fisher, Huffington Post, November 7, 2016.
Dana R. Fisher quoted on the goal of keeping warming to 1.5 degrees, "Climate Proposal’s Goals on Target, Action Lacking, Scientists Say" Dallas Morning News, December 11, 2015.
"Not a Snowball’s Chance for Science," Dana R. Fisher (with Joseph Waggle and Lorien Jasny), Contexts, November 16, 2015.
Dana R. Fisher quoted on Gore's role in climate change activism in Seth Borenstein, "A Twist for Paris Climate Talks: Al Gore the Optimist" Associated Press, The Washington Post, and Boston Globe, November 11, 2015.
Dana R. Fisher's research on public opinion on climate changes discussed in Story Hinckley, "40 Percent in U.S. Believe Climate Change is Real, are Unworried," Christian Science Monitor, November 4, 2015.
Dana R. Fisher quoted on climate change inactivity, "Poll: Most Americans Understand, Aren’t Too Worried about Climate Change" CBS News, November 4, 2015.
Dana R. Fisher's research on climate change and public opinion discussed in Seth Borenstein, "As Scientists Worry about Warming World, U.S. Public Doesn't," The Associated Press, November 3, 2015.
Dana R. Fisher's research on climate change as a voting issue discussed in "Americans Don’t Worry Much about Climate Change, Poll Says," The Washington Post, November 3, 2015.
"The Tangible Effects of Connecting with Your Neighbors," Dana R. Fisher, Stanford University Press Blog, May 2015.
"An Easy Solution To America’s Democracy Problem," Dana R. Fisher, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, March 26, 2015.
"How Do Civic Gateways Work for Everyone?," Dana R. Fisher, James L. Knight Foundation Blog, March 13, 2015.
"Political Action," Dana R. Fisher, a short film on Fisher and her coverage of the People's Climate March, FiveThirtyEight/ESPN Films, January 14, 2015.
"Plant Trees for a Better Democracy," Dana R. Fisher, Baltimore Sun, November 4, 2014.
"Ending Rot in America’s Grass Roots," Dana R. Fisher, Christian Science Monitor, October 30, 2006.


Urban Environmental Stewardship and Civic Engagement: How Planting Trees Strengthens the Roots of Democracy (with Erika S. Svendsen and James J.T. Connolly) (Routledge Press, 2015).
Assesses the connection between urban environmental stewardship and civic engagement by studying volunteers working on the MillionTrees initiative in New York City. Argues that environmental stewardship is a gateway to numerous other forms of civic engagement.
"An Empirical Examination of Echo Chambers in U.S. Climate Policy Networks" (with Lorien Jasny and Joseph Waggle). Nature Climate Change (2015).

Explains why climate denialism continues to thwart political action on climate change at the federal level. Presents data from the top policy actors involved in U.S. climate politics and the ways that scientific information diffuses through their policy networks to show that information is being amplified and distorted through echo chambers.

"Youth Political Participation: Bridging Activism and Electoral Politics" Annual Review of Sociology 38 (2012): 119-137.
Provides an overview of the state of knowledge on youth political participation in America, arguing that we must integrate perspectives on activism and electoral politics to understand the process more effectively.
Activism, Inc. (Stanford University Press, 2006).
Explores the outsourcing of grassroots campaigns on the Left in America by presenting extensive in depth data on the largest canvassing organization in the country.
"How Do Organizations Matter? Mobilization and Support for Participants at Five Globalization Protests" (with Kevin Stanley, David Berman, and Gina Neff). Social Problems 52, no. 1 (2005): 102-121.
Looks at the ways that protesters mobilize to participate in social protest. It finds that “global protests” are mostly populated by local people who are mobilized through local organizations.
National Governance and the Global Climate Change Regime (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2004).

Compares domestic responses to international climate policy-making and the Kyoto Protocol in the U.S., Japan, and the Netherlands.