Dana R. Fisher is a Professor of Sociology and the Director of the Program for Society and the Environment at the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on understanding the relationship between environmentalism and democracy—most recently studying activism and American climate politics. Her research employs a mixed-methods approach that integrates data collected through open-ended semi-structured interviews and participant observation with various forms of survey data.

Fisher is the author of National Governance and the Global Climate Change Regime (RowWilliam and Flora Hewlett Foundationman and Littlefield Press 2004), Activism, Inc. (Stanford University Press 2006), the Practice of Research (with Shamus Khan, Oxford University Press 2013), and Urban Environmental Stewardship and Civic Engagement (with Erika S. Svendsen and James Connolly, Routledge Press 2015).  She is the editor, along with Stewart Lockie and David Sonnenfeld, of the Routledege International Handbook of Social and Environmental Change (2013). Her work has also been published in numerous peer-reviewed journals. Her newest book, American Resistance will be out with Columbia University Press in fall 2019. She also serves as a Series Editor for the Series on Society and the Environment at Columbia University Press along with Lori Peek and Evan Schofer.

Professor Fisher has appeared on CNN and MSNBC (see media on www.drfisher.umd.edu for links) to discuss her work on activism and protest. She has also published a series of pieces on this topic in the Monkey Cage at the Washington Post. Her research has been featured in media outlets such as the The Washington PostThe New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal,The Chicago TribuneUSA TodayScience Magazine, various programs on National Public Radio, and on numerous podcasts, including the Politics Guyspodcast, the Pantsuit Politics Show, and the No Jargon podcast of the Scholars Strategy Network. Fisher's research on protest was profiled in "The Collectors: Political Action," a documentary short by FiveThirtyEight and ESPN Films. A list of recent media coverage is available under media . She has presented her work to federal agencies, foundations, and other organizations, including the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Let’s Move Campaign at the White House, the Brookings Institution, and to program members at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.  

Fisher received her Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees from the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her undergraduate degree is in East Asian Studies and Environmental Studies from Princeton University.


Areas of Interest

  • Activism, Protest, Environmental Politics and Environmental Sociology


  • PhD
    University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2001.
Course Name Course Title Semester Syllabus
SOCY632 Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods Spring 2015 Syllabus
SOCY202 Introduction to Research Methods in Sociology Fall 2014 Syllabus
Dana R. Fisher
3101 Art/Sociology Building
Department of Sociology
drfisher [at] umd.edu
Office Hours
SEE www.drfisher.umd.edu for current Office Hours