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 questions related to democracy, activism, and environmentalism — most recently studying climate activism, protests, and the American Resistance. 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's work has been published in over 65 peer-reviewed articles and chapters. She is the author of: National Governance and the Global Climate Change Regime (Rowman and Littlefield Press 2004), Activism, Inc. (Stanford University Press 2006), the Practice of Research (with Shamus Khan, Oxford University Press 2013), Urban Environmental Stewardship and Civic Engagement (with Erika S. Svendsen and James Connolly, Routledge Press 2015) and American Resistance (Columbia University Press 2019)..  She is the editor, along with Stewart Lockie and David Sonnenfeld, of the Routledege International Handbook of Social and Environmental Change (2013). Fisher also serves as a Series Editor for the Series on Society and the Environment at Columbia University Press along with Evan Schofer.

Professor Fisher has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, PBS Newshour, and the Hill TV to discuss her work. She has also written for the popular press, including in the Washington Post, Time, Politico, Business Insider and the American Prospect (for links to appearances and writing go to her media page on her personal site).  Her research has been featured in media outlets such as the The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street JournalThe Chicago Tribune, The Boston Herald, USA Today, Science Magazine, various programs on National Public Radio, the BBC, and on numerous podcasts. 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 State Department International Visitor Leadership Program, the Let’s Move Campaign in the Obama White House, the Brookings Institution, and to program members at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. Fisher is currently serving as a Contributing Author for Working Group 3 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Sixth Assessment Review (IPCC AR6) writing about citizen engagement and civic activism.  

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.  She is active on Twitter:  @Fisher_DanaR


Areas of Interest

  • Democracy, Activism, Protest, Civic Engagement, and Environmental Sociology


  • PhD
    University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2001.
Dana R. Fisher
3101 Art/Sociology Building
Department of Sociology
drfisher [at] umd.edu
Office Hours
by appointment.