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 climate politics — most recently studying political elites' responses to climate change, the emergent US Civilian Climate Corps, and activism around climate, systemic racism, 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 75 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 with Evan Schofer.

Professor Fisher has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and PBS Newshour to discuss her work (see media for links). She has also written for the popular press, including in the Washington PostTIME MagazinePoliticoBusiness Insider and the American Prospect. In winter 2021, she was called "One of America’s Most Prescient Political Thinkers" in a piece on the Changing Politics of Climate Change for PBS. Her research has been featured in media outlets such as the The Washington PostThe New York TimesThe Wall Street Journal,The Chicago TribuneThe Boston HeraldUSA TodayScience Magazine, various programs on National Public Radio, the BBC, and on numerous podcasts. A list of selected media coverage with links is available under media . She has presented her work to the US National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, federal agencies, foundations, presidential campaigns, and other political organizations. Professor Fisher is served 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. She is a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Governance Studies program at the Brookings Institution.  

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.