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Mary Collins

Associate Professor



- University of California - Santa Barbara

Research Topics:

Environmental Health Inequality, Environmental Justice, Socio-Environmental Systems, Quantitative Methods, Data Synthesis & Visualization


  • Bio/Research


    From a sociological perspective, I am interested in the interdependence of social and ecological systems, particularly related to issues of equity and justice in the context of human health. Research topics include: theorizing the environment-society interface, environmental disproportionality at various spatial scales, environmental health inquality, environmental justice, technological environmental risk perception, collaborative dispute resolution in environmental disaster recovery and quantitative modeling methods.  The vast majority of my work relies on large data computational social science approaches. 

  • Publications


    1. Collins, Mary B. 2011. "Risk-Based Targeting: Identifying Disproportionalities In The Sources And Effects Of Industrial Pollution." American Journal of Public Health. 101(S1): S231-237.
    2. Collins, Mary B., Ian A. Munoz, and Joseph JaJa. 2016 "Linking 'Toxic Outliers' to Environmental Justice Communities Across the United States." Environmental Research Letters. 11(1)
    3. Hill, Dustin*, Collins, Mary B., Vidon, Elizabeth. 2018. "The Environment and Environmental Justice: Linking the Biophysical and the Social." Applied Geography. 95, pp.54-60.
    4. Satterfield, Theresa, Collins, Mary B., and Harthorn, Barbara Herr. 2018. "Perceiving Resilience: Understanding People's Intuitions About the Qualities of Air, Water, and Soil." Ecology and Society. 23(4).
    5. Robertson Galli, Anya and Collins, Mary B. 2019. "Super Emitters in the United States Coal-Fired Electric Utility Industry: Comparing Disproportionate Emissions Across Facilities and Parent Companies" Environmental Sociology.  5(1), pp.70-81.
    6. Hill, Dustin T., Vidon, Elizabeth S. and Collins, Mary B. 2019. "Public money and private interests: United States government contract awardees' contribution to industrial pollution production." Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, pp.1-13.
    7. Collins, Mary B., Pulver, Simone, Hill, Dustin and Manski, Benjamin. 2020. "Characterizing disproportionality in facility-level toxic releases in US manufacturing, 1998-2012." Environmental Research Letters, 15(6), p.064002.
    8. Petroni, Michael D.*, Hill, Dustin T.*, Younnes, Lylla, Barkman, Liesl*, Howard, Sarah*, Howell, I. Brielle*, Mirowsky, Jaime, and Collins, Mary B. 2020. "Hazardous Air Pollutant Exposure as a Contributing Factor to COVID-19 Mortality in the United States." Environmental Research Letters.
    9. Wang, Shiru, Green, Hyatt C., Wilder, Maxwell L., * Du, Qian, Kmush, Brittany L., Collins, Mary B., Larsen, David A., and Zeng, Teng. 2020. “High-Throughput Wastewater Analysis for Substance Use Assessment in Central New York during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts}.
    10. Green, H., Wilder, M., Middleton, F.A., Collins, M., Fenty, A., Gentile, K., Kmush, B., Zeng, T. and Larsen, D.A., 2020. "Quantification of SARS-CoV-2 and cross-assembly phage (crAssphage) from wastewater to monitor coronavirus transmission within communities." medRxiv.
    11. Petroni, Michael D. *, Sarah Howard*, I. Brielle Howell*, and Mary B. Collins. 2020. “NYenviroScreen: An Open Source Data Driven Method for Identifying Potential Environmental Justice Communities in New York State.” Earth and Space Science Open Archive.
    12. Hill, Dustin*, Petroni, Michael*, Larsen, David, Heffernan, Kevin, Atallah-Yunes, Nader, Parsons, Patrick, Collins, Mary B., and Gump, Brooks. 2020. "Linking modeled air pollution risk data from industrial emissions of Lead (Pb), Mercury (Hg), and Cadmium (Cd) and associated effects observed in children (age 9-11) blood biomarkers and intermediate cardio-vascular outcomes in Syracuse, NY" Environmental Research
    13. Charette, Amanda*, Collins, Mary B. Mirowsky, Jaime. 2021 "Assessing Residential Socioeconomic Factors Associated with Pollutant Releases using EPA's Toxic Release Inventory" Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
    14. Maxwell Wilder*, Frank Middleton, David A Larsen, Qian Du, Ariana Fenty, Teng Zeng, Tabassum Insaf, Pruthvi Kilaru*, Mary Collins, Brittany Kmush, Hyatt Green. 2021 "Co-quantification of crAssphage increases confidence in wastewater-based epidemiology for SARS-CoV-2 in low prevalence areas." Water Research X
    15. D. A. Larsen, M. B. Collins, Q. Du, D. Hill*, T. Z. Insaf, P. Kilaru*, B. L. Kmush, F. Middleton, A. Stamm, M. L. Wilder, T. Zeng, H. Green. 2021 "Coupling freedom from disease principles and early warning from wastewater surveillance to improve health security" medRxiv
    16. Petroni, M.*, Howard, S.*, Howell, I.B.* and Collins, M.B., 2021. NYenviroScreen: An open-source data driven method for identifying potential environmental justice communities in New York State. Environmental Science & Policy, 124, pp.348-358.
    17. DHill, D.T.*, Petroni, M.* and Collins, M.B., 2021. United States federal contracting and pollution prevention: how award type and facility characteristics affect adop- tion of source reduction techniques in four manufacturing sectors. Environmental Research: Infrastructure and Sustainability, 1(2), p.025006. 2634-4505/ac1161
    18. Larsen, D.A., Collins, M.B., Du, Q., Hill, D.*, Insaf, T.Z., Kilaru, P.*, Kmush, B.L., Middleton, F., Stamm, A., Wilder, M.L.* and Zeng, T., 2022. Coupling freedom from disease principles and early warning from wastewater surveillance to improve health security. PNAS Nexus, 1(1), p.pgac001.
    19. Hill, Dustin* & Collins, Mary B. Linking Toxic Waste Releases to Defense Contractors: United States Federal Spending as a Contributing Factor to Industrial Pollution, 2001-2012. Regulation & Governance (In press Jan 2022)
    20. Charette, A.T.*, Collins, M.B. and Mirowsky, J.E.,. Assessing the Quantity and Toxicity of Chemical Releases from TRI Facilities in Upstate New York. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (In press Jan 2022)
    21. Hill, Dustin* & Collins, Mary B.. Competition for United States Federal Government Contracts and Chromium (Cr) Releases: How a Chemical’s role in Manufacturing Impacts Environmental Management. Society and Natural Resources (R&R Jan 2022)
    22. Petroni, Michael*, Brown, Tristan, Collins, Mary B, & Teron, Lemir, . Population Health and Energy Justice Based Prioritization of Fossil Fuel Power Plant Displacement in the Low Carbon Energy Transition. Applied Energy (Submitted November 2021)
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