I describe myself as an applied social and environmental scientist and community rights advocate. I currently serve dual roles as a professional research and communications consultant and leader of a national safety advocacy organization. This means I spend the majority of my time writing, reading, learning, communicating with clients and impacted communities, following and participating in policy negotiations on safety, health, and environmental rights, and whenever possible sharing my passion for community-centered practices around long-term resilience, self-determination, collaborative and adaptive governance, human rights, and rights of nature.
Over the past 14 years, I have used applied social science methods to ask questions about the human (dis)connections with and from Nature, the localized impacts of global capitalism and political power on rural and urban communities, and how our cultural histories influence current perceptions, biases, and behaviors. All of my research has been community-centered, collaborative, and participant-driven and has led to the development of alternative ways to frame our communications and deliberations about persistent and emerging social-environmental changes and conflicts. My very broad theoretical and practical focus is on re-centering the everyday lives and well-being of individuals and communities in a rapidly changing and globalized world to ensure that policy analyses and technocratic interventions are consensual, ethical, locally-led, and fully respect cultural knowledges and practices. Whenever feasible I incorporate deliberative dialogue and dynamic facilitation processes into my work.
I am currently writing a book of creative non-fiction based on past and current participatory ethnographic fieldwork with rural landowners along the Susquehanna River in Bradford County, Pennsylvania and what this work continues to teach me about home, loss, and liminality.
DR. SIMONA PERRY’S PROFESSIONAL BIO
In 2012 Dr. Simona Perry founded c.a.s.e. Consulting Services LLC, a roots-based consultancy to provide local, regional, and national consulting services and resources to rural and urban communities directly impacted by rapid social and environmental changes and conflicts. In addition to entrepreneurial activity with c.a.s.e., Dr. Perry serves as the Executive Director of Pipeline Safety Coalition, a public safety organization providing pipeline and energy safety information, engagement, and advocacy in the public interest. In the past ten years she has also served as Executive Director/Riverkeeper for the Ogeechee-Canoochee Riverkeeper (2018), as the Civic Professionalism Program Director for Livelihoods Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN) (2013-2015), as a Research Scientist at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York (2012), and as a Mellon Post-Doctoral Scholar at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania (2009-2011). In 2016, Dr. Perry was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to serve a three-year term as a safety advocate representative on the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Working Group on Voluntary Information-Sharing. As a public safety advocate, she provides input and serves on technical standards committees related to pipeline safety management systems, public engagement, and transforming safety culture. From 2004 to 2006 Simona directed a non-profit international environmental education organization based in Washington, D.C., and from 1995 to 2003 she worked as a field biologist, environmental regulator, and policy analyst with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Massachusetts, Seattle, California, and Maryland. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology and Management from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, her Master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington, Seattle. In 2009 she was granted her Doctoral Degree in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Conservation from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.