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Leah Campbell
Climate adaptation, disaster recovery, equity planning

Degree(s), Specialization (s): PhD, Land Use and Environmental Planning (Hazards and Climate Change)
Hometown: Stanford, CA
Previous Degrees: B.S. Geology and Geophysics – Yale University ’15

Prior to coming to UNC, Leah worked in the nonprofit sector in California, advocating for progressive water quality and climate resilience policies. That experience reinforced her belief that our existing approach to climate adaptation is ineffective and fails to adequately address broader social and environmental justice issues.

That insight drove Leah back to academia, where she sought out a doctoral program where she could leverage her interdisciplinary background and focus on applied, community-based research. Leah was attracted to Carolina Planning because of the department’s expertise in hazard mitigation, but she also appreciated the opportunity to build an individualized curriculum with courses across various departments and institutions. Her research today explores the environmental justice implications of infrastructure planning for urban flood risk reduction.

While at UNC, Leah has been very involved with the Carolina Planning Journal, for which she serves as Managing Editor and coordinates all of the Journal’s online content. She’s also actively engaged with both the DCRP Program Policy Committee and the Royster Society of Fellows, working to build a sense of community among fellow PhD students.

Outside of work, Leah loves hiking, camping, and any activity that gets her outside. She also enjoys discovering new coffee shops around the Triangle and movie theater matinees.


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