Research and Scholarship

Picture of a plant growing out of an open book

As an academic university center, we support research & scholarship on climate, society, and the environment.

Research by the Gonzaga Climate Center

Explore: Research by Gonzaga faculty

Faculty Micro-grants

Gonzaga faculty are eligible to apply for climate, society, and the environment micro-grants

Thanks to the generosity of our donors and supporters, the Climate Center is able to offer micro-grants for faculty-led projects that support the Center's mission. We also hope to support projects that address one or more of the Laudato Si' Goals.

The intent of these micro-grants is to assist Gonzaga faculty in their teaching, scholarship, and service related to the intersection of climate, society, and the environment. (Student-led projects are encouraged to seek support from the GSBA "Green Fund.")

The 2022 - 2023 awardees include: 

  • Dr. Jonas Cox (Teacher Education, School of Education) New Story Festival Spokane: The New Story Festival, through sharing narratives of local people pioneering efforts of social, economic and climate justice, we hope to create a new story (reality) where the needs of people are met, the planet is cared for, and economic organizations are prospering.
  • Dr. Tracey Hayes (Communication and Leadership Studies, School of Leadership Studies) Sustainability in the Desert: To develop a sustainability course that includes an immersive experiential learning experience in the Desert Southwest teaching students sustainable methods which they can implement within their own communities.
  • Dr. Janet Lea (Human Physiology, School of Nursing and Human Physiology) Relationship between high ambient heat and running injury risk: Our goal is to investigate physiological responses and long-term risk in developing tendinopathy with frequent heat waves in the Inland Northwest in recent years by measuring metabolic cost during running, as well as morphological changes in the Achilles tendon in runners before and after running in a climate chamber under different heat conditions.
  • Dr. Vivek Patil (Marketing, School of Business Administration) State of Spokane County: An Interactive Exploration of How Different Neighborhoods Fare on Some Indicators of Social, Economic, and Environmental Justice: The project uses interactive visualizations to explore how different neighborhoods and geographic regions in Spokane County fare with respect to some social, economic, healthcare, and environmental variables.
  • Dr. John Sheveland (Religious Studies, College of Arts and Sciences) "The Letter" film watch party: The project will host a formal watch party of the important new documentary film pertaining to Laudato Si, entitled "The Letter” with invited religious studies majors and minors, Catholic Studies students, other students with interest, and the seminarians and Cor Cristi students across the street at Bishop White Seminary.
  • Dr. R. Brian Siebeking (Religious Studies, College of Arts and Sciences) Natural Saints: Creation and Mediation in Islamic Traditions: "Natural Saints: Creation and Mediation in Islamic Traditions" is a two-phase project: 1) a book that explores the idea of non-human beings as “saints” in foundational Islamic narratives and its implications for the ecological crisis; 2) a collaboration with local and regional Muslim communities to develop an action plan for climate activism and leadership in culturally and religiously authentic ways. 
I strongly support the use of micro-grants as a means of furthering scholarly research and teaching of climate literacy; these kinds of grants must continue to be available. These micro-grants minimize the financial barriers between a creative idea and putting that idea into practice as a pilot research study or small student workshop. These kinds of grant provide a little bit of freedom to pursue an idea. Freedom to be creative in research and instruction is one of the primary ways we will be able to develop tools to counteract the drivers of climate change and combat climate change misinformation.
Dr. Brian Connolly Gonzaga Biology Department

2021 - 2022 awardees include: 
  • Dr. Jamella Gow (Sociology) Environmental Justice: My project involves developing a course on Environmental Justice to be taught in the Sociology department but with potential cross-listing with Environmental Studies and Solidarity and Social Justice, for example.
  • Dr. Jonathan Isacoff (Environmental Studies) National Climate Reduction Model Development: This project is to develop a “national climate reduction” model based on the Princeton Wedge system combined with other, multidisciplinary sources.
  • Dr. Brian Connolly (Biology) Snow saves seeds? Developing a grade-school STEM experiment testing how snow influences plant response to extreme cold. This project will support Gonzaga climate-based STEM outreach by exploring the interaction of climate change and the loss of seasonal refuges by developing a classroom-based experiment for grade-level students.
  • Dr. Stacy Taninchev (Political Science) State Socialization and Climate Change Norms: I am studying how the dialogue about climate change unfolded at the United Nations and in other international forums and led to the development and spread of climate change norms over time.
  • Dr. Kyle Shimabuku (Civil Engineering) Spokane Waste to Energy Ash Recycling Project: This is a laboratory-based civil engineering project that will research if carbon intensive cement can be replaced with waste ash reclaimed from the Spokane waste-to-energy plant for concrete production and assess if contaminants in the waste ash-based concrete could be released into the environment.
  • Dr. Brianna Dori (Civil Engineering) Impact of wildfire smoke on low socio-economic communities: Measurement of indoor air quality (PM2.5) during wildfire events to assess risk for low-socio-economic households in the Pacific Northwest.