Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Rachel Slocum


This inquiry explores how knowledge is produced in the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) of the National Science Foundation. Beginning from a poststructuralist understanding of science as firmly embedded in the unequal relations of society, this study sought to examine how the policies and procedures of funding research proposals in DEB influence and are influenced by those relations. Using an institutional ethnography approach to analysis, data were collected from analyzing publicly available texts from the division, NSF, Congress, the Office of Management and Budget, and the research community. The analysis demonstrates how the activities of DEB could maintain or exacerbate inequality in the absence of critical engagement with the ruling relations present in the Division's processes. The inquiry suggests opportunities for federal funders of science to ensure their work is oriented toward confronting inequality and creating social justice.


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Philosophy of Science | Race, Ethnicity and Post-Colonial Studies | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education | Theory, Knowledge and Science


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