Through interdisciplinary research and scholarship, students in the Nature-Culture-Sustainability Studies Master's program investigate issues in the environmental arts and humanities from a range of critical perspective. In collaboration with faculty in NCSS and throughout RISD, they develop individualized research programs that prepare them to make important interventions in the fields of art, architecture, design, communication, environmental policy and more.
Dillon Foster is an ecologist and social theorist with an academic interest in political ecology, geography, and green urbanism. Foster earned a BA in Philosophy and BS in Environmental Studies from Western Michigan University, where his research focused on analyzing the uneven transformation of Michigan’s socio-environmental landscape. Through the NCSS program Foster hopes to explore the ways in which nature/space and social power relations such as class, race, and gender are interconnected and manifested materially. Foster asks how critical design can inform our visions of a post-carbon future, particularly in produced environments, to help create radically new social relations and spaces of resistance.
Sierra Gideon is a writer, visual artist, and intersectional environmentalist from Hamilton, Montana. She earned a BA in English with an emphasis in Literature from the University of Montana in 2019. She has since worked as a server, early childhood educator, student library assistant, and NCSS recruitment liaison. In her studies at RISD, she has focused on dismantling extractivist narratives which have influenced public "imaginary geographies" of recreational and industrial spaces in the American West. Her current interdisciplinary research in environmental history and visual culture studies are culminating in her thesis in-progress, “Copper Afterlives: Memory, Image, and Waste in the Postindustrial Landscape of Butte, Montana.” Gideon hopes to apply her research on the public histories of mineral extraction, recreation, labor, and spatial transformation in the New American West through grassroots community organizing, creative nonfiction, and photography.
Victor Rivera-Diaz is an environmental steward, visual artist, and writer who hails from the breadbasket region of Central California. He earned his BA in Environmental Studies with a minor in Linguistics from UC Santa Cruz. After graduating, he moved to Mexico City where he collaborated with public policy and data specialist teams to advocate for sustainable fishery systems following the 2018 national election season. His research interests include green urbanisms, design and indigeneity, and representations of nature. In his work, he hopes to probe and portray the aesthetico-spatial dimensions of urban life and the environment in Latin America through grassroots representational methods.
Rini Singhi is a Creative Consultant for publications and brands that focus on food. A marketing major, she earned a degree in Business Administration from NMIMS, Bombay, India. She started her professional journey with India's most prominent food delivery aggregator, which pushed her to understand how and what people eat. Then, with a desire to understand food cultures on a deeper level and how it intersects with shaping consumption and food brand ecosystem, she worked with Goya Journal, a food publication in India that sheds light on the diversity of food habits in an Indian context. Her goal is to understand how food, sustainability, and cultures are intertwined. Currently, her research is around how food brands shape eating habits. She loves to cook food, writing on her blog, and aspires to learn illustration.