Kay’s motivation for engaging with the ethics in environmental policy comes from her practical experience working in environmental policy as well as her training in sociology and law. Her work on issues ranging from environmental justice to endangered species have given her deeper insight into the complexities that values, beliefs, and ethical commitments introduce into environmental decision making processes and to the importance of addressing such complexities.Kay Jowers is a senior policy associate at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. Her work focuses on analyzing state regulatory and policy approaches to addressing environmental issues.
Before joining the Nicholas Institute, Kay worked as an environmental attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center and the University of Denver’s Environmental Law Clinic. She is pursuing her doctorate in political and environmental sociology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
She holds a J.D. with a concentration in environmental law from Tulane University Law School, a master's degree in environmental health sciences from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of South Carolina.
Ryan first encountered the ethical dimensions of environmental policy while working for a human rights organization in the Peruvian Amazon, where he saw the complex impacts of mining and a cement factory on indigenous peoples and lands. His academic work, in part, looks at how descriptive statements about land and the environment include moral, theological, and evaluative claims within them.
Ryan is a PhD student in the Christian Theological Studies track of the Graduate Program in Religion. His research engages theological ethics, political ecology and political economy in the Americas, and religion in modernity. He is particularly interested in how people conceptualize and politicize their theological relation to "nature."