Sociology Faculty

Hillary Angelo
  • Title
    • Associate Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Sociology Department
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Rachel Carson College Academic Building, 209
  • Office Hours Monday 2-4pm (online)
  • Mail Stop Rachel Carson College Faculty Services
  • Mailing Address
    • 1156 High St.
    • Santa Cruz California 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Urban studies, Environmental History, Social Theory, Sustainability
  • Courses SOCY 105A Classical Sociological Theory, SOCY 119 Sociology of Knowledge, SOCY 177 Urban Sociology, SOCY 185 Environmental Inequality, SOCY 201 Making of Classical Soc Theory, SOCY 223 Environmental Sociology, SOCY 206 Comparative and Historical Methods

Research Interests

Urbanization, nature, infrastructure, sustainability, democracy and public space, urban and environmental sociology, social theory, visual and historical methods, climate change, public lands and the energy transition

Biography, Education and Training

Hillary Angelo is an urban-environmental sociologist who studies understandings of the environment and their relationship to large-scale spatial and social transformations. Her work offers a social-theoretical perspective on socio-ecological questions through both historical and contemporary research on urban greening, sustainability planning and policy, infrastructure, and climate change. Her research is also particularly attuned to the politics of the built environment: how natural and human-made environments mediate experience to produce particular understandings of society.

Hillary received her Ph.D. in Sociology from New York University and holds a B.A. from Vassar College. Before completing her PhD, she worked for five years with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, primarily on issues of participatory design, immigration, and public space use.

Honors, Awards and Grants

  • 2022-2023 Member, Institute for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, Princeton
  • 2018 Jane Addams Award for Best Article in Community and Urban Sociology from the Community and Urban Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association 
  • 2017 Berggruen Fellowship, New York University

Selected Publications

  • 2023. "Boomtown: A Solar Land Rush in the West." Harper's Magazine. 
  • 2022. "Missing the housing for the trees: Equity in urban climate planning." Journal of Planning Education and Research.
  • 2021. How Green Became Good: Urbanized Nature and the Making of Cities and Citizens. University of Chicago Press.
  • 2021. "Why does everybody think cities can save the planet?" (with David Wachsmuth). Urban Studies. 
  • 2020. "Out in Space: Difference and Abstraction in Planetary Urbanization" (with Kian Goh). International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. 

See my website ( for current CV and additional information about my research. Photo credit: Andrea Kane, Institute for Advanced Study.