Jacob Barton

Jake grew up in rural New Hampshire in a family of teachers, and learned to admire educators from an early age. In college, he did his best to reconcile his interests in climate science and storytelling, graduating from Harvard with a BA in Environmental Science & Public Policy and a minor in English literature. After leading outdoor education trips in Colorado and Alaska, Jake started as a science teacher, soccer coach, and director of sustainability at a high school in southwest Virginia. He began his time as a Doctoral student at Berkeley in 2019.

Jake’s research explores the historical and social dimensions of science teaching and learning. In broad strokes, his work seeks to understand and empower teachers’ and students’ participation in local contentious practice, especially when that practice is related to issues of food sovereignty; climate change and environmental racism; and spatial justice more generally. He is particularly interested in the possibilities of counter-mapping and critical cartography as tools to support locally situated learning and activism. Jake was awarded an InFEWS Fellowship in 2020-2021 to support the interdisciplinary nature of this work, which he hopes can empower transformative agency in classrooms and communities in the San Francisco East Bay area and beyond.