Erin Robinson


BA SUNY College at Geneseo
MA University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Ph.D. University at Buffalo

OM 014B

Erin E. Robinson received her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University at Buffalo where she researched social movement mobilization patterns in communities facing environmental hazards. Her research has involved ethnographic field methods and the use of frame analysis as both a research tool and mode of analysis in social movement research. Inspired by growing up in the neighboring shadows of Love Canal, she took these experiences and began to address environmental issues through community organizing as early as high school and pursued this through several academic publications involving community based participatory research models. Her primary research interests are environmental sociology, community mobilization, grassroots networking and collaboration, and social construction of risk. She has also studied semiotics and the transformation of meaning in urban space surrounding the development of community gardens. Currently she is involved in a number of research collaborations with local community groups studying community mobilization, engagement, and empowerment in connection to environmental justice concerns of water, air, and soil pollution.

She teaches classes in foundational sociology such as Introduction to Sociology and Ethnographic field methods; as well as electives in Social Movements and Social Change, Environmental Sociology, and Visual Sociology. Dr. Robinson also advises and directs programs in Environmental Studies and the interdisciplinary minor in Peace and Justice studies. These programs support collaborative experiences in research and community outreach with undergraduate students.


  • 2013: National Science Foundation INSPIRE award: $976,000. Four Year Award. Project title: Advancing Groundwater Restoration Through Analysis: What Practitioners and Stakeholders Care About and Why It Matters
  • 2011: Western New York Service Learning Coalition, Grant Awarded: $1500.00 for Photovoice community based participatory research support.
  • 2010-2015: Elected to serve on Board of Directors for the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York. 2010 Board Secretary; 2011, Treasurer; 2012, Vice President2013, President, 2014, 2015.
  • 2009: November. Article of the Year, Sociological Spectrum, Award given to honor the most outstanding article published during the year.


Robinson, Erin 2016. “Sharing Stories: The Role of Personal Narratives in Community Mobilization.” Humanity and Society, Volume 40(4).

Robinson, Erin. 2013. Community Mobilization for Environmental Problems: How a Grassroots Organization Forms and Works. Cambria Press: UK.

Robinson, Erin. 2010. “Environmental Issues,” 21st Century Anthropology, pp.977-986. H. James Birx, Editor. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Robinson, Erin. 2009. “Mobilizing Voices: A Discussion of Leadership In An Environmental Contaminated Community.” Qualitative Sociology Review, Volume V:1 (70-97).

Robinson, Erin. 2009. “Competing Frames of Environmental Contamination: Influences on Grassroots Community Mobilization.” Sociological Spectrum. Volume 29 (3-27).