Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Ph.D., Geography, Syracuse University, Maxwell School of Citizenship, December 2012.
Dissertation Title: "Competing sovereignties: Oil extraction, corporate social responsibility, and
indigenous subjectivity in Ecuador." Advisor: Dr. Tom Perreault.
Master of Regional Planning, Cornell University, August 2006.
Thesis Title: "Identity in social movement formation: Challenging a global oil industry within three Kichwa communities in Ecuador's Amazon region."
B.A., Environmental Studies, (Art History Minor), Middlebury College, February 2000.
Areas of Scholarly Expertise and Interest
Dr. Billo's doctoral dissertation examined the corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs of the Spanish oil firm Repsol in an indigenous Kichwa community in the northern Ecuadorian Amazon region. CSR programs are market-based, non-government initiatives, widely promoted as grassroots development efforts that purportedly offset the social and environmental impacts of resource extraction. Through multi-sited ethnographic research conducted at local, regional and national levels, her dissertation illuminates the way in which corporate, state, and indigenous actors engage within an institutional framework of CSR to facilitate oil extraction, and rights and access to resources.
Dr. Billo's goals as an educator include helping students examine the interconnectedness of their own lives within social and natural environments. In turn, she is committed to helping students develop their own agency within a larger society. Her teaching style incorporates space for creative, collaborative learning. She encourages students to take risks and challenge themselves intellectually. Two interrelated processes characterize her teaching goals. First, she aims to cultivate students' engagement with pressing global issues. Second, her goal is to develop critical analytical tools that enable students to evaluate the political, social, cultural, and ecological implications of these issues.
Dr. Billo's teaching interests include Introduction to Environmental Studies, Fossil Fuels and Society, Environmental Policy and Politics, Environmental Justice, Politics of Food and Agriculture, Development and Globalization, and Qualitative Methods.
Billo, E. and N. Hiemstra, 2013. "Mediating messiness: Expanding ideas of flexibility, reflexivity and embodiment in fieldwork," Gender, Place & Culture, 20(3): 313-328.
2008. Review of M. Peña, 'Latina Activists Across Borders: Women's Grassroots Organizing in Mexico and Texas' (Durham & London: Duke University Press), Gender, Place & Culture, 15(6): 647-661.
National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement grant, "Corporate social responsibility and rural development in Ecuador's northern Amazon region," $12,000, 2009-2010.
Inter-American Foundation Grassroots Development PhD Fellowship, "Corporate social responsibility and rural development in Ecuador's northern Amazon region," $25,000, 2008-2009.