Noleen Chikowore, PhD

Noleen Chikowore

Department of Community Sustainability

CSUS - Environmental Governance, Urban Sustainability, Informality, Social Identities and Livelihoods


Hometown: Zimbabwe

Advisor: John Kerr

Noleen is a doctoral student in the Department of Community Sustainability and the Environmental Science and Policy. She has completed a specialization in Gender Justice and Environmental Change. Her dissertation work uses waste management practices at football tailgates in Michigan as a lens to explore (1) informal recycling livelihoods, (2) waste governance, and (3) the role of a place-based context and social identities in informal recycling. Football tailgates were one of her cultural shocks when she arrived in the United States. At each football tailgate, she observed people collecting cans and bottles to supplement their other sources of income. She became curious to understand the lived experiences of informal recyclers in the global North context.

Noleen is a Fulbright Scholar from Zimbabwe. She completed her Master of Arts in Environmental Policy and Planning from the University of Zimbabwe and a Bachelor of Arts Dual Honors in Geography and Literature in English from the Catholic University of Zimbabwe (CUZ). After her graduate studies, she intends to re-join academia. Her future work will focus on co-producing knowledge to help reduce poverty and promote urban sustainability, support community-engaged initiatives for social change, and empower vulnerable communities in influencing environmental policies.