Debra Salazar



Debra Salazar earned a BS in Forest Management from the University of California, Berkeley. She worked in forestry for three years before attending graduate school at the University of Washington where she received MS and PhD degrees in Forest Resource Policy. She joined the Political Science department at Western in 1990 and is an affiliate faculty member with the Huxley College of Environmental Studies.

Professor Salazar’s research interests include environmental politics and social movements. She is the author of numerous publications addressing the relation between social justice and environment. In 2005 she received a Residency at Mesa Writers’ Refuge, Point Reyes, California. Her recent publications include an article she co-authored in the journal, Review of Policy Research, and a chapter in Working on Earth: Class and Environmental Justice (Robertson and Westerman 2015). In addition to social science research, Professor Salazar has published essays in creative writing journals, which provide an outlet for her ruminations on modernity, death, place, and family.

Professor Salazar teaches courses on American Government, Social Movements, Environmental Injustice, Immigration Politics and Policy, Workers’ Movements, Queer Politics, and Social Statistics. She is a member of the department’s PSA Conference and Sandison Lecture Committee.

Current Courses

Fall 2023

  • PLSC 250 – American Political Systems

Winter 2024

  • PLSC 449 – Politics and Social Change WP3

Spring 2024

  • PLSC 321 – Queer/LGBT Politics

Selected Publications

  • Assoudeh, E. and D.J. Salazar. 2017. Movement Structure in an Authoritarian Regime: A Network Analysis of the Women’s and Student Movements in Iran. Research in Social Movements, Conflict and Change 41:137-171.
  • Abel, T., D.J. Salazar, and P. Robert. 2015. States of Environmental Justice: Redistributive Politics Across the United States. Review of Policy Research 32(2):200-225.
  • Salazar, D.J. 2015. From Orchards to Cubicles: Work and Space in the Silicon Valley. In Chris Robertson and Jennifer Westerman, Working on Earth: the Intersection of Working-Class Studies and Environmental Justice. Reno: University of Nevada Press.
  • Salazar, D.J. and D.K. Alper.  2011.  Justice and Environmentalisms in the British Columbia and Pacific Northwest Environmental Movements.  Society and Natural Resources 24  9(8):767-784.
  • Salazar, D.J. 2009. Saving Nature and Seeking Justice: Environmental Activists in the Pacific Northwest. Organization & Environment 22(2): 230-254.
  • Alper, D.K. and D.J. Salazar. 2005. Identification with Transboundary Places and Support for Ecological Transboundary Governance: A Case Study of British Columbia Environmental Activists. Journal of Borderland Studies 20(1): 23-43.
  • Salazar, D.J. 2003. Brown Hordes and Green Fears. Witness XVII (2): 144-155.
  • Salazar, D.J. 2003. Border Fetishism and the Environmental Movement. In Donald K.Alper and Daniel T. Douthit, BorderBlur: In and Out of Place in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Center for Canadian-American Studies, Western Washington University, Bellingham.
  • Salazar, D.J. and D.K. Alper. 2002. Reconciling Environmentalism and the Left: Perspectives on Democracy and Social Justice in the BC Environmental Movement. Canadian Journal of Political Science 35(3): 527-566.
  • Salazar, D.J. and J.J. Hewitt. 2001. Think Globally, Secure the Borders: The Oregon Environmental Movement and the Population/Immigration Debate. Organization and Environment 14(3): 290-310.
  • Salazar, D.J. and D.K. Alper (editors). 2000. Sustaining the Forests of the Pacific Coast: Forging Truces in the War in the Woods. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.