UMD: A Globally Connected University

Christina Prell

A network of international colleagues has helped UMD Sociology Assistant Professor Christina Prell develop an innovative approach to global environmental issues.  "I lived in the UK for about eight years, and I formed ties with many European scholars there," Prell said. "Tom Snijders, for example,  at the University of Groningen” in the Netherlands. Prell’s collaborations with economic geographers, who had "interesting trade data at the sector level," led her to look at the structure of global trade networks and how they factor into environmental inequalities, such as between-country differences in pollution.  "Through conversations, we realized that Network Analysis [theory] might be able to shed some new insights into these data," Prell said.  This creative new methodology on global environmental issues has already won Prell the prestigious Early Career Scholars award from the Economic and Social Research Council in the United Kingdom. And she recently received funding to work with anthropologists to explore how different climate change cultural views may spread through a network. To expand her work with Snijders at Groningen, Prell applied for and won a grant from UMD’s Office of International Affairs under its Global Partnerships Faculty Travel grant program.  That award allowed Prell to spend several days meeting with Snijders and other colleagues at Groningen, where she found “a lot of potential for future partnerships.”