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About Me

 Kimi Waite's research and professional praxis is situated in the intersections of environmental justice education, geography, critical pedagogy, and social studies. A critical qualitative researcher, and an Asian American educator-activist-scholar with 10 years of teaching experience, she is passionate about inspiring and leading PK-12 students and teachers to take local action for global environmental change. In South Los Angeles Title I public school districts, she was an elementary school teacher and then worked in school district administration in a TK-12 STEM instructional leadership position. In addition, Kimi has taught in South Korea and Guyana and is an experienced facilitator for in-service teacher professional development. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Sustainability Education, and is an instructor for pre-service multiple-subject teacher credential candidates. A lifelong global citizen and former expat, she has been to over 80 countries and all 7 continents. 

Environment Activists Protest

Awards & Fellowships


Mentor Award: 

  • For outstanding mentorship and dedication to the North American Association for Environmental Education Civics Environmental Education Fellowship 


2021 Outstanding Elementary Social Studies Educator of the Year:

  • California Council for the Social Studies

2019 Environmental Education 30 Under 30: 

  • The North American Association for Environmental Education & USDA Forest Service


Civics Environmental Education Fellow:

  • The North American Association for Environmental Education, US EPA & Cedar Tree Foundation

Public Voices Fellow on the Climate Crisis:

  • The OpEd Project & the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication


Early Career Fellow:

  • UCLA Center for Diverse Leadership in Science, Institute of the Environment & Sustainability

Reading Braille

Teaching & Research

Teaching Interests:

  • Teacher professional development: Critical environmental education & community science

  • Environmental justice & climate justice pedagogy

  • Educational technology, innovation, & 21st-century learning

  • Interdisciplinary elementary education: STEAM & social studies focus

  • Partnerships between teachers, students, & STEM professionals to advance environmental civic action

  • Critical media literacy

Research Interests:

  • Critical qualitative research: Autoethnography & portraiture 

  • 3 article dissertation & public scholarship drive an equity-focused research agenda & dissemination plan

  • AsianCrit & Asian American environmental history

  • Critical environmental science agency

  • Transformative paradigms of community science in teacher education

  • Environmental justice & climate justice pedagogy

  • Digital professional learning

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