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 experience in education, she is passionate about inspiring and leading PK-12 students and teachers to take local action for global environmental change. In addition to her teaching and leadership experience in South Los Angeles Title I public school districts, she has also taught in South Korea and Guyana. A lifelong global citizen and former expat, she has been to over 80 countries and all 7 continents. She is a Ph.D. candidate in Sustainability Education. 

Environment Activists Protest

Awards & Fellowships

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

  • 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

  • 2021 Outstanding Elementary Social Studies Educator of the Year: California Council for the Social Studies

  • Early Career Fellow: UCLA Center for Diverse Leadership in Science, Institute of the Environment & Sustainability

  • 2019 Environmental Education 30 Under 30: The North American Association for Environmental Education & USDA Forest Service

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

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