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About Me

 Dr. Kimi Waite's professional praxis is situated at the intersections of environmental justice education, geography, critical pedagogy, and social studies. An Asian American educator-activist-scholar with over 10 years of teaching experience, she has received both national and state recognition for her leadership in environmental education, social studies, and climate change education. She has a multiple subjects teaching credential from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, an M.Ed. from UCLA, and a Ph.D. in Sustainability Education from Prescott College. Her work has been published by outlets such as PBS, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Ms. Magazine, The Progressive, The San Diego Union-Tribune, Grist, Cal Matters, Rethinking Schools, and The Journal of Curriculum & Pedagogy. She has been a requested presenter for The National Education Association, Cornell University's Civic Ecology Lab, The North American Association for Environmental Education, and The National Geographic Society. 

 

Dr. Kimi Waite joined the Department of Child & Family Studies at California State University, Los Angeles in Fall 2023 as an Assistant Professor. Prior experiences: Part-time faculty at California State University, Fullerton's Department of Elementary & Bilingual Education; TK-12 STEM curriculum specialist in Compton; and an elementary school teacher in South Los Angeles. In addition, she has taught in South Korea and Guyana and is an experienced facilitator for in-service teacher professional development. A lifelong global citizen and former expat, she has been to over 80 countries and all 7 continents. 

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Awards & Fellowships

Awards:

National Geographic Explorer: 

  • 2022 National Geographic Society grant awardee

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

Fellowships:

Early Career Fellow, Researcher (2023-Present):

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

Early Career Fellow, Graduate Student (2020-2023):

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

Public Voices Fellow on the Climate Crisis:

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

Civics Environmental Education Fellow:

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

 

Reading Braille

Teaching & Research

Teaching Interests:

  • Teacher professional development: Critical environmental education, social justice, & environmental justice

  • Environmental justice & climate justice pedagogy

  • Interdisciplinary elementary education: STEAM & social studies focus

  • Asian American studies and Asian American history

 

 

Research Interests:

  • Critical qualitative research: Autoethnography & portraiture 

  • AsianCrit & Asian American environmental history

  • The Environmental Science Agency of PK-12 teachers

  • Environmental justice & climate justice pedagogy

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

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