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April Baptiste

April Baptiste

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies; Coordinator, Caribbean Studies Concentration in the Africana and Latin American Studies Program
Environmental Studies , 229 Ho Science Center
p 315-228-6740
My tenure at Colgate University began in 2009, in the Environmental Studies Program. I am the first tenure-track professor exclusively in the Environmental Studies Program and look forward to the opportunities and challenges that are ahead of me as I make Colgate my new home. I teach courses related to Environmental Justice, which is one of my areas of expertise. Having an interdisciplinary background provides unique opportunities within the Environmental Studies Program at Colgate and I look forward to engaging students and colleagues, particularly with the recent approval of the new Environmental Studies major.

Currently I hold a joint appointment as an Associate Professor in both the Environmental Studies Program and the Africana and Latin American Studies Program.

As a native of Trinidad and Tobago, I am engaged in research that looks at the intersection of environmental psychological variables and environmental justice issues within the Caribbean region. I have explored the relationship between environmental attitudes and concerns toward oil and gas drilling in an internationally protected wetland in Trinidad and the relationship between environmental justice and the siting of aluminum smelters within the same context. I am currently working on a project on climate change knowledge, perceptions and behaviors in the Caribbean. I will be launching a new research project on environmental movements in the Caribbean beginning in 2017. In addition to my Caribbean research I am working on a new research project on access to food for low income residents in Central New York.

In addition to my scholarship, I am also involved in "Scholarship in Action" where I use my research skills and knowledge to engage my local community both within the US and Trinidad. I recently completed a project on Green Infrastructure potential in the city of Syracuse with the Partnership for Onondaga Creek (local environmental justice activist group). This project examined the perceptions and support for Green Infrastructure as an alternative to gray sewage infrastructure. 


  • BS (2002), M.Sc. (2004), University of West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad
  • PhD, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 2008
  • Certificate of Latin American Studies, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, 2008

Teaching Experience

Postdoctoral Fellow, Syracuse University, January 2008-December 2008; Trinity College, Moka, Maraval, Trinidad, September 2002-December 2003


Environmental justice, environmental psychology, natural resource management, Caribbean Studies


Environmental justice, environmental psychology, Caribbean environmental issues, climate change

Selected Publications

Articles (peer reviewed)

  • Baptiste, A.K. & Rhiney, K. (2016). Climate justice and the Caribbean: An introduction. Geoforum, 73, 17 – 21. doi: 1016/ j. geoforum. 2016. 04. 008
  • Kagel, M. & Baptiste, A.K. A Framework for Collaborative Climate Change Research, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, doi: 10.1007/s13412-016-0380-y
  • Baptiste, A.K.  (2015). Richard M. Mizelle Jr.: A review of Backwater Blues: The Mississippi Flood of 1927 in the African American Imagination. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 5(3), 491 – 492. doi:10.1007/s13412-015-0287-z
  • Baptiste, A.K. & Kinlocke, R. (2015). We are not all the same!: Comparative climate change vulnerabilities among fishers in Old Harbour Bay, Jamaica. Geoforum, 73, 47 – 59. doi:
  • Baptiste, A.K. (2015). Can a research film be considered a stand-alone academic publication? An assessment of the film Climate Change, Voices of the Vulnerable: The Fishers’ Plight. Area, doi: 10.1111/area.12194
  • Baptiste, A.K., Foley, C., & Smardon, R. (2015). Understanding urban neighbourhood differences in willingness to implement green infrastructure measures: A case study of Syracuse, NY. Landscape and Urban Planning, 136, 1 – 12. doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.11.012
  • Baptiste, A.K. (2014). “Experience is a Great Teacher”:  Citizens’ reception of a proposal for the implementation of green infrastructure as stormwater management technology – Journal of Community Development, 45(4), 337–352. doi: 10.1080/15575330.2014.934255
  • Baptiste, A.K. (2013). Climate change adaptation among small-scale fishers in Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica. Caribbean Geography, 18, 39 - 63
  • Shah, K.U., Dulal, H.B., Johnson, C., & Baptiste, A.K. (2013). Understanding livelihood vulnerability to climate change: Applying the livelihood vulnerability index in Trinidad and Tobago. Geoforum, 47, 125–137. doi: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2013.04.004
  • Baptiste, A.K. & Smardon, R.S. (2012). A review of the wetland use and management of the Nariva Swamp, Trinidad, Caribbean Geography, 17, (1&2), 73–91.
  • Baptiste, A.K. & Nordenstam, B.J. (2010). Environmental Perceptions and Action: Villagers Response to Oil and Gas Drilling in the Wetlands of Rural Trinidad, Research in Social Problems and Public Policy, 18, 289-321.
  • Baptiste, A.K. & Nordenstam, B.J. (2009). The Impact of Oil and Gas Drilling on the Environmental Awareness of Three Rural Wetland Communities, Environmental Conservation, 36, 14–21. doi:

Book Chapters (peer-reviewed)

  • Baptiste, A.K. (2016). Of Starving Horses and Growing Grass: Resilience versus Dependency in a Caribbean Fishing Community. In Godfrey, P. & Torres, D. (eds), Emergent possibilities for global sustainability (pp. 70 – 83). New York, NY: Routledge
  • Baptiste, A.K. (2016). Factors Influencing Perceptions of Climate Change among Caribbean Coastal Artisanal Fishers: Case Study of Old Harbour Bay, Jamaica. In Beckford, C. & Rhiney, K. (eds)., Globalization, Climate Change, Food and Agriculture in the Caribbean: Climate change, gender and geography (pp. 243 – 264). London: Palgrave-Macmillan.
  • Baptiste, A.K. (2013). Local versus expert perception of climate change: An analysis of fishers in Trinidad and Tobago. In H.E. Muga, & K.D. Thomas, Cases on the Diffusion and Adoption of Sustainable Development Practices (pp. 44–82). Hersey, PA: IGI Global. (Invited)

 Documentary Film

  • Climate Change: Voices of the Vulnerable – The Fisher’s Plight – A documentary of the impacts of climate change on the fishing industry in Trinidad and Tobago: June 2012
    • Available at


Baptiste, A.K. (2008). Evaluating Environmental Awareness: A Case Study of the Nariva Swamp, Trinidad. State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

Professional Experience

  • Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow: African American Studies Department, Syracuse University
  • Refuge Intern: The Wilderness Society, Washington, D.C. 


Fulbright Scholar (2006-2008)
Technology, Entertainment and Design Fellow (2009) and Senior Fellow (2010-2013)


Personal website:

Board Membership

Founder/Chairwoman: Youth Environmental and Development Coalition (YEDCo), Siparia, Trinidad and Tobago
Director of Environment: The Community HUB, Barataria, Trinidad and Tobago