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Urooj Raja

Loyola University Chicago

Based in

United States
North America

Dr. Raja is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Advocacy and Social Change at the School of Communication at Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Raja is an interdisciplinary social scientist whose work focuses on how the general public engages with and responds to climate change. Her recent work has been published in Scientific Reports and the Journal of Environmental Communication. Dr. Raja’s work has been supported by national organizations, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the American Computing Machinery Association (ACM), the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the 11th Hour Foundation, the Environmental Grantmaker’s Association and the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Dr. Raja is currently a Review Editor for the Frontiers: Science and Environmental Communication Journal and sits on the Executive Section of the American Geophysical Union (AGU’s) Science and Society Section and the Environmental Communication section of the National Communication Association (NCA). Dr. Raja has previous work experience in the field of environmental philanthropy (the Solutions Project), polling behavior (Pew Research Center), and with local and national decision-making bodies (NY State Assembly and the U.S. House of Representatives).

In addition to her scholarly work, Dr. Raja is actively engaged in the development and testing of dialogue pathways that foster meaningful interactions between diverse audiences. Dr. Raja’s efforts further aim to increase understanding of environmental inequities and advance the cause of environmental justice. Before joining Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication, Dr. Raja finished her doctoral studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder in the School of Sustainability, Energy, and Environment. She also has an M.A. in environmental sociology from the University of Colorado Boulder and graduated with honors from Princeton University with a B.A. in history.

Originally from Bronx, NY, Dr. Raja is an avid chess player and a Mater Terra fan.
Follow her research and public/science communication efforts on Twitter: @uroojra.

Focus areas of expertise

Social movements Behavioral action Communications research Public opinion

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Selected Publications

Raja, Urooj S., and Amanda R. Carrico. “Formative experiences and psychological distance in the lives of contemporary environmentalists.” Frontiers in Psychology 14 (2023).

Raja, Urooj S., and Amanda R. Carrico. “Childhood trauma and other formative life experiences predict environmental engagement.” Scientific Reports 12.1 (2022): 20756.

Raja, Urooj S., and Amanda R. Carrico. “A qualitative exploration of individual experiences of environmental virtual reality through the lens of psychological distance.” Environmental Communication 15.5 (2021): 594-609.