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Camille Washington-Ottombre

Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Policy

Camille Washington Ottombre


Sabin-Reed Hall 332


Camille Washington-Ottombre’s teaching and research interests revolve around adaptation to climate change and environmental justice. In an introductory course, Sustainability and Social-Ecological Systems, she and her students explore the complexities of the Anthropocene and investigate solutions for building a more sustainable and resilient future. In a research methods course, Researching Environmental Problems, the class identifies, researches and formulates policy options to engage with issues of sustainability. Washington-Ottombre and her students often use the Smith campus as a lab in order to research and implement campus sustainability. In an upper-level course, Natural Resource Management and Environmental Justice," she and her students explore the deep-rooted connections between natural resource policies and environmental injustices in the United States and elsewhere.

In her research, Washington-Ottombre explores how small communities in sub-Saharan Africa and on U.S. campuses respond to climate change. In research funded by the National Science Foundation and the Social Science Research Council, she researched the adaptive capacity of small rural communities in Kenya and Zambia. She has traveled with students to Kenya, Zambia and Belize to conduct research. More recently, Washington-Ottombre has been studying the role of institutions of higher education as agents of change by analyzing the development and the impact of measures relating to campus sustainability.

Selected Publications

Baldwin L., Washington-Ottombre, C. and Cole, D. “Resilience, Regimes Shifts, and Water Governance in Kenya, 1900-2013: Towards a Polycentric Order.” Governance. April 2016, Vol. 29, Issue 2, pp. 207-225.

Washington-Ottombre C., and B. Pijanowski. 2013. “Rural Organizations and Adapation to Climate Change and Variability in Rural Kenya.” Regional Environmental Change. Vol. 13, Issue 3, pp 537-550.

Washington-Ottombre C., B. Pijanowski, D. Campbell, J. Olson, B. Napoletano, A. Musili, T. Kaburu, P. Hayombe, E. Owango, B. Irigia, S. Gichere, and A. Mwangi. 2010. “Information Flows between Multiple Models to Study Land-use Drivers.” Agricultural Systems, 103, pp. 117-126.

Pijanowski, B., J. Olson, C. Washington-Ottombre, A. Davis, D. Campbell, and K. Alexandridis. 2007. “Pluralistic modeling approaches to simulating climate-land interactions in East Africa." Proceedings of the Simulation and Modeling Conference.

Broussard, S., C. Washington-Ottombre and B. Miller. 2007. “Attitudes toward policies to protect open space: A comparative study of government planning officials and the general public.” Landscape and Urban Planning 86(1):14-24.

Office Hours

Office hours indicated on syllabi.


Ph.D. Purdue University
M.A., École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris
B.A., Institut d’Études Politiques, Strasbourg

Selected Works in Smith ScholarWorks