B.A., M.Sc.

Contact Details

Lecturer in Human Geography, Co-director of MA Environment, Society and Development
Block T
Distillery road
NUI Galway
M: 085 7318953
E: mary.greene@nuigalway.ie
https://twitter.com/MaryRoseGreene
 
researcher
 

Biography

I am a Lecturer in Human Geography and co-director of the MA in Environment, Society and Development in the Discipline of Geography at NUI Galway. I'm an experienced researcher and lecturer specialising in the social-scientific study of society-environment relations and sustainability. 

Specialising in the study of the intersections between societal and environmental change, my research forms part a rapidly growing and increasingly significant field of social scientific inquiry. My research interests lie in cross fertilising social and environmental geography to explore intersecting social, cultural and political dimensions of environmental change and development in the following thematic areas: sustainable consumption and lifestyles; environmental citizenship; sustainable communities and grassroots innovations; social and environmental justice, urban and rural governance in developed and developing world contexts; environmental policy and planning; sociotechnical transitions and innovations; and innovative research methods for applied social science and sustainability research. To this end, my work can be situated at the interface between human geography, sociology, social psychology, lifecourse studies, planning, environmental policy and science and technology studies. 

Research Interests

My extant research interests focus on understanding social and cultural dimensions of environmental change and society-environment interactions at multiple scales of analysis in the following thematic areas: sustainable consumption and production; energy use and everyday life; environmental education; social movements and sustainable communities; environmental governance; environmental policy and planning; socio-technical transitions and innovations; political ecology and political economy; and innovative research methods for critical sustainability research. To this end, my work can be situated at the interface between human geography, sociology, social psychology, lifecourse studies, planning, environmental policy and science and technology studies.

Methods with which I am experienced include surveys, interviews, focus groups, ethnography, diaries, video, social movement analysis, living lab approaches, creative art methodologies, life course methods, world café and open space methodologies, discourse analysis and participatory action-based and mixed method research approaches. I also have experience with quantitative methods and an understanding of the statistics behind important social science significance testing (e.g. correlation, regression, factor and cluster analysis etc). 

Recent and ongoing research: 

Researching complex contextual drivers of (un)sustainable consumption

My research forms part of a rapidly expanding body of sociological approaches to sustainable consumption research and environmental governance. To this end, my recent and ongoing work has explicitly focused on exploring the intersections between lives, practices and contexts in energy systems change. Central to this has been an emphasis on progressing understandings of the intersection of dynamics in everyday consumption with broader systems of provisions. My research has primarily focused on applying, developing and innovating theoretical and methodological approaches to investigating consumption. To this end, I have developed strong expertise in sociological theories of consumption, including practice theories, transition theories, multi-level perspectives, political economy and energy cultures, to name just a few. 

My ongoing and future research aims to develop and advance cross cultural comparative investigations of evolving consumption cultures and practices.  Since the completion of my doctoral research, I have obtained two competitive grants that have enabled me to expand my research to include cross-cultural case studies in African (The Gambia) and non-European Anglophone (New Zealand) urbanising contexts. (Greene and Schiffer, 2018). Comparative cross-cultural case study explorations are a significant means by which to explore contextual processes and development mechanisms shaping the evolution consumption cultures and practices.  Going forward my ambition is to continue to innovate and advance the field of sustainable consumption by progressing cross cultural investigations. This work is progressing cross cultural investigations of how individuals’ everyday energy practices, including food, mobility and laundry practices, intersect and interact with processes of biographic and socio-technical change. To date, field contexts have included Ireland, The Gambia and New Zealand. This research has been facilitated by funding from the Irish Research Council, the Royal Irish Academy and the H2020 SHAPE ENERGY project. 

Decoding the Disciplines in European Institutions of Higher Education: Fostering Interdisciplinarity and Increasing Intellectual Diversity
This year I took over as project coordinator and pedagogic expert on the ERASMUS Plus project Decoding the Disciplines. Running from 2016 to 2019, this cross-European project seeks to foster interdisciplinary learning and collaboration in developing and sharing pedagogic experiences and innovations in teaching complex social problems at university level. Interdisciplinary learning is occurring between participating partners in Vilnius University (Lithuania)(PI), NUI Galway, College VIVES (Belgium), Roma Tre University (Italy), and Vytautas Magnus University (Lithuania). My role on the project focuses on coordinating and leading in the application of the Decoding the Disciplines Methodology to develop a set of innovative teaching tools that will help academics to foster student-centred, field-based and problem-centred pedagogical approaches to teaching critical environmental social science. 

Past research

2009-10 ‘Microcosms of Sustainability’
This research focused on community-based practices for sustainability in London using a participatory, action-based research methodology. Focusing on the Transition Town movement, it examined how this movement has become a site of innovation for sustainable consumption social. Employing an ethnographic qualitative approach, it explored the transformative impact movement membership had on participants’ subjectivity and action and the influence of the movement in stimulating community transitions towards a lower carbon future.
 

2006-07   'Children's Conceptions of 'Environment''

This study focused on primary school children’s developing conceptions of human-environment relations. Using a creative mixed method qualitative methodological, children’s own voices were captured to map out the variations in their conceptions and understandings of the environment and human environment relations. The thoughts and conceptions of the children concerning ideas of ‘environment’ were assessed through a two-phased methodological approach that included a creative methodology involving expression through art work and focus group discussions.
 2006-07         


  ‘Men, Masculinities and Help-seeking behaviour’ (Psychology)
This research sought to investigate whether masculine identity and gender role allocation was related to men’s help-seeking behaviour for psychological and physical problems. The quantitative methodology incorporated two surveys that measured masculinity on the one hand and help-seeking behaviour on the other. The analysis was quantitative in nature and the participants responses were analysed using the statistical package SPSS.
   


Scholarship, Research Awards and Grants
2018                      Royal Irish Academy Postgraduate Mobility Scholarship (€2,500)
2018                       ERASMUS PLUS Decoding the Disciplines (Coordinator and Pedagogic expert)
2018                       Geographical Society of Ireland Doctoral Research Award
2017                       H2020 SHAPE ENERGY Research Design Challenge (€2,500)
2017                       Ryan Institute Travel Award, NUI Galway (value €800)
2013-16                 Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship (value: c €70,000)
2015                       Geographical Society of Ireland Travel Grant (value €250)
2015                      College of Arts Travel Grant, NUI Galway (value €500)
2012-13                 Hardiman Research Scholarship, NUI Galway (value c. €20,000)
2007                       Bursary Scholarship, NUI Galway (value €250)
2007                       Best Undergraduate Dissertation Award (Geography, NUI Galway) (value €200)
2007                       Geography Student of the Year Award (Geography, NUI Galway)

Peer Reviewed Journals

  Year Publication
(2018) 'Steering Demand: A 'systems of practice' approach to energy demand governance'
Greene, Mary and Fahy, Frances (2018) 'Steering Demand: A 'systems of practice' approach to energy demand governance'. Geoforum, [Details]
(2018) 'Moving across the life course: the potential of a biographic approach to researching dynamics of everyday mobility practices'
Greene, Mary and Rau, Henrike (2018) 'Moving across the life course: the potential of a biographic approach to researching dynamics of everyday mobility practices'. Journal Of Consumer Culture, 18 (1):60-82 [Details]
(2018) 'Socio-technical transitions and dynamics in everyday consumption'
Greene, Mary (2018) 'Socio-technical transitions and dynamics in everyday consumption'. Global Environmental Change, 52 :1-9 [DOI] [Details]

Book Chapters

  Year Publication
(2018) 'Learning from past and current energy transitions to build sustainable and resilient energy futures: lessons from Ireland and The Gambia'
Greene, Mary (2018) 'Learning from past and current energy transitions to build sustainable and resilient energy futures: lessons from Ireland and The Gambia' In: Shape Energy Research Design Challenge: control, change and capacity-building in energy systems. EU: Shape Energy. [Details]
(2017) 'Paths, projects and careers of domestic practice: Exploring dynamics of demand over biographical time'
Greene, M. (2017) 'Paths, projects and careers of domestic practice: Exploring dynamics of demand over biographical time' In: Demanding energy: spaces, temporalities and change. Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan Publishers Ltd. [Details]
(2014) 'Time and Practice'
Blue, S., Greene, M., Morosanu, R. (2014) (2014) 'Time and Practice' In: Practices, the Built Environment and Sustainability: A Thinking Note Collection. Cambridg, UK: GSI, DIST, BSA. [Details]
(2014) 'Exploring the relationship between narrative and practice'
Greene,M. and Westerhoff, L. (2014) 'Exploring the relationship between narrative and practice' In: Practices, the Built Environment and Sustainability: A Thinking Note Collection. Cambridge, UK: GSI, DIST, BSA. [Details]

Honours and Awards

  Year Title Awarding Body
2017 Ryan Institute Travel Grant Ryan Institute
2015 College of Arts Travel Grant, NUI Galway (value €500) College of Arts, NUI Galway
2015 Geographical Society of Ireland Travel Grant (value €250) Geographical Society of Ireland
2013 Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship (value: c €70,000) Irish Research Council
2012 Hardiman Research Scholarship, NUI Galway (value c. €20,000) College of Arts, NUI Galway
2007 Bursary Scholarship, NUI Galway (value €250) NUI Galway
2007 Geography Student of the Year Award Discipline of Geography, NUI Galway
2007 Best Undergraduate Dissertation Award (Geography, NUI Galway) Discipline of Geography, NUI Galway

Professional Associations

  Association Function From / To
BSA Climate Change group Member 01-SEP-14 /
Geographical Society of Ireland Postgraduate Representative 01-SEP-14 /
Royal Geographical Society Postgraduate Forum Secretary 01-SEP-14 /
Royal Geographical Society Postgraduate Forum PGF ACTS coordinator 02-SEP-13 / 01-SEP-14
Geographical Society of Ireland Early Career and Postgraduate Researchers Network Chair and founder 03-APR-17 /
Academic Council, NUI Galway Postgraduate representative 01-SEP-14 / 01-SEP-15
Supporting Women in Geography Committee, Ireland Member at large 08-MAY-17 /
Planning & Environment Research Group, Royal Geographical Society Membership Officer 01-SEP-15 /
Practices, the Built Environment & Sustainability Research Network Member 01-SEP-14 /

Reviews

  Journal Role
Area Reviewer
Local Environment Reviewer

Teaching Interests

I am currently co-director and coordinator of the Masters in Environment, Society and Development. My teaching interests include graduate and undergraduate teaching (both large- and small-group teaching) addressing human geographical themes relating to the social scientific study of the environment and sustainability, including: culture-nature relations, globalisation and global-local relations, environmental knowledges and environmentalism, governance, environmental policy and planning processes, sustainable development, stakeholder analysis, public participation, social theory and methods for sustainability and human geographical research. Furthermore, as a broad-based Geography, I have knowledge and experience teaching a wide range of themes in human geography focusing on critical geographical theory, practice and methods in the sub disciplines of social, cultural, development, environmental and political geographies. 


Teaching experience


Masters Teaching, MA Environment, Society & Development (MA ESD):
I am currently co-director and coordinator of the MA ESD program (~ 8-12 students enrolled) where my duties entail module coordination, administration and design and delivery of key modules. Module on which I play a coordinating and teaching role include:

TI702             Geography and Geo-graphing (2017/18, 2018/19)

TI703             Geopolitics and Security (2017/18)

TI704              Environmental Risk and Resilience (2017/18, 2018/19)

 TI 706             Field Based Learning (2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19)  

TI707             MA Dissertation (Academic supervisor to MA students researching themes relating to environment, society and development (2017/18, 2018/19)


Undergraduate Teaching:
TI3116           Geographies of Development (2018/19, 84 students enrolled) 

T1150             Introducing Human Geographies (2017/18, 2018/19,  ~350 students enrolled)

TI366              Environmental Planning Research dissertation: Academic supervisor to undergraduate students      researching  themes relating environmental and cultural geography. Research themes include: sustainable consumption and production; rural sustainability, creative use of urban space (2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19 - 17 research students)

TI 236              Environmental Planning, seminar tutor (2015-16, 2016-17, ~120 students enrolled)

TI 343              Geographies of Sustainable Consumption, seminar tutor (2013-14, ~140 students enrolled)

TI 335              Research Project Design and Development, lecturer (2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, ~ 200 students enrolled)

TI 212              Geography Theory and Practice, lecturer (2016/17, 2017/18,  2018/19, ~ 200 students enrolled)