Aissa Dearing

Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in Geography and the Environment

Supervisors: Dr Sneha Krishnan and Dr Constance McDermott

Dreaming of a Day After Net Zero: The Anticoloniality of Land-Based Carbon Removal in the USA

Academic Profile

Aissa Dearing (they/she) is a DPhil Researcher from North Carolina, USA, working at the nexus of carbon governance, environmental justice, anticolonial thought, and land histories. They work with Black and Indigenous land-stewarding communities in the USA to understand how interactions with the public-private carbon procurement mechanisms have affected relationality with nature and the surrounding community. They build upon this work to further understand how anticolonial pedagogies can work to create a theory of change for carbon governance more broadly, utilizing scenario planning and systems dynamics modeling techniques.

Outside of Oxford, they serve as the Regenerative Economy Program Manager at Sustain Our Future Foundation, which works to mobilize and activate resources to jumpstart community-owned, decentralized, and democratic forms of sustainable infrastructure. They write a monthly column ‘Unearthing Justice’ available on JStor Daily on all things environmental justice. They have experience in environmental justice activism, solar development, embedding environmental justice into federal procurement strategies, and serving in appointed advisory positions in local government (in their hometown of Durham, North Carolina).

They hold a B.A. in History and B.S. in Environmental Sciences from Howard University in Washington D.C., and a MSc in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford. They are fortunate enough to fund their time at Oxford with a Marshall and Clarendon Scholarship.


Aissa Dearing-Benton
Environmental Change Institute