Center for Diverse Leadership in Science
Rae Spriggs is an environmental health scientist and climate and equity advocate from San Diego. Her passions for climate justice and vulnerable communities like her own have guided her work and research experience. She was previously a Climate and Equity Researcher at The Nonprofit Institute at the University of San Diego where she built a dataset of regional climate and equity indicators that were used to inform the San Diego Regional Quality of Life Dashboard, and where she also led internal DEI efforts including the development of a framework and training curriculum. Prior to this, she helped lead the climate change and health equity efforts at the County of San Diego where she researched statewide and national best practices and drafted both a preliminary Climate and Health framework and policy for the region.
While earning her MPH at UCLA, she researched Health Impact Assessments (HIA). These are evidence-based tools used to inform stakeholders and decision makers about the potential impacts of proposed policies and projects and identify ways to maximize the health benefits and minimize harm. She assessed the 96 transportation-related HIAs conducted recently in the United States to evaluate how they operationalized health equity, a core principle of HIA. This research has been personally meaningful to her given her background. She grew up directly next to a major freeway in San Diego, and was diagnosed with asthma at the age of three. In undergrad, she learned that the natural and built environments have significant impacts on our physical health and well-being, and that knowledge has fueled her work since. She is now the Assistant Director of CDLS where she helps to build, fund, and advance programs and partnerships related to environmental and climate justice.