Scott D. Odell

Development Geographer


Countries around the world are looking to expand clean-energy technology to mitigate climate change. Yet while decisive action is needed to prevent the worst impacts of global warming, the production of solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles will require a major increase in the mining of resources like copper, lithium, and cobalt, which has its own social and environmental impacts. This is particularly concerning in communities of the Global South that are near mineral deposits, but may also be vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Through research, publications, teaching, and public lectures, Scott works with students, communities, NGOs, companies, and government officials to understand and propose solutions to these intersecting concerns.

Scott is a Visiting Assistant Professor in The George Washington University Department of Geography, and a Visiting Scientist in MIT's Environmental Solutions Initiative (ESI). He has a PhD and MA from the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University and a Bachelor's Degree in Science, Technology, and International Affairs (STIA) from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

Scott's work is concentrated especially in the Andean region. He has worked previously as a postdoctoral associate in ESI, a visiting researcher in Georgetown University's Center for Latin American Studies, an instructor at Clark University, and a resident tutor at Harvard University. He has also lectured as faculty for the Anant Fellowship for Climate Action. In the non-profit sector, he worked as a program associate at the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, DC. His research has been funded by the Inter-American Foundation, MIT Sloan Latin America Office (MSLAO), and MIT Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab (J-WAFS). He enjoys cooking, playing and listening to music, gardening, and hiking.