Jessica Debats is an advanced doctoral candidate in MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where she specializes in environmental policy and planning. Her research examines the relationship between environmental justice, climate adaptation, and public space, with a focus on municipal urban forestry and urban heat island mitigation.
Before coming to MIT, she worked as an environmental analyst and GIS specialist for local governments and environmental consulting firms in Southern California. She holds a Master of Arts in United States History from UCLA and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from UC Irvine.
She currently serves as Doctoral Associate to the MIT Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies. She provides academic advising to visiting mid-career professionals from developing countries and teaches seminars on climate change, environmental justice, and American culture, politics, history, and urban planning.
Areas of Interest
Climate Change, Environmental Planning, Social Equity, Sustainability