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Sarra Tekola

Sarra Tekola

PhD Student, Sustainability, School of Sustainability

School of Sustainability
Arizona State University
PO Box 875502
Tempe, AZ 85287-5502


  • PhD Student, Sustainability, School of Sustainability


Sarra Tekola is currently working on her PhD in Sustainability at Arizona State University. Her undergraduate research was on the physical elements of climate change, where she interned and researched for EPA, NOAA and the Washington State Department of Ecology. She has also worked on the political side of sustainability as a legislative aide for a Seattle City Councilmember. To put the knowledge into application her dissertation works on the social side of climate change focusing on creating the cultural change Western society needs to successfully implement climate solutions. She is investigating the connections between climate change and colonization, and how the colonial trauma Western countries have affects our ability to address climate change today and how decolonization can be a climate solution.

Sarra is also a climate and racial justice activist. She is the cofounder of Women of Color Speak Out, a group that works to help the environmental movement become more accessible to people of color. Her activism has been featured in Democracy Now, CNN, Rolling Stone and was named by Outside Magazine as one of the “30 under 30” in 2016.

Teaching Assistant Experience

  • SOS 101 - Introduction to Applied Mathematics for the Life and Social Sciences (1 semester)
  • SOS 322 - International Development & Sustainability (2 semesers)
  • SOS 322 - International Development & Sustainability (online, 1 semester)

Research Assistant Experience

  • Summer Research Assistant for the Urban Resilience to Extremes SRN project


  • BS, Environmental Science and Terrestrial Resource Management, University of Washington


Journal Articles


Janssen, M. A., A. Jenik, S. Z. Tekola, K. L. Davis, S. A. Flores, W. Gibbs, M. Koehn, V. Lyons, C. Mallory, S. Rood, S. Guelpa and L. Pfister. 2018. Drylab 2023: Living a possible future with resource scarcity. Ecology and Society 23(4):. DOI: 10.5751/ES-10299-230408. (link )



Dunton, M., D. Krantz, A. Lopez, K. Orrick and S. Tekola. 2019. Sustainability restaurant review. Presentation at the Arizona Businesses Advancing Sustainability, January 2019, Tempe, AZ.