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Curriculum Vitae



Research Interests: Environmental Sociology, Science and Technology Studies, Social Movements, Political Sociology, Narratives, Communications, Policy, Qualitative Methods

Dissertation Title: Do Climate Leaders Frack?: Oil Policy and Climate Policy in California

Dissertation Committee: Steven Brechin (chair), Norah MacKendrick, Rachael Shwom, Barry Rabe (University of Michigan)

Rob’s research investigates how the fossil fuel industry, environmental activists, and policymakers blend science, public relations, and political narratives together as they attempt to shape policy regarding energy systems and climate change. His current project explores circumstances that lead to the inclusion or exclusion of climate considerations during the development of state-level oil and gas production policy. His dissertation, through in-depth analysis of policymaking processes in California, identifies the difficulties that even self-proclaimed “climate leaders” face in transitioning away from fossil fuels.


Duffy, Robert. 2023. “‘The cleanest oil fields in the world’: Narratives encouraging oil development in California.” Energy Research & Social Science 97:102998.

Duffy, Robert. 2022. “Synecdoche and Battles over the Meaning of ‘Fracking.’” Environmental Communication 16(3):339-351.