Maria Isabel Espinoza

Maria Isabel Espinoza
  • Assistant Professor
  • Department of Sociology
  • PhD Sociology, Rutgers University-New Brunswick, 2023
  • Berkey Hall Room 460B
  • 509 E. Circle Drive
  • East Lansing, MI 48824





Maria Isabel Espinoza P.


Maria Isabel Espinoza is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Michigan State University. Her research and teaching areas of expertise are environmental communication, the sociology of climate change, and the climate and health nexus. Her work has been published in Social Science & Medicine, Environmental Sociology, Big Data & Society, and Climatic Change.

She is the co-author, with Melissa Aronczyk, of A Strategic Nature: Public Relations and the Politics of Environmentalism (Oxford University Press, 2022), which won the National Communication Association’s Outstanding Book Award in the PR division.


Dr. Espinoza studies how public health experts make sense of the connections between environmental conditions, climate change, and infectious diseases and how they imagine adaptive strategies to manage current and future epidemics. Relatedly, she explores how public health experts’ views of the relation between climate, environment, and infectious disease and organizational factors affect current efforts to control and adapt to climate change’s effect on infectious disease transmission.

Her current research projects include:

  1. The role of frustration, conformity, and cynicism in public health experts’ views of health adaptation in Peru
  2. The limits of the discourse on inter-sectoral work discourse for health adaptation
  3. The role that PR agents have played in the promotion of insecticides as the main vector control tool in global health from the 1970s until the present



Aronczyk, M. and Espinoza, M.I. (2022). A Strategic Nature. Public Relations and The Politics of American Environmentalism. Oxford University Press.
· Outstanding Book Award in PR from the National Communication Association

Journal Articles

Espinoza, M. I. (2021). Conflicting diagnostic and prognostic framing of epidemics? Newspaper representations of dengue as a public health problem. Social Science & Medicine, 289, 114398. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114398

Espinoza, M. I., & Aronczyk, M. (2021). Big data for climate action or climate action for big data? Big Data & Society, 8(1). DOI:10.1177/2053951720982032

Aronczyk, M., & Espinoza, M. I. (2019). Sustainable communication: green PR and the export of corporate environmentalism, 1989–1997. Environmental Sociology, 5(3), 308-322. DOI: 10.1080/23251042.2018.1564455

Espinoza, M. I., & Brechin, S. R. (2017). A case against the Green Climate Fund’s concurrent 50:50 ratio climate change mitigation and adaptation strategy. Climatic Change, 142, 311–320. DOI:10.1007/s10584-017-1938-8

Book Chapters

Aronczyk, M., and Espinoza, M.I. (Forthcoming) Climate Change and Public Relations Firms. Routledge Handbook on Climate Change & Society, 2nd Edition.

Manuscripts in Preparation

Espinoza, M.I. Useful unknowns in vector control for submission to ST&HV

Espinoza, M.I. The challenges of the decentralized governance of climate-sensitive infectious disease. The case of dengue in Peru for submission to PUS

Espinoza, M.I. Frustration, conformity, and cynicism about health adaptation among public health experts in Peru.