Dr. Sacoby Wilson, associate professor of applied environmental health (MIAEH)
Campus: UMD | Building: School of Public Health | Room: 2234D
Phone: 301-405-3136 |
Laboratory Website: 
Community Engagement, Environmental Justice and Health (CEEJH)
Community Engagement, Environmental Justice and Health lab

Dr. Sacoby Wilson is an Associate Professor with the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the University of Maryland, College Park School of Public Health.  Dr. Wilson has 15 years of experience as an environmental health scientist in the areas of exposure science, environmental justice, environmental health disparities, community-engaged research including crowd science and community-based participatory research (CBPR), water quality analysis, air pollution studies, built environment, industrial animal production, climate change, community resiliency, and sustainability.  He works primarily in partnership with community-based organizations to study and address environmental justice and health issues and translate research to action.

Dr. Wilson directs the Community Engagement, Environmental Justice and Health (CEEJH) laboratory.  CEEJH is focused on providing technical assistance and research support to communities fighting against environmental injustice and environmental health disparities in the DMV region and across the nation.  Through CEEJH, Dr. Wilson is engaging communities in the Washington, DC region and beyond on environmental health issues including exposure and health risks for individuals who fish and recreate on the Anacostia River; use of best management practices to reduce stormwater inputs in the Chesapeake Bay; air pollution and health impacts due to industrial and commuter traffic in Bladensburg, MD; built environment, environmental injustice, and vectors in West Baltimore; cumulative impacts of environmental hazards on air quality in Brandywine, MD; goods movement, industrial pollution, and environmental injustice in South Baltimore, MD; environmental justice and health issues in Buzzard Point area of Washington, DC; industrial chicken farming on Maryland's Eastern Shore; health impact of assessment in the Sheriff Road community; and other topics.  In addition, he is working with schools in the region on pipeline development efforts in the STEM+H disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Health).

He has worked on environmental justice issues including environmental racism with community-based organizations through community-university environmental health and justice partnerships in South Carolina and North Carolina including the Low-Country Alliance for Model Communities (LAMC), in North Charleston, South Carolina; the West End Revitalization Association (WERA) in Mebane, NC; and the Graniteville Community Coalition (GCC) in Graniteville, SC. He has provided technical assistance to REACH in Duplin County, NC; RENA in Orange County, NC; and the NC Environmental Justice Network. He also has worked on environmental justice and air pollution issues with community-based groups in Houston, Texas, Savannah, GA, Uniontown, AL, and Wilmington, DE.

Dr. Wilson has been very active professionally to advance environmental justice science.  He is a member of the USEPA's National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), member of the National Academy of Science's Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology (BEST), board member of the Citizen Science Association, Editor in Chief of Environmental Justice, a past Chair of the APHA Environment Section, former Board member of Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, a former member of Board of Scientific Counselors for the CDC NCEH/ATSDR, and former Chair of the Alpha Goes Green Initiative, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.  He is also a senior fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program.

Dr. Wilson has worked tirelessly to build environmental justice organizations and coalitions.  He is Co-Founder of the DMV Environmental Justice Coalition and Founder of 17 for Peace and Justice, an environmental justice advocacy organization.  He currently is faculty advisor for a student chapter of 17 for Peace and Justice on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park.  He is on the steering committee for the recently relaunched National Black Environmental Justice Network (NBEJN).  Additionally, he hosts an annual environmental justice symposium at the University of Maryland that brings together community members, advocates, policymakers, researchers, students, and practitioners to discuss ways to address environmental justice issues in the DMV region and around the country.

Education and Training

Ph.D., Environmental Health Sciences and Engineering, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill

M.S., Environmental Health, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill

B.S., Biology/ Ecotoxicology, Alabama Agricultural Mechanical University

  • MIEH 210 Environmental Justice, Racism, and Environmental Health Disparities: How Where You Live Can Kill You
  • MIEH 215 The Built Environment and Public Health: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
  • MIEH 280 Community Engagement, Citizen Science to Participatory Action Research: Saving the World One Community at a time
  • MIEH 309 Environmental Health Research
  • MIEH 600 Foundations of Environmental Health
  • MIEH 730 Environmental Justice, Built Environment, and Health Disparities
  • MIEH 770 Law and Policy in Environmental Health
Honors and Awards

Dr. Wilson has received many awards for his contributions and achievements as an environmental justice researcher and advocate. He won the 2018 Taking Nature Black Environmental Champion Award. He also received the APHA Environment Section Damu Smith Environmental Justice Award in 2015.  From the University of Maryland School of Public Health, he received the George F. Kramer Practitioner of the Year Award (2014-2015) and the Muriel R. Sloan Communitarian Award (2019-2020, 2012-2013). He also received the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Social Justice Award from the University of South Carolina in 2011.  He received a US EPA Environmental Justice Achievement Award given to Low Country Alliance for Model Communities, North Charleston, SC and Mitigation Agreement Committee. Additionally, Dr. Wilson received the Steve Wing International Environmental Justice Award in 2008.

 Dr. Wilson, a two-time EPA STAR fellow, EPA MAI fellow, Udall Scholar, NASA Space Scholar, and Thurgood Marshall Scholar, received his BS degree in Biology/Ecotoxicology with a minor in Environmental Science from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University in 1998. He received training in environmental health in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Wilson received his MS degree in 2000 from UNC-Chapel Hill and his PhD from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2005.


1. Sangaramoorthy T, Jamison AM, Boyle MD, Payne-Sturges D, Sapkota A, Milton DK, Wilson SM. Place-Based Perceptions of the Impacts of Fracking along the Marcellus Shale. Social Science & Medicine. 151: 27-37 (2016).

2. Boyle MD, Payne-Sturges DC, Sangaramoorthy T, Wilson SM, Nachman KE, Babik K, Jenkins CC, Trowell J, Milton DK, Sapkota A. Hazard Ranking Methodology for Assessing Health Impacts of Unconventional Natural Gas Development and Production: The Maryland Case Study. PloS one. 11 (1): e0145368 (2016).

3. Annang L, Wilson SM, Tinago CB, Sanders LW, Bevington T, Carlos B, Cornelius E, Svendsen ER. Photovoice: Assessing the Long-term Impact of a Disaster on a Community’s Quality of Life. Qualitative Health Research. 26(2):241-251 (2016): 1049732315576495 

4. Quiros-Alcala L, Wilson SM, Witherspoon N, Murray R, Perodin J, Trousdale K, Raspanti G, Sapkota A. Volatile organic compounds and particulate matter in child care facilities in the District of Columbia: Results from a pilot study. Environmental Research. 146: 116-124 (2016).

5. Murray R, Wilson SM, Chanse V. Should We Put Our Feet in the Water? Use of a Survey to Assess Recreational Exposures to Contaminants in the Anacostia River. Environmental Insights. 9(Suppl 2): 19-27 (2015). Accepted. 

6. Wilson SM, Burwell-Naney K, Jiang C, Zhang H, Samantapudi A, Murray R, Dalemarre L, Rice L, Williams E. Assessment of Sociodemographic and Geographic Disparities in Cancer Risk from Air Toxics in South Carolina. Environmental Research. 140: 562-568 (2015a).

7. Wilson SM, Jiang C, Dalemarre L, Burwell K, Murray R. Environmental Justice Radar: A Tool for Community-Based Mapping to Increase Environmental Awareness and Capacity to Address Environmental Health Issues. Progress in Community Health Partnerships. 9(3):439-446 (2015b). 

8. Dernoga M, Wilson SM, Jiang C, Tutman F. Environmental Justice Disparities in Maryland’s Watershed Restoration Programs. Environmental Science and Policy. 45: 67-78 (2015).

9. Barzyk T, Wilson SM, Wilson A. Community, State, and Federal Approaches to Cumulative Risk Assessment: Challenges and Opportunities for Integration. IJERPH. 12(5), 4546-4571 (2015). 

10. Chae DH, Clouston S, Hatzenbuehler ML, Kramer MR, Cooper HLF, Wilson SM, Gold RS, Stephens-Davidowitz S, Link BG. Association Between an Internet-Based Measure of Area Racism and Black Mortality. PLoS ONE 10(4): 2015; e0122963. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0122963