Human and Environmental Geography, Sustainable Infrastructure, Water Infrastructure Planning and Practice, Just Socio-ecological Transitions, Societal Impacts of Hazards; Racial Capitalism, Feminist and Critical Race Theory, Politics of Urban and Environmental Planning


Dr. Sarah Heck is a scholar and educator specializing in the interdisciplinary field of human and environmental geography. Currently affiliated with the Center for Sustainable Communities within the Department of Geography and Urban Studies at Temple University, she serves as a postdoctoral fellow, fostering critical inquiries into critical social infrastructures and their implications for human and environmental well-being. Dr. Heck received her Ph.D. from Temple University where her dissertation titled "Sustainable Futures, Water Infrastructure Legacies, and Racial Capitalism: A Case Study of the Mid-Mississippi River Region" explored the complex interplay between geographical landscapes, socio-ecological systems, and the uneven socio-political dynamics that shape them. Currently, Dr. Heck is working on an interdisciplinary project envisioning public schools as critical social infrastructure for sustaining community well-being during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Selected Publications

  • Pearsall, H., Heck, S., Tablas, M., Pierce, J., Hinricks, C., Roman, L., and Shabazz, J. (2022). Building knowledge infrastructure for diverse stakeholders to scale up co-production equitably. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 54: 101156.
  • Heck, S. (2021) Greening the color line: historicizing water infrastructure redevelopment and environmental justice in the St. Louis metropolitan region, Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, 23(5), 565-580.
  • Heck, S. (2020). From Anita Hill to Christine Blasey Ford: A Reflection on Lessons Learned. Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, 39(1), 101-108. 

Courses Taught

Dr. Heck has taught urban and environmental studies courses at Temple University, Villanova University, and the University of Pennsylvania.