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What's going on at Delta
and who's helping make it happen

Driven Doer: Sabina Shaikh

07.17.17 | Announcements

Sabina on her bike in the Cook County Forest Preserves.

Welcome to our Driven Doer series! Every month, we highlight the passionate, motivated people who help advance Delta’s mission of achieving a resilient Great Lakes environment and economy.

Meet Sabina Shaikh, researcher and senior lecturer at University of Chicago and member of our Board of Directors for almost two years.

What do you do?

I am an environmental economist at the University of Chicago, where I am the Director of the Program on Global Environment and a Senior Lecturer in Environmental and Urban Studies and Public Policy. I also direct the Environment, Agriculture, and Food working group, in which I work with a small group of our amazing undergraduate students on urban and campus sustainability projects.

My research interests are on the economic valuation of environmental quality and amenities. I am currently involved in research in Cambodia on the effect of water sustainability on household livelihoods along the Mekong River, and locally with health researchers on the effect of exposure to environmental conditions on health outcomes, focused on diabetes risk.

What drives you and inspires you to get up in the morning?

Sabina and her daughter, Ameera, at Ping Tom Park in Chicago.

My three-year-old daughter literally gets me out of bed every morning, but also the desire to work towards a clean, healthy, and equitable world through education and opportunity. I am fortunate to work as an educator of incredibly driven young adults who strive to make impact.

While it’s ambitious and important to think big and globally, we at the University of Chicago are working to create as many local opportunities for students to engage with their community. We’re continuing to develop new urban environmental curriculum and tracks to provide opportunities for using the campus or city as a laboratory for environmental and policy projects.

What exciting project are you doing with Delta right now?

I work with Delta mainly in a Board capacity. Delta is a unique organization that works on the ground to support investment in economy and environment as mutually beneficial drivers of prosperity. I hope to advise and engage in this work, which aligns well with my interests in environmental economics.

Delta staff have been extremely generous with their time and sharing their knowledge with my students, both in class and through internships. Going forward I plan to have more direct engagement with Delta through collaborative research projects and student involvement.

Delta in 4 words or less:

Economy, Environment, Equity, Community

What’s your favorite place in the Great Lakes region?

Tough question! I grew up near Lake Michigan in Milwaukee and now live in the South Loop neighborhood of Chicago, so the urban beaches and lakefront have always been a big part of my life.

I love Door County and my husband and I try to go every year for the Door County Century bike ride in September. There are still so many places I have yet to explore in the Great Lakes, which I look forward to doing with my daughter as she gets older.