Sheila Lakshmi Steinberg, Ph.D

Sheila Lakshmi Steinberg, Ph.D

Professor, Social and Environmental Sciences


P (949) 585-2990

16355 Laguna Canyon Road, 1st Floor, Irvine, CA, 92618
Dr. Sheila Lakshmi Steinberg

Dr. Steinberg is Professor of Social Sciences at Brandman University. Prior to joining Brandman University she taught and conducted research at Chapman University, Humboldt State University and Western New Mexico University-where she received the Teacher of the Year Award.  She was the Director of Community Research for the California Center for Rural Policy, a policy-oriented research center. Additionally, Dr. Steinberg was the Graduate Coordinator for the Sociology Department at Humboldt State University where she directed students in applied research and guided the program's successful re-accreditation. She has conducted field research in Nepal, Guatemala, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and California. Dr. Steinberg is also a former U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer and taught classes at the Universidad de San Carlos, Guatemala. Sheila enjoys guiding students in research and teaching them about the important role that research plays in developing effective policy.

Dr. Steinberg’s research interests include applied sociology, environmental sociology, research methods, community, geospatial research (GIS) and policy. The theme throughout this research has been the examination of people and their relationship to space and place. Recently, she co-authored a chapter on this topic entitled "Geospatial Analysis Technology and Social Science Research" in the Handbook of Emergent Technologies, Sharlene Hesse-Biber, Editor, Oxford University Press 2011.  In 2006, she co-authored a book for Sage Publications entitled, GIS for the Social Sciences: Investigating Space and Place. In 2013, she joined Brandman University where she now teaches courses on research methods, diversity and environmental science. Dr. Steinberg is located at Brandman’s Irvine campus and affiliated with the Brandman online campus.


Social Sciences and Environmental Sciences



Ph.D. in  Rural Sociology                   
Dissertation: “Land Use Change and Community Involvement: A Lancaster County Case Study.”    

University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
M.S. in Wildland Resource Science               
M.S. Thesis: “Participation and the Evolution of Local Environmental Protest: A Rural North Coast Community Case Study.”

University of California Santa Barbara
B.A. Distinction in the Major for Environmental Studies and Communication Studies
B.A. Thesis: “Trekking in Nepal: An Assessment of the Impact of Trekkers along the Annapurna Circuit”

Scholarly Activities
  • Steinberg, S.L. and Angel Flores. 2013. “Food Security, Health and Environment: Latino Place-Based Food Access.” Presentation at the 76th Annual Rural Sociological Society Conference. August 8, 2013. New York, New York.
  • Flores, Angel and S.L. Steinberg. 2013. "Latino/a Spatial Food Security: A Santa Ana CA Case Study.” Poster presented at the annual California GIS Conference 2013. Pathways to California's Future. April 15, 2013. Long Beach, CA. CALGIS Award Winner- Most Unique Poster.
  • S.L. Steinberg 2013. Spatial Science for Interdisciplinary Curriculums. Presentation at the annual California GIS Conference. Long Beach, CA.
  • Steinberg, S.L. 2013. A Sociospatial Approach to Dust Transport: Engaging with Communities. Presentation at the annual American Meteorological Conference on Environment and Health. January 6-9 Austin, TX.
  • Steinberg, S.L. 2012. Sociospatial Research for Community Engagement. Presented at the annual Rural Sociological Society annual meeting. July 26-30, 2012. Chicago, Il.
  • Steinberg, S.J. and S.L. Steinberg, 2011. “Geospatial Analysis Technology and Social Science Research,” in: Handbook of Emergent Technologies, Sharlene Hesse-Biber, Editor, Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195373592.
  • S.L. Steinberg and Steinberg, S.J., 2010. “Global Women Superheroes: Place, Space and Action,” Book Chapter in: Women’s Encounter with Globalization. Samir Dasgupta, R. Driskell, N. Yeates and Y. Braun (Eds.) London, United Kingdom: Front Page Publishers. . ISBN: 9788190884181
  • S.J. Steinberg, S.L. Steinberg and S.M. Keeble. 2010. “Using PPGIS to Study Rural Ethnic Entrepreneurship.” CSU Geospatial Review: Geographic Information Science in the S.L. Steinberg and Steinberg, S.J., 2009. “A Sociospatial Approach to Globalization: Mapping Ecologies of Inequality,” Book Chapter in: Understanding Global Environment, Samir Dasgupta, Editor. Pearson Education. ISBN: 978 81 317 1702 8
  • Steinberg, S.J. and S.L. Steinberg. 2006. Geographic Information Systems for the Social Sciences: Investigating Space and Place. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications. ISBN: 0761928723.
Professional Experience

2011 - 2013
Chapman University
Visiting Professor

2012 - Present
Expert Auditor, Scientific Certification Systems

2009 - 2013
Humboldt State University

2007 - 2013
Director, California Center for Rural Policy

2005 - 2007
Associate Director, California Center for Rural Policy

2004 - 2009
Associate Professor

2000 - 2003
Assistant Professor

Western New Mexico University       
Assistant Professor