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Sheila Lakshmi Steinberg Ph.D.

Sheila Steinberg Ph.D.



Dr. Sheila Lakshmi Steinberg Professor of Social and Environmental Sciences and Faculty President at Brandman University, Irvine, CA.  She joined Brandman University in 2013, where she teaches courses related to social and environmental sciences. Dr. Steinberg conducts research that focuses on space and place- and how research can benefit communities and the people who live there. Steinberg is committed to conducting applied research and encourages her students to use research to make a difference and to improve society through creating evidence-based policy based on sound research.  Dr. Steinberg is also a prolific author and researcher. Her research focuses on the relationship of people, space and place using a diversity of research methods. In 2015, she co-authored a book entitled GIS Research Methods: Incorporating Spatial Perspectives for Esri Press and has co-authored a book for Sage Publications entitled, GIS for the Social Sciences: Investigating Space and Place (2006). Steinberg co-edited Extreme Weather, Health and Communities: Interdisciplinary Engagement Strategies for Springer Press (2016). In 2016 she was invited as the keynote speaker at the European Sociological Association (ESA) Qualitative Methods Research Network Conference in Krakow, Poland. Prior to joining Brandman University, Dr. Steinberg led the California Center for Rural Policy as the director of Community Research and led the Master’s Program in Public Sociology for Humboldt State University. She now lives in Southern California with her husband and son and enjoys studying the intersection of culture, people and place.


  • Social Sciences


Ph.D. in Rural Sociology

Pennsylvania State University

Dissertation: “Land Use Change and Community Involvement: A Lancaster County Case Study”

M.S. in Wildland Resource Science

University of California, Berkeley

Thesis:“Participation and the Evolution of North Coast Environmental Protest: A Rural North Coast Community Case Study”

B.A. Environmental Studies
B.A. Communication Studies

University of California, Santa Barbara
Areas of study: Environment, Communication
Graduated with Distinction in Environmental Studies and High Honors

Scholarly Activities

Steinberg, S.L. and S.J. Steinberg.

Extreme Weather Health and Communities: Interdisciplinary Engagement Strategies. 

New York, NY: Springer Press

Steinberg, S.L. and S.J. Steinberg.

GIS Research Methods: Incorporating Spatial Perspectives 

Redlands, CA: Esri Press 

Shukla, M., S.L. Steinberg and J. Lege.

STEM Education Transformation: Using Contextual Design Theory to Assist with Institutional Change

Annual STEM Conference, Association of American Colleges and Universities, Boston, MA.

Professional Experiences

Visiting Professor, Dept. of Sociology

Chapman University, Orange, CA

Taught classes on research methods, environmental sociology and served as Faculty Advisor for Chapman University Rotoract Club.

Full Professor

Humboldt State University, Arcata, CA

Taught classes in the Sociology department. Led the graduate program in Public Sociology and was Director of California Center for Rural Policy.

Visiting Professor, Dept. of Sociology

Simon Fraser University

Taught class on Canada and Latin America and conducted research.


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