Adam Romero

Adam Romero

Assistant Professor

B.A., Biology and Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
M.S., Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of Oxford
Master Gardener Certificate, University of California, Cooperative Extension
Ph.D., Geography, University of California, Berkeley

Mailing: Box 358530, 18115 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011-8246


In each of my classes, I work hard to create a learning environment where, as one of my students put it, “we can chew on the issue presented" and have the breathing room "to come up with our own practical and impractical solutions."  I incorporate intriguing and important content with interactive lectures, in-class exercises, experiential writing assignments, and thought-provoking exams, drawing upon my broad training in both the natural and social sciences to help students think across disciplinary boundaries.  I believe that teaching is an integral part of scholarship and that our work in the classroom is never complete. While my ultimate goal as a teacher is to foster critical thinking, reading, and writing skills, I am a firm believer that intellectual curiosity is a prerequisite to critical engagement and I strive to facilitate an inclusive classroom that makes space for my students to think creatively and take intellectual risks.

Recent Courses Taught

  • BISSTS 355 - HIstory of Science an Technology
  • BISSTS 307 - Science, Technology and Society
  • BIS 304 - Political Economy and the Environment
  • BIS 245 - Environment and Humanities


My current research project delves into the political economic origins of agrochemicals in US agriculture. Drawing from 16 archives across the US, this project tells a story of a critical agroecological state-change – a state-change in which toxic chemicals became necessary for industrial agricultural production. By tracing the biogeochemical fate of industrial waste, I demonstrate how pre-WWII agriculture served as a profitable sink for industry's toxic byproducts. I argue that industrial agriculture can serve as a threshold of waste's transmutation, whereby the burden of point source waste disposal is transmuted into widely distributed inputs and non-point source pollution. The project's findings have important implications for US environmental and agricultural policy and the political economic theorizations of waste, pollution, and agroindustrialization.  In taking agriculture's consumptive role seriously, this research opens a novel window into the chemicalized nature of everyday life.

Selected Publications

Rajan, R, A. Romero, and M. Watts, eds. 2017. Genealogies of Environmentalism: The Lost Works of Clarence Glacken. Charlottesville, VA. University of Virginia Press.

Romero, A., J. Guthman, R. Galt, M. Huber, B. Mansfield, and S. Sawyer. 2017. "Chemical Geographies."  GeoHumanities 3 (1):1-20.

Romero, A. 2016. Review of “Food Systems in an Unequal World: Pesticides, Vegetables and Agrarian Capitalism in Costa Rica” by Ryan Galt, University of Arizona Press, 2014.  Journal of Peasant Studies 44 (1). 332-334.

Romero, A. 2016. “From Oil Well to Farm:” Industrial Waste, Shell Oil, and the Petrochemical Turn (1927-1947). Agricultural History 90 (1): 70-93. (*Winner of the 2017 Vernon Carstenson Award for the best article published in Agricultural History*)

Romero, A. 2016. Commercializing Chemical Warfare: Citrus, Cyanide, and an Endless War. Agriculture and Human Values 33 (1): 3-26.

Romero, A. 2015. Review of “Banned: A History of Pesticides and the Science of Toxicology” by Frederick R. Davis, Yale University Press, 2014. Agricultural History 89 (4). 630-632.

Sayre, N., and A. Romero. 2014. Carrying Capacity Paradigm. In Essential Concepts for Global Environmental Governance, edited by J. Morin and A Orsinin. New York: Routledge/Earthscan. 21-24.

Eitzel, M. V., S. Diver, H. Sardiñas, L. M. Hallet, J. J. Olson, A. Romero, G. D. L. T. Oliveira, A. T. Schuknecht, R. Tidmore, and K. N. Suding. 2012. Insights from a Cross-Disciplinary Seminar: 10 Pivotal Papers for Ecological Restoration. Restoration Ecology 20 (2): 147-152.