Center for Population Studies

University of Mississippi

Vanessa Parks

Vanessa Parks joined the Center for Population Studies in 2019 after completing her doctoral studies in sociology at Louisiana State University. Her work focuses on the relationships between social capital, health, and well-being among vulnerable populations in the context of disasters and other crises. Her dissertation focused on three particular environmental crises: coastal land loss in southeast Louisiana, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the Flint Water Crisis. During her time at LSU, Vanessa was a research assistant for the Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities (CRGC), a Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative and National Science Foundation-funded effort to assess and address the health, social, and economic impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and recent Gulf Coast hurricanes. For her work, Vanessa was named a Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Scholar in 2017, and she was awarded the Roland Pellegrin Outstanding Graduate Student Award at LSU. Vanessa received her master’s degree in sociology at the University of Mississippi in 2014, where she was a recipient of the Larry W. DeBord Award and worked as a research assistant at the Center for Population Studies.