Francisca is a PhD Candidate in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER) at Stanford University. She studies how social contexts and interactions influence how individuals and communities respond to environmental change and climate risk. Prior to her doctoral studies, she worked for eight years on air quality, coastal pollution, and marine policy issues for nonprofits and government agencies, including the Energy Foundation, Earthjustice, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She received a master's degree in coastal marine science and management from UC Santa Barbara and a BA in history from Yale University. Francisca grew up in northern California and Vermont and considers both coasts her home.

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Francisca studies how social contexts and interactions influence how individuals and communities respond to environmental change and climate risk. Her research investigates how individuals make protective health decisions in response to wildfire smoke, what motivates coastal users to take pro-environmental action in a declining coral reef environment on Maui, Hawaiʻi, and the ways that fishing communities engage with coastal restoration efforts and adaptation in southeastern Louisiana.

As an interdisciplinary scholar, Francisca draws on theories from multiple fields including environmental sociology, conservation and social psychology, and decision science, while using mixed methods, such as surveys, semi-structured interviews, and participant observation. Many of her projects are collaborative and community-engaged, grounding her research in place-based needs and amplifying local and Indigenous voices on issues of adaptation and climate justice.

All Publications

  • A path forward for qualitative research on sustainability in the COVID-19 pandemic. Sustainability science Santana, F. N., Hammond Wagner, C., Berlin Rubin, N., Bloomfield, L. S., Bower, E. R., Fischer, S. L., Santos, B. S., Smith, G. E., Muraida, C. T., Wong-Parodi, G. 2021: 1–7


    The unique strengths of qualitative research, through in-depth inquiry and identification of unexpected themes and linkages, is essential to our growing understanding of COVID-19's impacts on the social world and its intersection with sustainability science. However, many challenges-physical, psychological, and ethical in nature-face qualitative researchers during the pandemic, as social distancing and travel restrictions prevent in-person field work. In this paper, we outline the essential contributions of qualitative study to sustainability science, discuss current challenges, and in turn, provide recommendations for researchers.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11625-020-00894-8

    View details for PubMedID 33495701

  • How adaptive capacity shapes the Adapt, React, Cope response to climate impacts: insights from small-scale fisheries CLIMATIC CHANGE Green, K. M., Selgrath, J. C., Frawley, T. H., Oestreich, W. K., Mansfield, E. J., Urteaga, J., Swanson, S. S., Santana, F. N., Green, S. J., Naggea, J., Crowder, L. B. 2021; 164 (1-2)
  • Psychological factors and social processes influencing wildfire smoke protective behavior: Insights from a case study in Northern California CLIMATE RISK MANAGEMENT Santana, F. N., Gonzalez, D. X., Wong-Parodi, G. 2021; 34
  • Responding to simultaneous crises: communications and social norms of mask behavior during wildfires and COVID-19 ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS Santana, F. N., Fischer, S. L., Jaeger, M. O., Wong-Parodi, G. 2020; 15 (11)