Lisa Pettibone

Membership:  2016/2017

Member Bio

Lisa Pettibone is a political scientist looking at the role of discourse and citizen engagement in sustainability. Her first book, Governing Urban Sustainability: Comparing Cities in the USA and Germany highlighted the role of “sustainability-minded groups” in pushing local discourse related to sustainability. She also edited a symposium in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences on integrated approaches to sustainable cities, appearing in March 2017. Seeking to link sustainability to participatory research approaches, she coordinated the citizen science capacity-building project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research from 2014 to 2016. This led to publications on citizen science and participation, lifelong learning, and sustainability, as well as a guide for citizen science practice coordinated with 32 coauthors. At the Rachel Carson Center, she is examining the role of ideational change in sustainability transitions. Lisa holds a BFA from New York University, an MPA from George Washington University, and a PhD from the Freie Universität Berlin’s Environmental Policy Research Centre (FFU). She has worked in the US Senate and Department of Energy, the German Bundestag, and the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin.


  • “Sustainability Needs Citizens, But Do Citizens Need Sustainability? Introduction to a Disruptive Worldview.” Open Citizenship 5, no. 1 (2014): 8–19. Available online at:
  • Governing Urban Sustainability: Comparing Cities in the USA and Germany. Surrey: Ashgate, 2015.
  • “Introduction: The Need for Integrative and Interdisciplinary Approaches for Urban Sustainability.” Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (2015): 1–4. doi: 10.1007/s13412-014-0211-y.
  • “Who Are ‘Citizens’ in Citizen Science?” Paper presented at the 10th International Conference in Interpretive Policy Analysis, Lille, France, 8–10 July 2015.
  • with D. Mahr, P. Schrögel, S. B. Seitz, A. Sieber, M. Strähle, C. Urban, and K. Vohland. “Mimicking Science or Empowering Critical Actors? The Central Role of Participation in Citizen Science.” Discussion paper submitted to “On the Many Modes of Citizen Science,” special issue, Science & Technology Studies, under review.
  • with K. Vohland, A. Bonn, A. Richter, W. Bauhus, B. Behrisch, R. Borcherding, et al. Citizen Science for All: A Guide for Citizen Science Practitioners. Translated by R. FitzRoy and L. Pettibone. Bürger Schaffen Wissen (GEWISS), 2016. Available online at: