Chelsea Schelly, PhD

I am an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Social Sciences at Michigan Technological University. I received my PhD from the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013. My work is inspired by the belief that the technological systems used to sustain residential life structure how humans conceive of their relationship to the natural world and to one another.

My research explores socio-technological system interactions that shape human conceptions of nature, relationships among humans and between humans and non-humans, and human thought and action. It examines the historical normalization of residential technological systems in America and the ways in which alternative technological systems challenge the social, political, economic, and environmental consequences of those systems.

My dissertation research was funded by an NSF-IGERT Fellowship and an EPA-STAR Fellowship and explored how individuals choose to pursue alternative dwelling technologies from residential solar panels to life in intentional community and how that choice reflects broader attitudes, opinions, and lifestyles. I continue to research and write about energy practices, consumption behaviorsenergy conservation, and alternative technology adoption in a wide variety of contexts, from solar electric technology and policy and off-grid living and intentional communities to Rainbow Gatherings and 3-D printers for distributive manufacturing.

On this website, you can find out more about my research and teaching. You can also find me on ResearchGate, Academia, and LinkedIn.You can view my public CV here. I also occasionally write for the MTU sustainability blog, which you can follow here: