Marla Perez-Lugo is a professor of Sociology at the Department of Social Sciences, University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez (UPRM), since 2002. She received her Ph.D. in environmental sociology, with a special focus on vulnerability to natural hazards and risk/disaster communications, from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey (2003). She has published in the journals Professional Geographer, Sociological Inquiry and Organizations and the Environment. Since 2005, her research has shifted towards the social aspects of energy, energy policy, interdisciplinary energy studies and public engagement in energy decision-making processes in Puerto Rico, in collaboration with her colleague and life partner
Dr. Cecilio Ortiz Garcia. In 2015, in collaboration with Dr. Cecilio Ortiz Garcia and Dr. Lionel Orama Exclusa, she co-founded the National Institute for Energy and Island Sustainability (INESI in Spanish), the only interdisciplinary and
Inter-campus institute of the UPR System. INESI is a collaborative platform that identifies and interconnects the resources of the UPR in energy and resilience and insert those resources in the local energy policy arena and in community-based sustainable energy projects. Dr. Perez Lugo is currently a member of INESI's steering committee and a co-developer of RISE-PR, which stands for Resilience through Innovation in Sustainable Energy for Puerto Rico, an interuniversity collaborative platform with colleagues at Arizona State University and University of Minnesota. During her 2018 summer visiting fellowship at PLAS, Dr. Perez-Lugo will work together with Dr. Ortiz Garcia and Javier Torres on the NSF CRISP “Open Access Smart Grid Project” finalizing the analysis of interviews utilizing NVivo software. Perez-Lugo will be at PLAS from July 15 to August 11, 2018.