Professional Bio

Beth M. Duckles, Ph.D. is a writer and social scientist that has worked in a variety of settings from academic institutions, nonprofits, government agencies and corporations. Her academic research focused on sustainable construction practices and she spent a year as an embedded ethnographer at the U.S. Green Building Council during the creation of the LEED (v4) green building standard. She consults with organizations to apply social science insights to business needs, drawing on ethnographic and mixed methods research to help organizations answer questions that matter.   

Dr. Duckles’ research has focused on sustainable design and construction of commercial buildings, the organizational processes that created the next version of the LEED standard (v4). She has also looked at the social change implications of a professional accreditation as a tool to change the market. She investigated the market for children’s services in the Phoenix-Mesa area, organizational closure narratives and mixed methods research. She has published in Sociological Perspectives, ANNALS of the Academy of Political and Social Sciences, Advances in Qualitative Organizational Research and edited volumes.

In 2013-14, she was an AAAS Policy and Technology Fellow at the Department of Energy in the Office of Electricity Reliability and Energy Delivery working on topics such as Smart Grid consumer studies, challenges to renewable energy integration into the grid, transmission and the water/energy nexus.

Dr. Duckles has taught courses at Bucknell University and the University of Arizona on environmental sociology, energy and environmental policy, field research methods, nonprofit organizations, organizational sociology and the sociology of work and professions. She worked closely with Bucknell University leadership as a part of the ad-hoc Sustainability Working Group in an effort to integrate sustainability into the vision, operations and curriculum of the university. She led the inaugural “study abroad” Bucknell in DC program focused on Energy and Environmental Policy.

She has been recognized with the Jamie Hendry Sustainable Studies Interdisciplinary Faculty Development Award, the Marshall Foundation Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Dissertation Grant, the Best Paper Award from the Davis Conference on Qualitative Research and the William M. Fuson Award. She was a Program Manager for the California School Boards Association running conferences on California education policy. Beth Duckles received her B.A. in Sociology/Anthropology from Earlham College and her Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Arizona.

In her free time she enjoys writing creative nonfiction, hiking, knitting, aerial silks and international travel. She also holds the rank of shodan (first degree black belt) in the Japanese martial art Aikido.