Sustainability Transitions

Dr. Chelsea Schelly focuses on sustainability transitions and works at the intersection of technology and society. As an associate professor of sociology, she prepares students to participate in building a more sustainable, resilient, and socially just future through technological transitions.

research projects

Sociology of Solar Technology

Solar technology development faces different challenges at different scales and in different places.

Learn More

FEWCON Household Consumption Study

Reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with household consumption through conservation of direct and indirect energy use.

Learn More


Exploring the social, cultural, and technological dimensions of energy system transitions on several levels.

Learn More


Creating a resilient electricity grid by linking social inequality with electricity infrastructure to correct technological failures.

Learn More

About Me

I'm Dr. Chelsea Schelly, Associate Professor of Sociology at Michigan Technological University.  My career at Michigan Tech started in 2013. My research focuses on the sociology of technological transitions to support a more sustainable, resilient, and socially just future. My work is motivated by the belief that technologies we use in daily life perpetuate particular relationships among human beings and between humans and the more-than-human beings with whom we share this planet. The work is guided by the interest in promoting technological transitions that decrease exploitation and increase regeneration for human and more-than-human communities.

I completed my Phd in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My dissertation looked at the historical normalization of the technologies currently used to support residential dwelling and the potential for alternative technologies to support changes in how societies are organized to meet human needs and comforts. The 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.

My academic training is grounded in social theory and science and technology studies. Most recently, I've been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship as a Research Chair in Science & Society at the University of Ottawa.

You can see more about my work and publications on my CV available here

Links to my academic profiles

My life and work is based in the traditional and contemporary homelands of what is now called the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, a sovereign nation of the Anishinaabe Ojibwe. As a resident of this land, it is my responsibility to honor the original inhabitants of this land, who now share this space with the descendants of settler colonizers (like me) who dominate the Michigan Tech campus. It is also my responsibility to actively work to restore right relationships among humans and the more-than-human beings with whom we share this earth, including the original and contemporary Indigenous peoples who live on this land.