At the time Hurricane Katrina struck, Valerie J. Gunter was an associate professor in the department of sociology at the University of New Orleans.nbsp; She spent most of the 2005-2006 academic year as a visiting associate professor at Michigan State University, from which she had received her PhD in sociology in 1994.nbsp; She has spent over 20 years researching the controversial processed by which environmental issues become registered on community and national political agendas.nbsp; Articles reporting the results form this research have been published in such journals as Social Problems, The Sociological Quarterly, The American Sociologist, Sociological Inquiry , and Rural Sociology .nbsp; She is a co-editor of Illness and the Environment: A Reader in Contested Medicine .
Professor Kroll-Smith is the Head of the Department of Sociology at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro. He was formerly a research professor of sociology at the University of New Orleans. He has edited and written 5 books on environmental hazards and disasters, health and the environment, and sociologists as expert witnesses. He is the current editor of Sociologicalnbsp; Inquiry and the 2004 recipient of the American Sociological Association's Distinguished Contribution Award in the study of Environment and Technology. Kroll-Smith's current work is the problem of race, class, and water in New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane's Katrina and Rita. He also regularly contributes to the growing scholarship on the sociology of sleep.