ACCESS - Advancing Capacity for Climate  and Environment Social Science
ACCESS - Advancing Capacity for Climate  and Environment Social Science
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Dr Sara-Jayne Williams

Last modified: April 22, 2024
ACCESS Network

Senior Lecturer
University of the West of England
Pronouns: She/her/hers



The sector(s) I work in: Academic

Professional qualifications:






About the organisation(s) I've worked for

Organisation name:

University of the West of England

About my experience and expertise

Personal statement:

I have a specialist interest in how young people are experiencing the climate crisis. Prior to academia, I worked in community development, in areas where there were multiple intersecting needs.

My research has focused on a range of environmental issues such as flooding, climate education, resilience, and adaptation. My passion is to enable those who do not normally have a voice and particularly younger people in policy and decision-making to be heard and I have a particular interest in qualitative research methodologies.

Recent research projects include: and Challenging the Climate Crisis

Key topic areas of research or interest:

  • Young people and climate change
  • Environmental education
  • Nature Connection
  • Eco-emotions
  • Qualitative methods
  • Arts-informed methods

Collaboration opportunities:

As an environmental psychologist and inter-disciplinary researcher, I am interested in projects with interesting methodologies and applications in all areas of environmental sustainability. I’m eager to collaborate on projects that encompass my primary areas of focus.


Exploring environmental value action gap and education research: A semi-systematic literature review. Environmental Education Research,

Voices in a Pandemic: Using deep mapping to explore children’s changing sense of place during the COVID-19 pandemic in UK. Children’s Geographies,

Learning from young people’s experiences of climate change education. Geography, 109(1), 44-48.

The tree(s) of hope and ambition: An arts-based social science informed, participatory research method to explore children’s future hopes, ambitions and support in relation to COVID-19. Children & Society, 37(5), 1356-1375.

As the climate changes: Intergenerational action-based learning in relation to flood education. The Journal of Environmental Education, 48(3), 154–171.

‘Learning for resilience’ as the climate changes: discussing flooding, adaptation and agency with children. Environmental Education Research, 27(11), 1638–1659.

Other projects and networks:

Williams, S. (2023, July). Developing a youth climate cafe guide. Presented at Cabot Learning Federation, Primary conference 2023, Bristol

DRY ‘The Diary of a Water Superhero’

Portus, R., & Williams, S. (2022, November). Connecting environment and community: Building students’ capacities as future environmental professionals. Presented at Transformative Teaching: Focus on Pedagogy 2022, Online

Jones, V., McEwen, L., Gorell Barnes, L., Webber, A., William, S., Hobbs, L., Deave, T. (2022, July). The power of picture books: A pandemic tool to recovery. Presented at UK Literary Association International Conference 2022, Birmingham

Williams, S., & Portus, R. (2022, March). Exploring co-production with young people in challenging the climate crisis. Paper presented at World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC), Prague (Online)

Jones, V., McEwen, L., Webber, A., Gorell Barnes, L., Gopinath, D., Hobbs, L., Fogg Rogers, L. (2022, January). Using mapping to explore experiences of the pandemic with 3-11 year olds. Presented at Geography Teacher Educators Conference, Online

Buzzing about Bees

Reading for Climate:

Nature Connections and Parental Perspectives:

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