Vanessa Parks

Associate Sociologist
Pittsburgh Office


Ph.D. in sociology, Louisiana State University; M.A. in sociology, University of Mississippi Main Campus; B.A. in English writing, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga


Vanessa Parks (she/her) is an associate sociologist at RAND, where she studies how communities respond to environmental change. Much of her research focuses on the health and social impacts of disasters, particularly in communities that are historically marginalized, rural, or closely tied to natural resources. Prior to joining RAND, Parks was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Mississippi's Center for Population Studies, where she worked on projects related to workforce development and led the COVID-19 in the Deep South working group. She earned her Ph.D. in sociology from Louisiana State University, her MA in sociology from the University of Mississippi, and her BA in English writing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.