Oct 26, 2021  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog

Anthropology and Environmental Policy

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Today a variety of environmental specters threaten Earth’s populations. Greenhouse-gas emissions are changing earth systems, global ecology, disease patterns, and land-use. Ocean fisheries and forests in many parts of the world, including Maine, are in precipitous decline. Loss of agricultural land in combination with population increases may well result in widespread famines in the near future. There are also growing problems associated with nutrient pollution, loss of wildlife and biodiversity, soil erosion, the depletion of non-renewable resources, and environmental degradation. These problems affect people, but people also cause them. Moreover, many are global in origin but local in their effects. Demands on forests and fisheries are international, for example, but the environmental consequences are felt locally in over-cut woodlands and wiped-out fisheries. Climate is affected by human activity at a global level, but climate changes will have very different effects in different regions of the globe. Since Maine is a natural resource state, the global origins of these threats are particularly relevant to the people of Maine, their culture, and their society.

The PhD and MA programs in Anthropology and Environmental Policy center on understanding human society and culture in cross-cultural perspective and their pivotal role in implementing successful environmental policy. The program engages students in a multi-disciplinary framework bridging environmental sciences and policy while focusing on the sociocultural impacts of, and responses to, local and global environmental change.

Students engage with faculty in cutting-edge research on the way social relations, human organization, cultural perceptions, and ecological behavior affect the causes and consequences of local, national, and global environmental change. Students analyze social and cultural dimensions of policy that mitigate negative environmental consequences of this change while safeguarding or promoting human well-being. Areas of environmental policy and research include global climate change, energy resources, marine resources, eco-tourism, forestry resources, land-use, water management, and pollution control.

The program core is a firm grounding in anthropological social and cultural theory, qualitative and quantitative methodology, and policy development and analysis. Students engage in methodological and specialized courses tailored to their specific environmental interests at the local, national, or international scale.

Students may enter the program with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in Anthropology, Biology, Climate Change, Economics, Marine Sciences, Forestry, or any other related field. All students take the Core Curriculum courses in Cross-Cultural Human Dimensions, with the remaining curriculum individually tailored depending on each student’s background, environmental focus area, and national or international environmental policy interest. Courses in policy and basic methodology will be dependent on courses students have taken previously.

Financial Aid

Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Work Study positions are available on a competitive basis for qualified students.

Graduate Faculty


Christine Beitl, Ph.D. (University of Georgia, 2012), Graduate Coordinator, Associate Professor of Anthropology; Sustainability science, coastal/ marine anthropology, economic anthropology, environmental anthropology, political ecology

Aram Calhoun, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 1996), Professor of Wetland Ecology. Wetland ecology and conservation, field studies in ecology, environmental solutions.

John Daigle, Ph.D. (University of Massachusetts, 1997), Associate Professor of Forest Recreation Management. Recreation planning and management, social research methods for natural resource professionals, human dimensions of natural resources management.

Samuel P. Hanes, Ph.D. (Rutgers University, 2008) Associate Professor of Anthropology.  Historical geography, human ecology, agriculture, aquaculture, natural resource management.

Stephen Hornsby, Ph.D. (University of British Columbia, 1986), Professor of Geography and Canadian Studies, Director for the Canadian American Center. Historical geography, expansion of Europe overseas, eastern Canada and northeastern United States.

Cindy Isenhour, Ph.D. (University of Kentucky, 2010), Associate Professor of Anthropology, Cooperating Faculty Climate Change Institute. Environmental anthropology, economic anthropology, climate policy

Teresa Johnson, Ph.D. (Rutgers University, 2007), Associate Professor of Marine Policy, Cooperating Professor of Anthropology. Fisheries management, marine policy.

Alice Kelley, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 2006), Associate  Research Professor of Climate Change Institute, Cooperating Professor of Anthropology. Geoarchaeology, surficial geology, and geomorphology.

Jessica Leahy, Ph.D. (University of Minnesota, 2005), Professor of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. Social psychological aspects of natural resources management, environmental attitudes and behavior, information effects.

Paul Mayewski, Ph.D. (Ohio State University, 1973), Director, Climate Change Institute and Professor of Earth and Climate Sciences. Climate change and atmospheric chemistry.

Lisa Neuman, Ph.D. (Duke University, 2002), Associate Professor of Anthropology and Native American Studies. Politics of Indian identities. Tribal sovereignty and economic enterprise, gender studies, cultural production, cultural history, North America, Oklahoma, Maine.

Bonnie Newsom, Ph.D. (University of Massachusetts, 2017), Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Faculty Associate, Climate Change Institute. Archaeology of Maine and the Maritimes, Indigenous archaeologies, aboriginal pottery, historic preservatIon, shell midden research.

Darren Ranco, Ph.D. (Harvard University, 2000), Associate Professor of Anthropology and the Senator George Mitchell Center for Environmental and Watershed Research, Chair of Native American Programs. Indigenous intellectual property rights, research ethics, environmental justice, tribal governance.

Paul (Jim) Roscoe, Ph.D. (University of Rochester, 1983), Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Cooperating Professor of the Climate Change Institute, Cooperating Professor in the School of Policy and International Affairs. Anthropology of climate change, warfare, social and political evolution.

Jonathan Rubin, Ph.D. (University of California-Davis, 1993), Professor of Resource Economics and Policy, and the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center. Environmental regulation and design, economics of alternative transportation fuels and vehicles, economics of greenhouse gas reductions.

Daniel Sandweiss, Ph.D. (Cornell University, 1989), Professor of Anthropology and Climate Change. Prehistoric and historic archaeology, coastal adaptations, climate change.

Rachel Schattman, Ph.D. (University of Vermont, 2016), Assistant Professor of Sustainable Agriculture; Agroecology, climate change, sustainability, water resources, participatory action research 

Linda Silka, Ph.D. (Oklahoma State University, 1974), Professor of Resource Economics. Research partnerships, research ethics, grant writing, program evaluation, community-university partnerships.

Marcella Sorg, Ph.D. (Ohio State University, 1979), Research Professor, Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center, State of Maine Forensic Anthropologist, Faculty Associate in Anthropology. Forensic anthropology, taphonomy of human remains.

Mario Teisl, Ph.D. (University of Maryland, 1997), Director, School of Economics, Professor of Resource Economics. Information economics, food safety, environmental and social marketing, environmental economics.

Tim Waring, Ph.D. (University of California-Davis, 2010). Associate Professor of Resource Economics. Sustainability, human cooperation, human cultural evolution, evolutionary ecology.

Gregory Zaro, Ph.D. (University of New Mexico, 2005), Associate Professor of Anthropology and Climate Change. Archaeology, historical ecology, agricultural intensification, urbanism, Mesoamerica, Andes, Eastern Adriatic.






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