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Chapter 1 – Queer Agroecology: Exploring Nature, Agriculture, and Sexuality

Jaye Mejía-Duwan and Michaela Hoffelmeyer

The field of queer ecology has broad potential to expand natural resource and agricultural studies through novel conceptualizations of how gender, sexuality, race, and ability collectively mediate human-nature relationships. This chapter highlights an emerging body of scholarship we refer to as queer agroecology, which critiques the cisheteropatriarchy1 embedded in productivist agri-food systems. This scholarship offers expanded theoretical and practical insight into the relationship between sexuality, gender, nature, and agriculture, and has clear directions for continued development.

Chapter 2 – Gender, Land, and Agricultural Sustainability: Working toward Greater Intersectionality for Equity, Inclusion, and Justice

Angie Carter and Gabrielle Roesch-McNally

A more inclusive agricultural system requires researchers, practitioners, and educators to reckon and engage with questions of power in relation to social and ecological diversity. Programs working to address gender equity in agriculture run the risk of replicating existing inequalities if an intersectional approach is not adopted. This chapter identifies how to move beyond focusing on gender alone as a barrier in agricultural conservation and instead work toward more transformative possibilities

Chapter 3 – Recent Advances in Race, Ethnicity, and Natural Resources Research and Practice in the United States

John Schelhas, Jasmine K. Brown, Michael Dockry, Sarah Hitchner, Sarah Naiman, and Grace Wang

Recent research on natural resource knowledge and practice in relation to racial and ethnic minorities highlights the need to reveal past inequities while also initiating a wide range of inclusive processes that increase diversity and equity in natural resource management. This chapter provides an overview of issues of race, ethnicity, and natural resources from a broad environmental justice perspective. We show how present-day relationships are shaped by the specific histories of inequity, values, and natural resource uses that are unique to different racial and ethnic groups and subgroups. These specifics reveal diversity both within and among groups. Acknowledgment of this diversity can shape inclusive and engaged scholarship as well as provide foundations for more just and equitable natural resource management approaches.

Chapter 4 – Human Dignity in Natural Resource Social Sciences Career Pathways

Evan J. Andrews, Christine Knott, Solange Nadeau, Courtenay Parlee, Archi Rastogi, Rachel Kelly, María Andrée López Gómez, Madu Galappaththi, and Ana Carolina Esteves Dias

When natural resource social sciences (NRSS) researchers experience human indignity, their ability to contribute and lead NRSS for sustainability outcomes becomes hampered. Therefore, the success of global sustainability agendas requires attention to building capacity for human dignity in NRSS career pathways. This chapter documents experiences and opportunities, including a framework for human dignity.

Chapter 5 – Understanding Institutions: The Role of Broadly Institutional Perspectives for Understanding Environmental Change and Natural Resource Use

E. Carina H. Keskitalo

Institutionally based perspectives may help us understand how responses to climate change, or any other emerging issues, need to include the ways the existing system already selects and biases particular decision paths. The chapter highlights the potential understandings of multilevel governance and embedded and persistent social logics that are possible through institutionally oriented perspectives.

Chapter 6 – The CBNRM-isation of East and Southern Africa: A Critical Review of the Community Conservancy Model

Richard Dimba Kiaka, Paul Hebinck, and Rodgers Lubilo

Community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) in East and Southern Africa has had mixed evaluations. On the one hand, CBNRM is said to have achieved some ecological success by expanding landscapes for conservation and advancing the recovery of wildlife populations. On the other hand, CBNRM is argued to have largely failed in its economic empowerment objective—the incentive that should drive communities to participate in conservation. Whereas the critique anticipates the end of CBNRM in the region, the conservation model continues to spread and draws support from global conservation NGOs and donors. Taking the example of community conservancies, this chapter argues that the continuous flux of CBNRM institutions in East and Southern Africa is underpinned by new meanings and purposes that various actors ascribe to them.

Chapter 7 – From Authoritative to Relational: A Typology and Analysis of Government-Community Relationships in Nepalese and Australian Forest Management

Prativa Sapkota, Rebecca M. Ford, Maddison Miller, Andrea Rawluk, and Kathryn J. H. Williams

Uncertainty and injustices are unsettling the authoritative and managerial approaches often seen in forest and fire management. Navigating toward more community-driven approaches requires looking beyond practices like participation to the worldviews and assumptions about power, knowledge, and values that underpin relationships. In this chapter, we present four types of government-community relationships based in those assumptions and clearly distinguish relational thinking from the authoritative and managerial approaches which are common in current policy environments.

Chapter 8 – Three Modes of Participatory Environmental Governance Research

John R. Parkins

In this chapter, I identify three distinct modes of scholarship on participatory environmental governance that coexist, overlap, and experience moments of mutual ascendance and decline over decades of scholarship. Mode one takes inspiration from notions of pragmatism and adult learning. Mode two recognizes the limits of collaborative governance and the retrenchment of power elites. Mode three offers a more radical and activist approach to environmental governance.

Chapter 9 – Social Learning in Participatory Natural Resource Management: Examining the Roles of Power and Positionality

Christopher Jadallah, Eliza Oldach, and Abraham Miller-Rushing

Participatory approaches to natural resource management are pinned on the promise of promoting social learning across diverse actors to improve social-ecological outcomes. However, the role of power and positionality in these social-learning processes is underexplored by managers and researchers, leaving the field largely ignorant of who benefits and who is burdened by decisions made with social learning as their basis. This chapter calls for greater attention to power and positionality in social learning, with implications for how we structure natural resource management processes that support more just and sustainable social-ecological futures.

Chapter 10 – Digital Tools for Participatory Environmental Decision-Making: Opportunities, Challenges, and Future Directions

Caitlin Hafferty, Ian Babelon, Robert Berry, Beth Brockett, and James Hoggett

Digital technology is continuously transforming participation in research, policy, and practice; however, its effectiveness in delivering meaningful and inclusive outcomes remains uncertain. This chapter examines the use of digital tools for participation in environmental decision-making processes, considering their potentials, challenges, and ethical implications. To promote equitable environmental decision-making in an increasingly digitised world, more informed choices of online, in-person, and hybrid approaches are crucial.

Chapter 11 –  Image-and Arts-Based Methods in Natural Resource and Environmental Social Science: Scoping the Domain for Methods That Empower

Bryanne Lamoureux, Melanie Zurba, Yan Chen, Durdana Islam, and Kate Sherren

Image-and arts-based methods are increasingly employed in natural resource and environmental social science research and show great potential to support research processes that facilitate empowerment and equity. This chapter provides a typology of image-and arts-based methods applied in natural resource and environmental social sciences and offers a conceptual model to illustrate how this typology interacts with visual culture. We find that methods where visual data are collectively created with the direct involvement of participants have the greatest potential to produce equity and empowerment outcomes for participants through the research process.

Chapter 12 – Understanding Environmental Concern, Values, Identity, and Other Drivers of Pro-Environmental Behavior

Robert Emmet Jones and Tobin N. Walton

“A good part of the work called ‘theorizing’ is taken up with the clarification of concepts—and rightly so. It is in this manner of clearly defined concepts that social science is not infrequently defective.” Merton (1948) advised us of the importance of learning this lesson a long time ago. This chapter pursues this goal by clarifying, integrating, and organizing the major drivers of pro-environmental behavior.

Chapter 13 – Theorizing the “Anthropos” in the Anthropocene: Toward Decolonial Practices and Knowledge Co-Production

Simon West, Wiebren Johannes Boonstra, and Sasha Quahe

Anthropocene debates challenge conventional (Western) approaches to theorizing human-environment relationships. To address these challenges, environmental social scientists need to improve their practices of theorizing. We articulate three principles for better theorizing the “Anthropos” in the Anthropocene: situating theory, practicing theory, and theorizing together.

Chapter 14 – Refocusing Stewardship on Stewards: Place-Based Insights on Diversity, Relationality, and the Politics of Land

Jessica Cockburn, Nosiseko Mtati, and Vanessa Masterson

While the notion of stewardship is seeing a revival in the literature on human-nature relationships, tensions and questions remain about how to put the idea into practice, especially in the Global South. Here we offer insights from place-based empirical cases in South Africa, grappling with questions about how agency, politics, and context influence local stewardship.

Chapter 15 – From Roots to Rhizomes: Place, Transitions, and Translocality in a Less Stationary World

Daniel R. Williams and Brett Alan Miller

In environmental and natural resource social science, place has often been characterized with rootedness and stationarity, which neglects important, dynamic connections between people and place(s). In this chapter, we (1) reexamine certain assumptions in place literature about human-mobility and place-change as necessarily jeopardizing the role of place(s) in our lives and (2) explore how a more relational, pluralistic, and dynamic view of place and place-making can help us navigate accelerating anthropogenic change and uncertainty. We hope that by moving from roots to rhizomes as an organizing metaphor for theorizing people-place relationships, this chapter invites an even more diverse cohort of scholars to examine the critical role of place in social-ecological-technical transitions.

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University Press of Colorado University of Alaska Press Utah State University Press University of Wyoming Press