Critical Geographies

of Environmental Change

and Conservation

Research Group

Researchers & Specialties

Colonial and (Post)colonial conservation in a Sherpa homeland and sacred valley, Sagarmatha (Chomolungma/Mt. Everest) National Park.



We are human geography faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students who share a commitment to critically-informed research which engages with local, regional, or global environmental and conservation issues and their social, political, and historical contexts.

We are committed to using geographical knowledge and skills on behalf of conservation and social/environmental justice. Most of us work in the global South and/or in the Fourth World; several of us carry out collaborative, decolonizing research with Indigenous peoples in Asia and the Americas.

Among the issues we are concerned with are deforestation; desertification; biodiversity loss; climate change; urban ecological footprints; economic and conservation globalization; “internal” colonialism and frontier inter-ethnic, territorial, and environmental dynamics; Indigenous and community conservation; wilderness construction; cultural landscape conservation; the establishment and governance of “new paradigm” (post)colonial protected areas and urban environmental planning.

Stan Stevens, Associate Professor.  Political ecology, cultural ecology, conservation geography, environmental history,
conservation, protected areas, commons.

      Himalaya, global South, global Fourth World.

     Political Ecologies of Conservation in the Mt. Everest Region of Nepal”

     Theorizing Protected Areas: From Colonial to (Post)Colonial Conservation

Piper Gaubatz, Associate Professor.Globalization & secondary globalization, environmental history, East Asia & U.S.

     Urban Design in China: Secondary Globalization and Environmental Planning on the Frontiers”

Brian Conz, Ph.D. “Re-Territorializing the Maya Commons: Mapping Conservation Complexities in Totonicapan,       

Kassia Randzio, MS, “The Debate Over Wild Sky: a Case Study in U.S. Forest Service Community Involvement