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Publications in VIVO

Goldman, Mara J.

Associate Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • I am a feminist political ecologist with a focus on knowledge politics related to conservation and development interventions. My work explores epistemological and ontological questions associated with environmental management, climate change, and wildlife conservation. I have worked for two decades with pastoral Maasai communities in Tanzania and Kenya. I am just beginning 3 overlapping collaborative projects:1) the gendered nature of wildlife conservation in Tanzania, Namibia and India, 2) what decolonizing conservation looks like across theory and practice around the world; 3) the impacts of covid-19 on conservation and tourism in dryland communities in Africa and Asia. All my work is concerned with how to decolonize methods, research and action to produce more socially just and ecologically sound futures.


  • Critical political ecology of conservation and development, politics of knowledge and participation surrounding conservation and development interventions, changing pastoral landscapes and adaptive capacities as related to climate change and social change, politics of climate change knowledge, Gendered dimensions of conservation and development, Decolonizing knowledge and conservation, dryland adaptation, covid-19 effects on conservation and tourism


selected publications


courses taught

  • GEOG 1962 - Geographies of Global Change
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020 / Spring 2021 / Spring 2024
    Familiarizes students with a geographic understanding of conflicts around the globe and of economic, political and cultural globalization. Analyzes the relationship between global forces, regions and local interests in contemporary territorial and geopolitical tensions and conflicts, emphasizing issues such as nationalism, migration, labor and natural resources. Formerly GEOG 2002.
  • GEOG 1972 - Environment-Society Geography
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2020 / Fall 2022
    Examines interactions between humans and the environment across the globe from a geographical perspective. Introduces different analytical perspectives through which to understand nature-society relationships, with a focus on social, cultural and political-economic dimensions, and examples from different natural resource sectors (e.g., water, agriculture) and countries. Formerly GEOG 2412.
  • GEOG 3862 - Geography of Africa
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2024
    Studies physical and cultural regions of Africa. Analyzes and compares the development of present nation-states and contemporary geographic issues including globalization, conservation, public health and food security. Recommended prerequisite: GEOG 1962 or GEOG 1972 or GEOG 1982 or GEOG 1992 or GEOG 2092.
  • GEOG 5722 - Field Methods in Human Geography
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2021 / Spring 2023
    Examines research methods associated with field work in human geography. Prepares students for fieldwork by focusing on geographic and interdisciplinary field work techniques; interpretation of field data; discussion of the politics, ethics and gender, race, class and cross-cultural issues related to field work. Same as GEOG 4722.
  • GEOG 6402 - Seminar: Political Ecology
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2020
    Critically examines the politics of human-environment relationships across cultures and societies. Focuses on environmental degradation, change and management from the perspectives including political economy, cultural politics, STS and post structural theory. May be repeated up to 6 total credit hours.
  • GEOG 6950 - Master's Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019 / Spring 2020
    Instructor consent required.


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