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Faculty Leaders

Susan Charnley

Susan Charnley, MA ’89, PhD ’94, is an environmental anthropologist and a research social scientist with the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station in Portland, Oregon. She has focused her research on how to achieve the dual goals of environmental conservation and the well-being of rural communities. She has been the co-author or author of more than 125 papers, articles and book chapters over the past decade relating to rural communities and forest management in the western U.S. She says, “It is not possible to develop and implement natural resource management institutions, policies and practices that are environmentally sound and socially just unless their social dimensions are understood and addressed.” She has conducted her research far and wide, including ranches in East Africa, the rain forests of Panama, native villages in western Alaska, and with forest workers and ranchers in the western U.S.


  • Research social scientist, Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service
  • National program leader, human dimensions, U.S. Forest Service


  • Co-editor, Stitching the West Back Together: Conservation of Working Landscapes (The University of Chicago Press, 2014)
  • Frequent contributor to journals, books, and government reports


  • Recipient, Research & Development Deputy Chief’s Distinguished Science Award, U. S Forest Service, 2018

Academic History:

  • BAs, environmental studies and biology, 1981, UC-Santa Cruz
  • MA, anthropology, 1989, Stanford University
  • PhD, anthropology, 1994, Stanford University

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