(on leave 2016-17)

As Executive Director of the BCSE, Peter oversees and coordinates strategic planning and implementation of all of the Center's activities.  He focuses on supporting and strengthening its three standing programs-Watershed Sciences and Engineering, Sustainable Design, and Place Studies-as well as envisioning and developing new initiatives such as Imagining Sustainability, the Sustainability Symposium, and the Sustainability Studio.  He works closely with a core team of seven professionals along with a thirteen-member faculty advisory committee. He served as one of the Center's founding co-directors from 2005-2009 and returned as Executive Director in 2012.  Additionally, Peter helped to constitute and is an inaugural member of the President's Sustainability Council at Bucknell. 


  • Ph.D., (2003) School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan (USA).  Concentrations: political ecology, environmental governance, and environmental history.
  • M.F.S., (1996) School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University (USA). Concentrations: political ecology and agrarian studies.
  • B.A., with honors, (1990) Environmental Studies Program, University of Vermont (USA).  Major:  Environmental Studies.  Concentration: environmental policy.

Fields of Interest

  • Environmental politics, planning, and policy
  • Environmental governance
  • Political ecology
  • Sustainability
  • Social theory and nature
  • Biodiversity conservation
  • Latin America

In addition to serving at the BCSE's Executive Director, Peter is a tenured associate professor in the Environmental Studies Program.  He is a broadly trained social scientist (human geography, cultural anthropology, environmental sociology, political ecology) with interests in international governance issues related to sustainability, environment, and development.  He has over twenty years of experience studying and working on issues related to international biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, primarily in Latin America.  Peter's research focuses on economistic (or "market-based) approaches to transnational environmental governance efforts focused on biodiversity conservation.

Prior to arriving at Bucknell, Peter worked as a consultant for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), among others. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco and Uruguay.   In addition to Morocco and Uruguay, he has lived and worked in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Belize, and Equatorial Guinea.


  • ENST 201: Environmental Problems--Sustainable Futures
  • ENST/GEOG 215: Environmental Planning
  • UNIV/ENST/RELI 286: Imagining Sustainability (with Prof. Maria Antonaccio)
  • ENST/GEOG 325: Nature, Wealth, and Power--Seminar in Political Ecology

Selected Publications

2014.  Capitalizing Conservation/Development: Dissimulation, Misrecognition, and the Erasure of Power.  Pp. 127-157 in Büscher, Fletcher, and Dressler, eds. NatureTM Inc.: Environmental Conservation in the Neoliberal Age. Tuscon: University of Arizona Press.

2010. The Receiving End of Reform: Everyday Responses to Neoliberalization in Southeastern Mexico. Antipode 42(3): 767-799.

2010. Beyond Exclusion: Alternative Approaches to Biodiversity Conservation in the Developing Tropics. Current Opinions in Environmental Sustainability 2(1-2): 94-100 (with S. Lele, D. Brockington, R. Seidler, and K.S. Bawa).

2009. Shades of Social Capital: Elite Persistence and the Everyday Politics of Community Forestry in Southeastern Mexico. Environment and Planning A 41(2): 389-406.

2009. Social Process as Everyday Practice: The Micro Politics of Conservation and Development in Southeastern Mexico. Policy Sciences 42(2): 137-162.

2005. Community Adaptation or Collective Breakdown? The Formation of "Work Groups" in Two Ejidos in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Pp. 151-179 In Bray et al. The Community Forests of Mexico: Managing for Sustainable Landscapes. Austin: University of Texas Press.

2003. Contested Nature: Promoting International Biodiversity with Social Justice in the Twenty-first Century. Albany: SUNY Press (Co-edited with Steve Brechin, Crystal Fortwangler, and Pat West).

2002. Reinventing a Square Wheel: Critique of a Resurgent 'Protection Paradigm' in International Biodiversity Conservation. Society and Natural Resources 15: 17-40 (with Steve Brechin, Crystal Fortwangler, and Pat West).


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