Joyce May 2016As an environmental anthropologist, my research and teaching focuses on the ways in which culture, politics, science and history inform human understandings and relationships with the environment, and how in turn these relationships and understandings affect social life and human wellbeing.

Currently I am a lecturer in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Washington, where I teach courses in Ethnobiology, Power and Privilege in Natural Resources Conservation, Indigenous People and the Collaborative Stewardship of Non-human Nature, and Methods in Environmental Studies.

The research and writing projects that I am currently involved with are community driven and focused on supporting opportunities for, and understanding the barriers to, the (re)integration of traditional plant foods into the everyday lives of Puget Sound Coast Salish communities.

I am committed to environmental justice and cross-cultural understanding in my teaching as well as in my research. I am passionate about helping students cultivate their capacity to understand and appreciate other ways of knowing and being in the world, and also encouraging students to notice the role that unequal power relations play in environmental decision-making and access to natural resources. Thus, critical thinking, rigorous discussions, and learning to listen openly and without judgment are core to all of the courses that I teach. I also enjoy getting students out on the land as much as possible, because I believe that connecting with the land and its histories fosters a deeper appreciation for place, which can in turn lead to ethical commitments to care for place and one another.

Current projects

Camas Prairie Cultural Ecosystems Incubator (Joyce LeCompte and Sarah Hamman, co-leads)

Tend, Gather, Grow K-12 curriculum development (Elise Krohn, lead)

13 Moons Curriculum Development (Swinomish Tribal Community)

Cultural Ecosystems of the Salish Sea (book project)



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