Rebecca Witter

Adjunct Professor


Rebecca Witter is an Adjunct Professor in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability. An environmental anthropologist by training (University of Georgia, 2010), her interests and expertise span the human dimensions of environment and include:  the relationships between rights and environment; global environmental politics and decision-making; land, tree, and resource tenure; human-wildlife conflict and other multi-species relations; human mobility, displacement and resettlement; and landscape history. She has conducted ethnographic, interdisciplinary, and collaborative research in Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Brazil, Japan, and the United States. She has received funding from the American Association of University Women, Fulbright Institute of International Education, National Science Foundation, Social Science and Humanities Resource Council, Swedish Research Council, World Agroforestry Center, and Transboundary Protected Areas Research Initiative. Witter has published in Conservation Biology, Conservation and Society, Global Environmental Change, Journal of Sustainable Forestry, Policy Matters, and Source.

In collaboration with her advisor, Terre Satterfield, Witter’s current research evaluates the range of metrics, approaches and indicators for recognizing, protecting and advancing human rights in various environmental management contexts (e.g., species conservation, resource extraction, and payment for ecosystem services) and assesses the implications of these approaches for achieving rights integration. She also continues her long-term research on resource tenure, conservation-related displacement and resettlement, and resettlement compensation in Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park.

Featured Publications

Witter, R., K. Marion-Suiseeya, R. Gruby, S. Hitchner, E. Maclin, M. Bourque, J. Brosius. 2015. 2015. Moments of Influence in Global Environmental Governance. Environmental Politics. (Published online)

Witter, R. and T. Satterfield. 2014. Invisible Losses and the Logics of Resettlement Compensation. Conservation Biology 28(5):1394-1402.

Corson, C., R. Gruby, R. Witter, S. Hagerman, D. Suarez, S. Greenburg, M. Bourque, N. Gray, and L. Campbell. Everyone’s solution? Defining and re-defining protected areas through the Convention on Biological Diversity. 2014. Conservation & Society 12:190-202.

Witter, R. 2013. Elephant-induced displacement and the power of choice: Moral narratives and conservation related resettlement in Mozambique’s Limpopo National Park. Conservation & Society 11:406-419.

Hagerman, S., R. Witter, C. Corson, D. Suarez, E. Maclin, M. Bourque, L. Campbell. 2012.  On the coattails of climate? Opportunities and threats of a warming Earth for biodiversity conservation. Global Environmental Change 22:724-735.

Russell, D., R. Ashley, J. P. Brosius, R. Witter, M. Welch-Devine, K. Spainhower, and R. Barr. 2010. People, Trees and Parks: Is Agroforestry In or Out? Journal of Sustainable Forestry 29:451-476. 

Hitchner, S., R. Witter, and J. P. Brosius. 2010. Proposing a Rights-based Landscape History Approach to Conservation. Policy Matters 17:63-66.

Bronen, R., D. Chandrasekhar, D. Conde, K. Kavanova, L. Morinière, K. Schmidt-Verkerk and R.Witter. 2009. Stay in Place or Migrate: A Research Perspective on Understanding Adaptation to a Changing Environment. Source 12. Bonn: UNU-EHS.

Witter, R. 2006. Social Research and Conservation. In: Anthropology and the Environment Section, C. Fortwrangler, ed. Anthropology News 47(4):36-37.