Terre Satterfield



Terre Satterfield is Professor and Culture, Risk and the Environment, and Director of IRES, 2011 through 2014. She considers working with graduate students at IRES an unparalleled experience of good fortune and welcomed challenge. This includes the supervision or chairing of thesis work of dozens of students over the last 15 years, including chairing or co-chairing the work of over 20 PhD students, and 6 Masters students.

An anthropologist by training, Dr. Satterfield’s work focuses on culture and justice as they intersect with studies of environmental values, sustainable development, environmental health, and environmental risks. Methodologically, her work involves both case study and survey approaches, and the development of methods that contest and engage with the representation and measurement of environmental values and cultural ecosystem services, particularly those referred to as intangible or as better expressed in narrative form. Decision contexts in which this work has been trialed and applied include Canadian First Nation interests in land management and governance; debates about the cultural regulation of genetically modified organism amongst New Zealand Maori and the crown; working with the National Center for Ecosystem Analysis and Synthesis to incorporate the intangible importance of nature for human communities; and defining and characterizing cultural meaning and the implications of the Northern Gateway Oil Pipeline for the Gitga’at First Nation on British Columbia’s northern coast. Professor Satterfield’s research is or has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the US National Science Foundation, the New Zealand Foundation for Research and Technology, the US EPA and Department of Energy, the World Health Organization, and the Getty Conservation Institute. Her work has been published in edited collections including a volume on post-Cold War environments sponsored by the School of American Research, chapters with colleague Kai Can in The Encyclopedia of Biodiversity and Natural Capital,  and has published in such journals as Nature, Bioscience, Global Environmental Change, Environmental Science and Technology, Journal of Environmental Management, Ambio, Bioscience, Frontiers in Ecology and Society, Ecological Economics, Environmental Values, Ecology and Society, Society and Natural Resources, New Genetics and Society, and Risk Analysis. She has received awards for two of her publications, including her book, The Anatomy of a Conflict (2002), and a collaborative paper in Ecology and Society looking at the problem of invisible or intangible losses in the context of environmental values and valuation. She has edited volumes with Scott Slovic on writers’ and scientists’ views on What Nature is Worth? and on the subject of  Environmental Values with Linda Kaloff.

Research Projects

  • Environmental Meanings and Ecosystem Services: The Social Risks of Ecological Change (SSHRC Insight Grant)
  • Collaborative Research and Capacity Building in New Approaches to Resource Development on Indigenous Lands (SSHRC International Fund)
  • SSHRC International Fund (SSHRC)
  • Quantifying Nature’s Bounty (SSHRC RDI)
  • Coastal Ecosystem Services (NSERC)
  • Representing Aboriginal Cultural Concerns in Risk-Based Policy Contexts (SSHRC Standard)
  • Risk, Regulation and Agricultural Biotechnology (SSHRC Standard)
  • ‘Namgis Food Sovereignty in an Era of Climate Change (Peter Wall Solutions Initiative)
  • Cultural ecosystem services from marine and coastal systems (Peter Wall Exploratory Workshop)
  • Center for Nanotechnology and Society (US NSF)
  • Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology, Renewal from 2010-2015 (USNSF and EPA)
  • New Approaches to Resource Management and First Nation-State Relations (Martha Piper Research Fund)
  • Center for Nanotechnology and Society (US NSF)


Ban, N; Mills, M; Tam, J; Hicks, C; Klain, S; Stoeckl, N; Bottrill, M; Levine, J; Pressey; Satterfield, T; Chan, K. A (2013) Socio-ecological approach to conservation planning: embedding social considerations. Frontiers in Ecology and Environment.

Beaudrie, C; Kandlikar, C; Satterfield, T(2013) From Cradle-to-Grave at the Nanoscale: Gaps in U.S. Regulatory Oversight along the Nanomaterial Life Cycle Environmental Science and Technology

Hagerman, S and Satterfield, T. (accepted) Entangled Judgments: Expert preferences for adapting biodiversity conservation to climate change. Journal of Environmental Management

Hagerman, S and Satterfield, T. (accepted) Agreed but not preferred: Expert views on taboo options for biodiversity conservation given climate change Ambio

Satterfield, T;Gregory, R; Klain, S; Roberts, M and Chan, K (2013)  Culture, Intangibles and Metrics in Environmental Management.Journal of Environmental Management, 117:103-114.

Satz, D; Gould, D; Chan, K; Guerry, A; Norton, B; Satterfield, T; Halpern, B; Levine, J; Woodside, U; Hannahs, N; Basurto, X, Klain, S The Challenge of Incorporating Cultural Ecosystem Services into Environmental Assessment. Ambio.

Chan Kai; Satterfield, Terre and Goldstein, Josh (2012) Rethinking Ecosystem Services to Better Address and Navigate Cultural Values.Ecological Economics74:8-18

Chan, K, Guerry, A, Klain, S., Balvenera, P, Satterfield, T., Basurto, X, Bostrom, A (2012) Where are ‘Cultural’ and ‘Social’ in Ecosystem Services: A Framework for Constructive Engagement. Bioscience, 62(8): 744-756

Engeman, Cassandra;Lynn Baumgartner, Benjamin M. Carr, Allison M. Fish, John D. Meyerhofer, Terre A.Satterfield,  Patricia A. Holden, Barbara Herr Harthorn (2012)Governance Implications of Nanomaterials Companies’ Inconsistent Risk Perceptions and Safety Practices. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, Vol 14, online Feb 2012.

Satterfield, T; Conti, J; Harthorn, B; et al. (2012) Understanding Mobile Perceptions of Nanotechnologies and their Implications for Science and Policy Dialogues about Emerging Technologies, Science and Public Policy

Pidgeon, N; Harthorn, B and Satterfield, T (eds) (2011) Introduction: Special Issue of Risk Analysis: Nanotechnology Risk Perceptions. Introduction to Special Issue Risk Analysis 31 (11)

Conti, J., Satterfield, T., Harthorn, B (November, 2011) Vulnerability and Social Justice as Factors in Emergent US Nanotechnology Risk Perceptions Risk Analysis 31 (11) 1734-1748

Donatuto, J., Satterfield, T., Gregory, R (2011) Poisoning the body to nourish the soul: Prioritizing health risks and impacts in a Native American Community. Health, Risk and Society, Vol 13 (2): 103-12.

Freeman, J., Satterfield, T., Kandlikar, M (2011) Agricultural Biotechnology and Regulatory Innovation in India. Science and Public PolicyVolume 38, Number 4, May, pp. 319-331

Hagerman, S; Satterfield, T., and Dowlatabadi (2010) Climate change impacts, conservation and protected values: Understanding promotion, ambivalence and resistance to policy change at the world conservation congressConservation and Society, Vol 8(4):298-311

Asfaw, T; Satterfield, T.(2010) Gender Relations in Local-Level Dispute Settlement in Ethiopia’s Zeghie Penninsula. Human Ecology Review, vol. 17: 160-174

Joyce, A. Satterfield, T.(2010) Shellfish aquaculture and First Nations’ sovereignty: The quest for sustainable development in contested sea space. Natural Resources Forum 34(2): 106-123.

 Satterfield, T; Kandlikar, M, Beaudrie, C, Conti, J., Harthorn, B. Anticipating the Perceived Risk of Nanotechnologies. Nature Nanotechnology 4(11): 742-748. [Online fall 2009]

Hagerman, S; Dowlatabadi, H., and Satterfield, T. (2010) Observations on Drivers and Dynamics of Environmental Policy Change: Insights from 150 years of forest management in BC. Ecology and Society, 15(1): 2, published online

Hagerman, S., Dowlatabadi, H., SatterfieldT. and McDaniels, T. (2009) “Expert views on biodiversity conservation in an era of climate change” Global Environmental Change, online October 5, 2009

Hagerman, S; Dowlatabadi, H; Chan, K., Satterfield, T. (2009). Integrative propositions for adapting conservation policy to the impacts of climate change. Global Environmental Change 20(1): 192-207.

 Satterfield, T. and Mere Roberts (2008) Incommensurate risks and the regulator’s dilemma: Considering culture in the governance of genetically modified organisms. New Genetics and Society, 27 (3) 201—216.

Nancy J. Turner, Robin Gregory, Cheryl Brooks, Lee Failing, and Terre Satterfield (2008). From Invisibility to Transparency: Identifying the Implications. Ecology and Society 13(2): 7-20.

Timko, J. and Satterfield, T. (2008).  Criteria and Indicators for Evaluating Socio-Cultural and Ecological Effectiveness in National Parks and Protected Areas. Natural Areas Journal: 8 (3): 307-319.

Timko, J and Satterfield, T (2008) Seeking Social Equity in National Parks: Experiments with Evaluation in Canada and South Africa. Conservation and Society. 6(3): 238-254.

Current Students


Jana Kotaska. What path to Reconciliation? Land and Resource Governance in British Columbia After Delgamuukw.

Julia Freeman (co-supervised with Milind Kandlikar). Biosafety and the Regulation of Agricultural Biotechnology in India.

Jordan Levine (co-supervised with Kai Chan). Cognition and Culture in Environmental Thought: Insights from cognitive science for social-ecological systems research

Jordan Tam (co-supervised with Kai Chan). Understanding adaptation and conservation in human coastal communities through the evolutionary behavioural sciences

Michael Reid

Maggie Low

Christian Beaudrie

Julia Freeman


Tee Lim (Co-supervised with Frank Tester) Internal colonialism in the Canadian North: Colonial relations, closure dynamics, and cumulative impacts at Nanisivik – Canada’s first High Arctic mine

Megan Callahan. The Economic and Cultural Impacts on the Trafficking of Bear Bile in the Pacific Northwest.

Current and Past Courses

RMES 510: Socio-Ecological Systems

ANTH 330: Rural Peoples, the Environment and the Global Economy
RMES 500A: Quantitative and Qualitative Methods
RMES 500F: Human Dimensions of Conservation
RMES 500M: Technology, Human Behaviour and Global Change (to be taught first time in Sept 2011)
RMES 500P/FISH 503B: Science, Society and Law in Aquatic Policy
RMES 500S: Qualitative Methods in Interdisciplinary Contexts
RMES 502:  Case Analysis and Research Design in Interdisciplinary Contexts
RMES 530: Science, Policy, and Values in Resource Management Contexts
Resource Management and Environmental Studies 500A: Introduction to Quantitative and Qualitative Methods

Contact Details

AERL – 425