Lori Hunter

Associate Professor

Contact Information

IBS 451

Affiliated Departments

Institute of Behavioral Science


Secondary Core Area

Research Interests

Enviromental Sociology, population dynamics and environmental context, rural livelihoods and natural resources in sub-Saharan Africa, climate and migration.


Ph.D. 1997 Brown University


My educational background and current interests stem from my concern with both societal and environmental well-being. As an undergraduate at the University of Washington in Seattle, a "light bulb" turned on for me during a course in classical social theory. I realized that the examination of social issues, problems, and patterns from a scientific perspective is both fascinating and essential. As a graduate student, I pursued studies within Social Demography with an emphasis on migration and population redistribution. Yet, I felt something was missing. With the introduction to courses in Environmental Sociology, I realized that what was missing for me was consideration of the environmental context within which social relations occur. Hence, my research and teaching in human-environment interactions. Personally, I believe the integrity of the natural environment is at risk. Professionally, I believe that we cannot fully understand this risk, or work towards lessening this risk, until we grapple with the human dimensions of environmental change. As a Sociologist, I believe we must understand how humans come to perceive the natural environment, and how these perceptions influence human interaction with the natural environment. Finally, I believe we must work to understand the implications of these human-environment interactions. These objectives guide my professional life.