Assistant Professor of Geography
Faculty Research Associate with the Environment and Society Program, Institute of Behavioral Science

Mara J. Goldman is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and a faculty associate in the Institute for Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado-Boulder. She received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (geography) and was a post-doctoral fellow at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), in Nairobi, where she conducted research on "Communication and the Politics of Participation in Pastoral Societies." Goldman's research is situated in human-environment geography and can best be described as political ecology with a focus on questions of empowerment, access to resources, knowledge, and decision-making processes. Specific research projects focus on the following overlapping areas: the politics of wildlife conservation (knowledge and practice); the politics of participation and knowledge regarding natural resource management and development; changing resource governance, knowledge, and ecologies as related to climate change in semi-arid rangelands; the gendered dynamics of resource access and use, and women's empowerment processes. Her work is based in East Africa, specifically with pastoral/agro-pastoral Maasai communities in Tanzania and Kenya. She is co-editor (with P. Nadasdy, and M.D. Turner), of Knowing nature: Conversations at the intersection of political ecology and science studies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011.

Mara is currently publishing from a project that just ended (2009) and was funded by the National Science Foundation, and a University of Colorado Innovative Seed Grant. She was PI on the project which combined qualitative data collection with survey data to explore the impacts of different types of women's empowerment projects currently underway in Maasai villages across northern Tanzania, and how they are linked to empowerment processes at the personal and societal levels, environmental governance, community decision making, and land ownership. She has one paper (with Jani Little) in print on this project in World Development (2015). Mara is also currently Co-PI on an NSF entitled Examining Processes of Knowledge Co-production for Climate Adaptation in East Africa, with Lisa Dilling and Meaghan Daly (graduate student) in Environmental Studies and Eric Lovell (graduate student) in Geography. This project addresses the knowledge politics surrounding climate change adaptation in the semi-arid savanna rangelands of Northern Tanzania.