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Ph.D. Clark University, USA, 2004
Office: Hutt 131
Phone: 519-824-4120 ext. 53525
Political ecology; conservation policy and practice; forest governance; indigenous led conservation; North America and Southeast Asia.
Research Interests and Areas of Expertise
I identify as a broadly trained human-environment geographer with expertise in conservation governance and conflict, political ecology, livelihood change and aboriginal approaches to conservation. My work is characterized by empirical, field-based research informed by relevant theory, attentive to both discursive and related material processes, and committed to improving the social and ecological outcomes of environmental governance. I currently have three research projects and welcome inquiries from graduate students wishing to collaborate on any of them.
Canadian Conservation in Global Context: Intersections with Asia and Africa (SSHRC Insight Grant) PI (Co-PI is Elizabeth Lunstrum at York University)
The objectives of this project are to explore the transformation of conservation practice (inclusive of large-scale governance and day-to-day management) in Canada’s National Parks over the past two decades, particularly as it relates to three central themes: 1) the growth and impact of market-based and private sector interests in and around national parks 2) the increased involvement of international actors in conservation governance, particularly across borders and 3) a shift towards greater collaboration with aboriginal and local communities.
New Directions in Environmental Governance in Southeast Asia: Remaking Public and Private Authority in Southeast Asia (SSHRC Insight Grant) Co-PI (PI is Peter Vandergeest at York University)
This project investigates how the growth of market-oriented and non-state governance of resource development and extraction is remaking public authority in the forestry and fisheries sectors in mainland Southeast Asia. My research related to this project includes: certification of ecotourism, growth of private conservation areas, payment for ecosystem services and privatized agrarian production inside designated conservation areas.
Collaborative Conservation: Best Practices and Lessons Learned
This is an ongoing collaborative project aimed at increasing aboriginal voices in the discussion around conservation on the traditional territories of First Nation, Inuit and Metis communities in Canada. We are also seeking to document and celebrate innovative and effective models of indigenous led conservation governance.
Two videos produced from this project:
Geog 2030 Environment and Development
Geog 3210 Management of the Biophysical Environment
Bennett, N. J. & Roth, R. (eds.) (2015).The Conservation Social Sciences: What?, How? and Why? Vancouver, BC: Canadian Wildlife Federation and Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia.
Latt, S. and Roth, R. (2014) Agrarian Change and Ethnic Politics: Restructuring of Hmong and Shan Labour and Argricultural Production in Northern Thailand. Journal of Agrarian Change. doi: 10.1111/joac.12081
Roth, R. and W. Dressler (2012) Market-oriented conservation governance: the particularities of place. Intro to special issue. Geoforum. 43(3):363-366
Dressler, W. and R. Roth (2011) The Good, the Bad and the Contradictory. Neoliberal Conservation Governance in Rural Southeast Asia. World Development 39(5): 851-862
Roth R. (2009) The Challenges of Mapping Complex Indigenous Spatiality: from Abstract Space to Dwelling Space. Cultural Geographies 16:207-227
Roth, R (2008) ‘Fixing’ the Forest: The Spatiality of Conservation Conflict in Thailand. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 98 (2):373-391.
Rocheleau, D and Roth, R (2007) Rooted Networks, Relational Webs and Powers of Connection: Rethinking Human and Political Ecologies. Geoforum. 38 (2):433-437.
Canadian Conservation Governance
I am recruiting one MA student and one PhD student to conduct research on a collaborative SSHRC funded project “Canadian Conservation in Global Context: Intersections with Asia and Africa”. Students will be provided with funding, guidance, and opportunities for both in-depth fieldwork and research dissemination on a multi-sited research project. The study examines the transformation of conservation practice within several Canadian national parks focusing in particular on: (1) expanding market based interests in parks/privatization of conservation services; (2) conservation across international borders and influence of international actors; and (3) collaboration with local and Aboriginal communities. I am particularly interested in a student with prior experience and/or serious interest in working in northern Canada (Yukon, Northwest Territories or Nunavut). Interested applicants should send a CV and short statement of interest to me directly.