Kirsten Vinyeta

Profile picture of Kirsten Vinyeta
Graduate Employee
Environmental Studies, Sociology
Phone: (541) 346-5003
Office: 619 PLC

Research Interests

As a doctoral student in the Environmental Studies Program and the Department of Sociology, I am interested in questions that explore the ways in which social conflict is inscribed on the landscape, and how state policy and other forms of power disrupt or promote socio-ecological well-being. How do systems of oppression affect the ecology of places? How are ecological health and social justice intertwined? How are nonhuman species entangled in human social systems? To date, most of my research has focused on the impacts of climate change and federal policy on indigenous communities in the United States. More recently, I have also been thinking about the political nature and social implications of ecological concepts such as “resilience” when instituted by the state and other powerful actors.

As a researcher, I have collaborated with the Coquille Indian Tribe of Oregon, and have worked for the Tribal Climate Change Project, the Ecosystems Workforce Program, and most recently, the Karuk Tribe of California. Tribal collaborators, and indigenous scholars and activists continuously inspire and redefine my work as a settler in the academy. My dissertation research will involve a collaboration with the Karuk Tribe in which we will use geospatial analysis to compare historic and contemporary aerial photography, in order to identify how federal fire suppression policies have affected the eco-cultural fabric of the Klamath River Basin over the last century.