I am a Ph.D. Candidate in Environmental Anthropology in the combined doctoral degree program between the Department of Anthropology and School of the Environment at Yale University. My work examines the cultural dynamics of environmental change in the American West. I study how rural and Indigenous communities are impacted by changing ecosystems tied to land-use practices, climate change, and settler colonialism.
My dissertation, The Ecology of Belonging: Cultural Dynamics of Environmental Change in the American West, examines how rural and Indigenous communities with strong cultural ties to landscapes and land-based practices are impacted by socioecological change in California and Nevada. It investigates changing configurations of plants and animals on landscapes as they intersect with the cultural practices of Paiute people and ranchers on public lands by attending to experiences of social belonging and sense of place among rural communities and the role of environmental governance in managing novel ecosystems, cultural resources, and the restoration of native species. This project offers insight into the implications of land management and public lands policy for rural communities facing rapid socioecological change in the rural US West. It links material changes on the landscape to historic land management practices and shifting experiences of place that are affecting the land-based practices and cultural attachments that natural resource-dependent communities maintain with rural lands.
This project uses participant observation, semi-structured interviews, life history interviews, household surveys, historical archives, and spatial analysis, as part of a mixed social science methodology grounded in long-term ethnographic field research. There is an urgent need to better understand how new socioecological configurations of diverse human, plant and animal communities shape each other. This work informs efforts to help rural communities navigating environmental change in the Anthropocene on socially and ecologically vulnerable rural landscapes in the US West and beyond.
My research is funded through Yale University and external grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Science Foundation, and University of California.
See *new* work on the social impacts of Covid-19 on the rural US West: http//covidruralwest.org/
Keywords: conservation, culture and politics, environmental governance, environmental justice, ethnoecology, forestry and forest ecology, indigeneity, multispecies ethnography, political economy, ranching, settler colonialism.
Geographies: North America, United States, Native America, American West, California, Nevada.
Burow, P.B., K. McConnell, and J. Farrell. 2019. “Social Scientific Research on the American West: Current Debates, Novel Methods, and New Directions.” Environmental Research Letters 14: e125012. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab4030
Burow, P.B., S. Brock, and M. R. Dove. 2018. “Unsettling the Land: Indigeneity, Ontology, and Hybridity in Settler Colonialism.” Environment and Society 9(1): 57-74. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3167/ares.2018.090105
Koh, V., P.B. Burow, L. Kanoi, and M.R. Dove. Forthcoming. “Locating the ‘Rural’ in Anthropology.” The SAGE Handbook of Cultural Anthropology. Lene Pedersen and Lisa Cliggett, eds. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publishers. https://www.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/the-sage-handbook-of-cultural-anthropology/book270178
Burow, P.B. 2020. “Nature’s Belonging: Landscapes, Conservation and the Cultural Politics of Place in the Great Basin.” In Public Lands in the Western U.S.: Place and Politics in the Clash between Public and Private, K. Sullivan and J. McDonald, eds. pp. 175-197. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781793637079/Public-Lands-in-the-Western-US-Place-and-Politics-in-the-Clash-between-Public-and-Private
Burow P.B., S. Brock, and M.R. Dove. 2020. “Land, Indigeneity, and Hybrid Ontologies.” In Living Earth Community: Multiple Ways of Being and Knowing. S. Mickey, M. Tucker, and J. Grim, eds. Cambridge: Open Book Publishers. pp 193-202. DOI: http://doi.org/10.11647/OBP.0186
Dove, M. R., A. Johnson, M. Lefebvre, P.B. Burow, W. Zhou, and L. Kanoi. 2019. “Who Is in the Commons: Defining Community, Commons, and Time in Long-Term Natural Resource Management.” Global Perspectives on Long Term Community Resource Management. L. R. Lozny and T. H. McGovern, eds. Cham: Springer. pp 23-40. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-15800-2_3
Essays, Reports, and Book Reviews
Farrell, J., K. McConnell, and P.B. Burow. “The Pandemic Hit Rural America and Changed Its Attitudes About Government.” Barron’s. October 8, 2020. https://www.barrons.com/amp/articles/the-pandemic-hit-rural-america-and-changed-its-attitudes-about-government-51602189510
Farrell, J., J.T. Mueller, K. McConnell, P.B. Burow, K. Pofahl, and A.A. Merdjanoff. 2020. Impact of COVID-19 on the Rural West: Material Needs, Economic Recovery, and Political Attitudes. Executive Summary of Research Findings. New Haven, CT: Yale School of the Environment. https://doi.org/10079/08e2da0a-551b-46a6-a1a2-ad98816a7870
Burow, P.B. 2017. “Wildlife Conservation and Settler Colonialism in the North American West.” Engagement: A Blog of the Anthropology & Environment Society. March 28, 2017. https://aesengagement.wordpress.com/2017/03/28/wildlife-conservation-and-settler-colonialism-in-the-north-american-west/