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Catherine May Tucker, Ph.D.

Office: Grinter Hall 309
Phone: (352) 392-0690


  • Ph.D. Anthropology, University of Arizona, 1996
  • M.A. Anthropology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 1987
  • B.A. Interdisciplinary Major in Anthropology/Biology/Philosophy, Gustavus Adolphus College, 1983

Research Interests

Economic and environmental anthropology, environmental governance, community-based conservation, institutional analysis, climate change adaptation, coffee production & consumption, value chains, belief systems, sustainability

Personal Statement

My research explores human-environment interactions through a transdisciplinary approach encompassing environmental and economic anthropology, political ecology, institutional analysis, and participatory approaches. For the most part, I focus on the Latin American experience, including community-based forest and water management, coffee production and value chains, interactions between people and protected areas, governance of common-pool resources, adaptation to climate change, sustainability, globalization, and belief systems.

Positions and Honors

Positions and Employment

  • 2017-Present Professor, Department of Anthropology & Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida, Gainesville
  • 2015-17 Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology & Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida, Gainesville
  • 2015 -Present Affiliated Faculty, Tropical Conservation and Development Program, University of Florida
  • 2012 -15 Chair, Department of Anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington
  • 2009-15 Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Indiana U, Bloomington
  • 2003-09 Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Indiana U, Bloomington
  • 2004-Present Affiliated Faculty, Vincent & Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory & Policy Analysis, Indiana U, Bloomington
  • 2003-15 Associated Faculty, Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change (CIPEC), Indiana U, Bloomington


Other Experience and Professional Memberships

  • American Anthropological Association
  • International Association for the Study of the Commons
  • Society for Applied Anthropology
Other Experiences
  • Elected council member, International Association for the Study of the Commons (2017-Present)
  • Scientific Advisory Council, Mountain Research Initiative (2014-Present)
  • Associate Editor, Society and Conservation (2010-Present)
  • Editorial Board, Human Ecology (2015-Present)


  • 2014 Featured Scholar, Global Learning Center, University of Illinois, Chicago
  • 2013 Fellow, Academic Leadership Seminar, Committee on Institutional Cooperation (Consortium of “Big Ten” Conference Universities and affiliates)
  • 2011 Sustainability Course Development Fellowship, “Ecology and Society.” Indiana University
  • 2010 Collaborative Research and Creative Activity Summer Stipend Award, Office of the Vice Provost for Research, Indiana University
  • 2009 Trustees’ Teaching Award, Indiana University
  • 2008 Fellow, Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA), United States
  • 2007 Outstanding Session Prize for “Natural resource management, science and spirituality: Intersections shaping Latin America’s environment.” School for Advanced Research and the Latin American Studies Association
  • 2007 Research Fellowship, College of Arts and Humanities Institute, Indiana University
  • 2006 Summer Faculty Fellowship, “Indigenous Institutions, Collective Action and the Conservation of Biodiversity in Oaxaca, Mexico,” Indiana University
  • 1992-93 Graduate Registration Scholarship, University of Arizona, Tucson
  • 1990-91 Graduate College Fellowship, University of Arizona, Tucson
  • 1983 Phi Beta Kappa

Selected Publications


Tucker, C. M. 2017. Coffee Culture: Local Experiences, Global Connections. Second Edition. New York: Routledge Press.

Tucker, C. M., ed. 2012. Nature, Science and Religion: Intersections shaping society and the environment. Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research (SAR) Press.

Tucker, C. M. 2008. Changing Forests: Collective Action, Common Property and Coffee in Honduras. New York: Springer Academic Press.

Representative Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Muhar, A., C. Raymond, R. van den Born, N. Bauer, K. Böck, M. Braito, A. Buljs, C. Flint, W. de Groot, C. Ives, T. Mitrofanenko, T. Plieninger, C. Tucker, C. van Riper. 2017. A Model Integrating Social-Cultural Concepts of Nature into Frameworks of Interaction between Social and Natural Systems. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management. DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2017.1327424

Upton, C., C. Tucker, S. Sanchez. 2017. The Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement’s Symbolic Nod to Environmental Protection: Legal Perspectives on CAFTA’s Citizen Submission Process. Society and Natural Resources. URL:

Tucker, C. M. 2014. Creating equitable water institutions on disputed land: A Honduran case study. Water International 39(2):216-232.

Eakin, H., C. M. Tucker, E. Castellanos, R. Diaz-Porras, J. F. Barrera, H. Morales. 2014. Adaptation in a Multi-stressor Environment: Perceptions and responses to climatic and economic risks by coffee growers in Mesoamerica. Environment, Development and Sustainability 16(1):123-139. URL:

Castellanos, E., C. Tucker, H. Eakin, H. Morales, J. Barrera and R. Diaz. 2013. Assessing the Adaptation Strategies of Farmers Facing Multiple Stressors: Lessons from the Coffee and Global Changes Project in Mesoamerica. Environmental Science and Policy 26:19-28. URL:

Tucker, C. M. 2010. Private Goods and Common Property: Pottery Production in a Honduran Lenca Community. Human Organization 69(1):43-53.

Tucker, C. M. 2010. Learning on Governance in Forest Ecosystems: Lessons from Recent Research. International Journal of the Commons 4(2):687-706. URL:

Tucker, C. M., H. Eakin, and E. Castellanos. 2010. Perceptions of Risk and Adaptation: Coffee producers, market shocks and extreme weather in Central America and Mexico. Global Environmental Change 20:23-32. Published online August 2009. URL:

Tucker, C. M., J. C. Randolph, T. Evans, K. P. Andersson, L. Persha, and G. M. Green. 2008. An approach to assess relative degradation in dissimilar forests: toward a comparative assessment of institutional outcomes. Ecology and Society 13(1): 4. [online] URL:

More Publications Available on Google Scholar

Contribution to Science


Research Support

Ongoing Research Support

National Park Service, “Ethnobotany and Traditional Ecological Knowledge for Badlands National Park, South Dakota.” Principal Investigator with C. Sage, Co-PI]. 2016-18.

National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network Grant, “Bridging Communities and Scales through a Global Transdisciplinary Mountain Sustainability Network.” [Co-PI with J. Klein (Principal Investigator, Colorado State U), A. Nolin (Oregon State U) and R. Reid (Colorado State U)] 2014-2019

Completed Research Support (within the past three years)

Inter-American Institute (IAI) Collaborative Research Network Program Grant (IAI-CRN 2060), “Small Coffee Producers and Adaptive Options for a Changing Climate: The Risks and Challenges of Certification for Ecosystem Services.” [Co-PI with E. Castellanos (Principal Investigator , Universidad del Valle de Guatemala), H. Eakin (ASU, Tempe), J. Barrera (ECOSUR, Mexico) and R. Díaz (Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica)] 2012-2015

Courses Taught