My name is James (J.T.) Erbaugh, and I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Dartmouth College. My research examines the relationship between rural livelihoods, communities, and forests.
Expanding analysis across mixed-use forest landscapes is essential for understanding forest cover change and rural livelihood strategies. It is also essential to consider production and conservation forests in tandem to understand how best to preserve valuable forest resources. Conservation is a game best played with attention to values and necessary trade-offs. Conserving forests means making choices about where and when to harvest and intensively manage and where and when to prohibit or limit certain human-forest activities. While there are no panaceas for forest management, I believe that there are sets of “best options.” This belief drives my interest in the connections between people and forests.
To study the relationship between forest landscapes and livelihoods, I draw from institutional theory, political ecology, and causal inference. I use a mixed-methods approach in my work, drawing on GIS/Remote Sensing, survey methodology, statistics, and policy analysis. In addition to my academic training, I bring over six years of living and teaching in rural, forest-dependent communities on the Navajo Nation (Navajo, NM), Sumatra (Sungai Penuh, Kerinci), and Java (Pati, Central Java). Since 2011, I have primarily focused on studying the way in which rural livelihoods and communities in Indonesia impact and are shaped by forests. The support, guidance, and inspiration from countless other teachers, researchers, travelers, and students have made my work possible.
I have received financial support from the Borlaug Fellowship in International Food Security, the Dow Sustainability Fellowship, the Fulbright Program, the Institute for Social Research, the Department of Defense Critical Language Scholarship, the School for Environment and Sustainability (University of Michigan), the Rackham Graduate School (University of Michigan), and the Department of Environmental Studies (Dartmouth College). To all of the people and organizations that have helped me along this path: thank you.
The views and opinions expressed on this website are my responsibility alone. Please feel free to send me an email at james(dot)t(dot)erbaugh(at)dartmouth(dot)edu. Also, you can find me on the following sites:
Thank you for visiting, and I look forward to hearing from you.