Karl Zimmerer is a geographer and environmental scientist whose research and teaching is focused on a group of interconnected topics centered on global human-environmental change. These interests concern the interaction of cultural, socioeconomic, and environmental dynamics in agriculture and resource use of developing and developed countries.
The first area of Karl's interests is the role and conservation of agrobiodiversity in complex agricultural landscapes containing local and regional food and consumption systems. Recently he is extending this research to frameworks of agrobiodiversity in global environmental change and governance.
Karl's second area of interest is the role of globalization in agriculture, rural livelihoods, and biodiversity conservation. This research includes neoliberalizing policies and politics as well as other governmental, non-governmental, and citizen approaches including "spaces of hope" in conservation and sustainability.
The third of Karl's areas of interest is concerned with concepts and theory in human-environment and nature-society approaches to environmental studies. It also includes the historical experience and present-day development of spatial-environmental models and planning, particularly through interaction of the knowledge systems of ecological science and local and indigenous peoples. Karl is author of numerous articles and chapters, and his books and monographs include four publications, most recently Globalization and New Geographies of Conservation (2006, University of Chicago). He is active in various groups and organizations involved with agricultural, environmental, conservation, and globalization policies, serves as the Head of the Geography Department at the Pennsylvania State University and also edits the Nature-Society section of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers.
- Agrobiodiversity change and resilience related to water resource use, irrigation, and climate change, with emphasis on tropical mountain countries, especially western South America (Bolivia)
- Spatial interactions involving the role of social networks and environmental factors in high-agrobiodiversity farming and organic agriculture (Bolivia, Wisconsin)
- Trajectories of environmental conservation and land use under neoliberal governments and alternative regimes, 1985-present (Latin America and Caribbean countries, especially Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru, and Bolivia)
- Cartography, landscape ideas, and spatial-environmental models of land use and social-ecological complexity in tropical mountain environments (Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia)
- land use and agricultural change/global change
- economic development/globalization/neoliberalism
- nature-society and human-environment theory
- environmental impacts (biodiversity/soils/water/conservation)
- food/producer-consumer networks/sustainability
Martha Bell, Ph.D. (current): Technology change and landscape transformation in colonial Peru
Emma Gaalaas Mullaney, Ph.D. (current): Gender politics and maize in Mexico
Nathan Clay, Ph.D. (current): Ecology, agriculture, and conservation amid development transitions, Rwanda
Yooinn Hong (current): Agriculture-forest landscape interactions, agrobiodiversity, conservation, East Asia
Russell Hedberg, M.S. (current): Ecology, aesthetics, and justice issues in tropical highland landscapes and environmental conservation , Bolivia
Oliver Casilla (current, Universidad Mayor de San Simón-AGRUCO, Cochabamba, Bolivia) (co-adviser)
Ariel Guarachi (2012, Universidad Mayor de San Simón-AGRUCO, Cochabamba, Bolivia) (co-adviser)
David Knoppers, Undergraduate Honors (2012): GMOs and organics in Pennsylvania agriculture
Kevin Hillmer Pegram, M.S. (2011): Dive tourism operators and social-ecological resilience of coral reefs in the Virgin Islands
Anna Shamey, M.S. (2011): Invasive species and land use change in organic agriculture, Wisconsin
Rebecca Baker, Undergraduate Honors (2011): Cuban urban agriculture and food
Fernando Gonzales, Ph.D. (2009): Weed invasion in Andean agriculture
Brent Moats, M.S. (2008): Vegetation change (woody cover) and irrigation development, Bolivia
- GEOG 30: Geographic Perspectives on Sustainability and Human-Environment Systems
- GEOG 430: Human Use of Environment
- GEOG 500: Introduction to Geographic Research
- GEOG 507: Seminar in Human Environment Geography
- GEOG 530: Human-Environment Seminar
2013, “The compatibility of agricultural intensification in
a global hotspot of smallholder agrobiodiversity (Bolivia).” Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) volume 110, number 8 (text pp. 2769-2774,
Supplementary Information pp. 1-4; published in PNAS Early Edition, 4 February
2013; full publication released on February 19, 2013; http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/01/29/1216294110.abstract).
- 2013, "Geographic approaches to Long-Term Social-Ecological Research (LTSER): Principal themes and concepts with a case study of Andes-Amazon watersheds.” In Long term socio-ecological research: Studies in society-nature interactions across spatial and temporal scales. Editors Simron Jit Singh, Helmut Haberl, Marian Chertow, Michael Mirtl, and Martin Schmid, pp. 163-187. Dordrecht: Springer Scientific
- 2013 (now released and available), The New Geographies of Energy: Assessment and Analysis of Critical Landscapes (Volume Editor, 283 pages) London: Routledge Publishers.
- 2013, "Approaching the new geographies of global energy: Analytics and assessment of current energy landscapes and alternatives,” pp. 1-10. In The New Geographies of Energy: Assessment and Analysis of Critical Landscapes. Editor Karl S. Zimmerer. London: Routledge Publishers.
2013 “An early framework of national land use and geovisualization: Policy attributes and application of Pulgar Vidal's state-indigenous vision of Peru (1941-present).” Land Use Policy, Volume 30, Number 1, pp. 305–16 (with Martha G. Bell; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2012.03.023)
- 2013, “Significance of telecoupling for exploration of (sustainable) land use change” (with Hallie Eakin, Ruth DeFries, Suzi Kerr, Eric F. Lambin, Jianguo Liu, Peter J. Marcotullio, Peter Messerli, Anette Reenberg, Ximena Rueda, Simon R. Swaffield, and Birka Wicke). In Rethinking Global Land Use in an Urban Era, eds. Karen C. Seto and Anette Reenberg. Ernst Strungmann Forum, Frankfurt, Germany (15 manuscript pages, single space).
- 2012, "The indigenous Andean concept of 'kawsay,' the politics of knowledge and development, and the borderlands of environmental sustainability in Latin America. ” PMLA (Publications of the Modern Language Association) 127(3): 600–606. In PMLA "Theories and Methodologies" section on Sustainability.
- 2012, “Cultural ecology and human ecology:
Core concepts and advances
in current human-environmental and nature-society studies.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Geography.
Editor Barney Warf. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pages 150–166.
- 2012, “Agrobiodiversity and water resources in agricultural landscape evolution.” In Biodiversity in Agriculture: Domestication, Evolution, and Sustainability, Editors Paul Gepts, T. R. Famula, R. L. Bettinger, and S. B. Brush, pp. 465-473. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- 2011, “The landscape technology of spate irrigation amid development changes: Assembling the links to resources, livelihoods, and agrobiodiversity-food in the Bolivian Andes” Global Environmental Change-Human and Policy Dimensions 21: 917-934.
- 2011, “'Conservation booms', land use transitions, and environmental governance in Latin America, 1985-2008 (Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia).” Latin American Research Review 46(3):82-114.
- 2011, “Mapping mountains and indigenous landscapes in the early modern world: Geovisualizations of Pedro de Cieza de León and Alexander von Humboldt” In Mapping Latin America, pp 125-130. Editors Karl Offen and Jordana Dym. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- 2011, “Vertical environments: Science, nature, and cultural-environmental diversity in modern development.” In Mapping Latin America, pp263-268. Editors Karl Offen and Jordana Dym. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- 2011, “New geographies of energy.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 101 (4): 705-711.
- 2011, Editor, Geographies of Energy (275 pages). Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Volume 101, Number 4 (Special Issue).
- 2011, "Spatial-geographic models of water scarcity and supply in irrigation engineering and management (Bolivia, 1952-2009).” In Knowing Nature, Transforming Ecologies: Science, power, and practice in environmental science and management, editors Matthew D. Turner, Mara Goldman, and Paul Nadasdy, pp. 167-185. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- 2010, “Dynamically coupled human and natural systems: Hawai‘i as a model system” (with Patrick V. Kirch). In Roots of Conflict: Soils, Agriculture, and Sociopolitical Complexity in Ancient Hawai`i, eds. Patrick V. Kirch and Peter M. Vitousek, pp. 3-30. School for Advanced Research Advance Seminar Series. Santa Fe: Seminar for Anthropological Research (SAR) Publications.
- 2010, “Biological diversity in agriculture and global change,” Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Volume 35: 137-166.
- 2010, “Retrospective on nature-society geography: Tracing trajectories (1911-2010) and reflecting on translations.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers Volume 100 (5): 1076-1094.
- 2010, “Editors’ Postscript.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers Volume 100 (5): 1181-1186 (with A. Kobayashi, M.-P. Kwan, and M. Fonstad).
- 2010, "Woodlands and agrobiodiversity in irrigation landscapes amidst global change (Bolivia, 1990-2002)." Professional Geographer 62 (3): 335-356.
- 2009, "Biodiversity," pp. 50-65, Chapter 4, in Companion to Environmental Geography, Editors, Noel Castree, David Demeritt, Diana Liverman, and Bruce Rhoads. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
- 2009, "Nature under neoliberalism and beyond in Bolivia: Community-based resource management, environmental conservation, and farmer-and-food movements, 1985-present," pp. 157-174, in Beyond Neoliberalism in Latin America? Societies and Politics at the Crossroads. Editors, John Burdick, Philip Oxhorn, and Kenneth M. Roberts. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
- 2009, Editor, Globalization and the New Geographies of Environmental Conservation (363 pages). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- 2008, "Spatial externalities in agriculture: Empirical analysis, statistical identification, and policy implications for development and environment." World Development 36 (10): 1813-1829. (with Bradford L. Barham and David J. Lewis).
- 2008, "Landscape Change at the Margins: Pathway of Intensification and/or Model of Intensive Agriculture?" Commentary on ‘Variable Development of Dryland Agriculture in Hawaii’ by T.N. Ladefoged and M.W. Graves, Current Anthropology 49(5): 793-794.
- 2008, "Human geography and the 'new ecology': The prospects and promise of integration," pp. 210-231, In Environment: Critical Essays in Human Geography (Ashgate Publishing, eds. Kay Anderson and Bruce Braun. [reprint of original publication].
- 2007, "Cultural ecology (and political ecology) in the "environmental borderlands": Exploring the expanded connectivities within geography." Progress in Human Geography 31 (2): 227-244.
- 2007, "Agriculture, livelihoods, and globalization: The analysis of new trajectories (and avoidance of just-so stories) of human-environment change and conservation." Agriculture and Human Values 24(1): 9-16.
- 2006, "Humboldt's nodes and modes of interdisciplinary environmental science in the Andean world." The Geographical Review 96(3): 335-360.
- 2006, "Cultural ecology: at the interface with political ecology---the new geographies of environmental conservation and globalization." Progress in Human Geography 30 (1): 63-78.
- 2006, "Introduction: Geographical issues in the globalization of agriculture and conservation", pp. 1-43, in Globalization and the New Geographies of Environmental Conservation (University of Chicago Press, ed. Karl S. Zimmerer).
- 2006, "Chapter 6: Multi-level geographies of seed flows and seed use in agrobiodiversity conservation in the Andean countries," pp. 141-165, in Globalization and the New Geographies of Environmental Conservation (University of Chicago Press, ed. Karl S. Zimmerer).
- 2006, "Conclusion: Rethinking the compatibility, consequences, and geographic strategies of conservation and agricultural development," pp. 315-345, in Globalization and the New Geographies of Environmental Conservation (University of Chicago Press, ed. Karl S. Zimmerer).
- 2006, Introductions to Sections. "Spatialities in global conservation and sustainability projects" (pp. 45-48); "Linking scales in livelihood analysis and global environmental science" (117-120); "Transnational and border issues in global conservation management" (187-190); "Decentralization and environmental governance in globalization" (pp. 255-258), in Globalization and the New Geographies of Environmental Conservation (University of Chicago Press).
- 2005, "An expanding interface with agriculture will change global conservation," pp. 26-33, in Agroecology and the Struggle for Food Sovereignty in the Americas, editors A. Cohn, J. Cook, M. Fernández, R. Reider, and C. Steward. New Haven: IIED, IUCN, and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
- 2004, "Globalization and multi-spatial trends in the coverage of protected-area conservation (1980-2000)." Ambio: A Journal of the Human Environment 33(8): 514-523 ) (with R. Galt and M. Buck).
- 2004, "Cultural and political ecology: Placing households in human-environment studies--the cases of tropical forest transitions and agrobiodiversity change." Progress in Human Geography 28(6): 795-806.
- 2004, "Environmental discourses on soil degradation in Bolivia: Sustainability and the search for socioenvironmental "middle ground." In Liberation Ecologies: Environment, Development, Social Movements, Second Edition. Editors Richard Peet and Michael Watts. London: Routledge, pages 107-124.
- 2004, "Cultural and political ecology as human/society and environment/society dynamics" (with T. J. Bassett). In Geography in America, 2000, At the dawn of the 21st Century (Eds. G.L. Gaile and C.J. Wilmott). Oxford: Oxford University Press, pages 97-113.
- 2003, Editor, Political Ecology: An Integrative Approach to Geography and Environment-Development Studies (with Thomas J. Bassett). New York: Guilford Publications.
Recent Notes and Short Publications
- 2013, Book Review, Protected Land: Disturbance, Stress, and American Ecosystem Management. (Springer Scientific, 2010). By Douglas J. Spieles. In Ecological Engineering 55: 93. ( http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/09258574)
- 2013, "Boundaries and networks in geography and beyond," Note from the Department Head, page 2, The Pennsylvania State University, Spring, Volume 12, Issue 1. ,
- 2012, “Onward and upward with Penn State Geography,” Note from the Department Head, page 2, , The Pennsylvania State University, Fall, Volume 11, Issue 2.
- 2012 (forthcoming), Book Review, The Rules of the Game and the Game of the Rules: Normalization and resistance in Andean water control (Wageningen University, 2009). By Rutgerd Boelens. In Human Ecology (forthcoming).
- 2012, “Valuing and engaging alumni,” Note from the Department Head, page 2, , The Pennsylvania State University, Spring, Volume 11, Issue 1.
- 2011, “Important Roles of Departmental Faculty Emeriti,” Note from the Department Head, page 2, Newsletter of the Geography Department, The Pennsylvania State University, Summer/Fall, Volume 10, Issue 2.
- 2011 Book Review, Essay on the Geography of Plants (University of Chicago, 2010). By Alexander von Humboldt, edited by Stephen Jackson and translated by Sylvie Romanowski. In The Geographical Review 101 (3): 458-460. 2011 “Geographies of Energy: AAG Annals Special Issue,” In AAG Newsletter (Association of American Geographers), Volume 46, Number 6, June 2011.
- 2011, “Interdisciplinary Faculty Searches: Energy Policy and Earth Systems Ecology,” Note of the Department Head, page 2, Newsletter of the Geography Department, The Pennsylvania State University, Spring issue, Volume 10, Issue 1.
- 2010, “Penn State Geography in the NRC Rankings,” Note of the Department Head, page 2, Newsletter of the Geography Department, The Pennsylvania State University, Summer/Fall issue, Volume 9.
- 2010, “Geography in the Context of Pasteur’s Quadrant,” Note of the Department Head, page 2, Newsletter of the Geography Department, The Pennsylvania State University, Winter/Spring issue, Volume 8.
- 2009, Publication endorsement (“blurb”): The Atlas of World Hunger by Thomas J. Bassett and Alex Winter-Nelson (University of Chicago Press).
- 2009, Publication endorsement (“blurb”): In the Shadow of Slavery: Africa’s Botanical Legacy in the Atlantic World by Judith A. Carney (University of California Press).
- 2009, “Geography and Interdisciplinarity,” Note of the Department Head, page 2, Newsletter of the Geography Department, The Pennsylvania State University, Summer/Fall issue, Volume 6.
- 2009, “Geography in the Re-Design of the Teacher Education Curriculum: Recent Experience at Penn State” (with J. Vender), AAG Newsletter (Association of American Geographers) (Volume 44, Number 3, March 2009).
- 2009, “Department, College of EMS benefit from synergies,” Note of the Department Head, page 2, Newsletter of the Geography Department, The Pennsylvania State University, Winter/Spring issue, Volume 6, Issue 1.
- 2008, “Landscape Change at the Margins: Pathway of Intensification and/or Model of Intensive Agriculture?” Commentary on ‘Variable Development of Dryland Agriculture in Hawaii’ by Thegn N. Ladefoged and Michael W. Graves Current Anthropology 49(5): 793-794.
- 2008, Book Review, The Humboldt Current: Nineteenth-Century Exploration and the Roots of American Environmentalism. By Aaron Sachs. In Annals of the Association of American Geographers 98(3): 745-748.
- 2008, "Celebrating Coffee Hour," Note of the Department Head, page 2, Newsletter of the Geography Department, The Pennsylvania State University, Summer/Fall, Volume 6, Issue 2.
- 2008, “Strategic Planning in the Department,” Note of the Department Head, page 2, Newsletter of the Geography Department, The Pennsylvania State University, Winter/Spring, Volume 6, Issue 1.
- 2006, Note, “Humboldt and the history of environmental thought.” The Geographical Review 96(3): 456-459.
- Robert McC Netting Award, Career Honor, Cultural and Political Ecology (CAPE) Group of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) (2013) ( http://capeaag.wordpress.com/cape-honors/)
- Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Section on Geology & Geography, AAAS (elected 2012, inducted 2013; http://www.aaas.org/aboutaaas/fellows/2012.shtml).
- Annual Ellen Churchill Semple Honorary Lecture, Department of Geography, University of Kentucky (2011).
- Ralph Brown Honorary Lecture, Department of Geography, University of Minnesota (2009).
- The Kellett Faculty Fellowship, The Graduate School, University of Wisconsin- Madison (2005-2007).
- Agrarian Studies Fellowship, Yale University (2004-05).
- Edward J. Taaffe Distinguished Lecture, Ohio State University (2004).
- John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, The Guggenheim Foundation, New York (2002-2003).
- C. O. Sauer Excellence in Scholarship Award, Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers (1999).
- H.C. Cowles Award, Biogeography Specialty Group, Association of American Geographers (for Changing Fortunes: Biodiversity and Peasant Livelihoods in the Peruvian Andes) (1998).
- Humanities Research Institute Fellow (1998).
- H. I. Romnes Faculty Fellowship University of Wisconsin-Madison (1996).