My research interests focus on how social relationships of power and inequality influence people’s interactions with the environment. Carrying out projects in Uganda, Vietnam, and the U.S. South, I have explored food insecurity, rural livelihoods, forced migration, the politics of environmental conservation, and climate change. More than anything, I love to talk with people, to hear their stories in their words, and to get a glimpse into the ways they have built their lives and livelihoods in a variety of ecological and political-economic contexts. Most recently, I have become interested in the ways campus farms can deepen students’ understanding of and engagement with local food systems and support efforts to make those food systems more just, vibrant, and ecologically sustainable.
Since 2016, I have coordinated the Environmental Studies discipline’s internship program, working with local and national environmental organizations to create opportunities that serve their mission and provide meaningful professional experiences for students. I am also a co-founder and Faculty Director of the Eckerd College Community Farm, a 1-acre sustainable “liberal arts farm” on campus, where I facilitate the farm’s educational and community outreach programs.
Areas of expertise/Research focus
- Political Ecology
- Rural Livelihoods
- Food Politics and Insecurity
- Resource Conflict
- Forced Displacement
- Environmental Conservation
I have taught in the Environmental Studies and General Education programs at Eckerd since 2014. Previously, I taught Cultural and Environmental Anthropology at the University of South Florida St Petersburg, Hillsborough Community College, and the University of Georgia. From 2012-2014, I was a Postdoctoral Research Associate with the USDA Forest Service and Center for Integrative Conservation Research at the University of Georgia, where I conducted research on perceptions of and vulnerability to climate change and minority land rights and dispossession in Georgia.
- 2018 Himmelfarb, D. and Cavanagh, C. “Managing the Contradictions: Conservation, Communitarian Rhetoric, and Conflict, Mount Elgon National Park.” In The Politics of Conservation and Development in Uganda. Chris Sandbrook, Connor J. Cavanagh, David M. Tumusiime, eds. London: Earthscan
- 2016 Johnson Gaither, C., Himmelfarb, D., Hitchner, S., Schelhas, J., Shepherd, M., and KC, B. “‘Where the Sidewalk Ends’: Examining the Potential for Climate Change Mitigation in Atlanta’s Cascade Community.” City & Society 28(2):174-197
- 2015 Cavanagh, C. and Himmelfarb, D. “‘Much in Blood and Money’: Necropolitical Ecology on the Margins of the Uganda Protectorate.” Antipode, 47(1):55-73
- 2014 Himmelfarb, D., Schelhas, J., Hitchner, S., Johnson Gaither, C., Dunbar, K., Brosius, J.P., “Perceptions of and Attitudes toward Climate Change in the Southeastern United States.” In International Perspectives on Climate Change: Latin America and Beyond. Walter Leal Filho, Fátima Alves, Sandra Caeiro, Ulisses M. Azeiteiroed, eds. 287-299. New York: Springer Press
- 2007 Himmelfarb, D. “Locating Trade-offs in Conservation: Looking Back Over Three Decades of Changes in Conservation Practice and Decision Making.” Working Paper. Advancing Conservation in a Social Context, MacArthur Foundation and UGA
- 2006 Himmelfarb, D. “Moving People, Moving Boundaries: The Socio-Economic Effects of Protectionist Conservation, Involuntary, Resettlement and Tenure Insecurity on the Edge of Mt. Elgon National Park, Uganda.” Agroforestry in Landscape Mosaics Working Paper Series, World Agroforestry Centre. Reprinted in 2007 by African Highlands Initiative
Banner photo at top: Katherine Triebel ’18