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See below for a brief overview of my academic research and list of publications. 



My research interests have evolved significantly over time. As an undergraduate, I completed a thesis in a molecular ecology lab. As a masters student, my thesis looked at salmon policy and management through a common pool resource lens. My dissertation assessed responses by federal, state, and provincial agencies to bark beetle outbreaks across western North America. That research used political ecology as the theoretical lens and guided me into critical social science research that focuses on power and ideology to explain and understand how a society so concerned about climate change continues to do little to effectively respond to it. 


I have two outstanding colleagues, Diana Stuart and Ryan Gunderson, who I have had the privilege to work and write with. We have a series of publications that focus on ideology and economic rationality and how they remain a force in society locking in unjust, carbon intensive outcomes. Many of my graduate students have focused on ‘natural resource’ management and policy. A recent grant funded collaborative work with the USGS on adaptation to climate change in the southwest. I am also currently working on a project assessing perceptions by scholars around social ecological transformation – given the threat posed by climate change and related problems, how can we overcome the profit driven, unsustainable course we find ourselves on? This work included research conducted in Europe during sabbatical with scholars across the continent. Lastly, I have been heavily involved in local planning issues in Flagstaff due to my deep concern with how our communities are organized and managed. With Helene Ducros, I co-edited a book called Justice in Climate Action Planning and continue to incorporate planning in my scholarly work and interests.


See below for a list of publications.  




Stuart, D., B. Petersen and R. Gunderson. 2023. A Climate Agenda for System Change: From Theory to Social Transformation. may fly.

Petersen, B., and H. Ducros, eds. 2022. Justice in Climate Action Planning. New York: Springer.


Stuart, D., B. Petersen, R. Gunderson. 2021. The Degrowth Alternative: A Path to Address our Environmental Crisis? Routledge: New York.


Stuart, D., R. Gunderson, B. Petersen. 2020. Climate Change Solutions: Beyond Capital-Climate Contradiction. University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor.


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles                                                     


Stuart, D., B. Petersen, and R. Gunderson. 2022. "Articulating system change to effectively and justly address the climate crisis." Globalizations.


Gunderson, R, D. Stuart, and B. Petersen. 2021. "In search of plan(et) B: irrational rationality, capitalist realism, and space colonization." Futures 134 (102857).


Stuart, D., B. Petersen, and R. Gunderson. 2021. "Shared pretenses for collective inaction: the economic growth imperative, COVID-19, and climate change." Globalizations.


Petersen, B., and J. Hultgren. 2020. "The case for a 21st century wilderness ethic." Ethics, Policy & Environment 23 (2): 222-239.


Stuart, D., R. Gunderson, and B. Petersen. 2020. "Overconsumption as ideology: implications for addressing global climate change." Nature and Culture 15 (2): 199-223.


Stuart, D., L. Gunderson, and B. Petersen. 2020. "The climate crisis as a catalyst for emancipatory transformation: An examination of the possible." International Sociology.


Stuart, D., L. Gunderson, and B. Petersen. 2020. "Carbon geoengineering and the metabolic rift: Solution or social reproduction?" Critical Sociology.


Gunderson, R., D. Stuart, B. Petersen. 2020. “The fossil fuel industry's framing of carbon capture and storage: Faith in innovation, value instrumentalization, and status quo maintenance.” Journal of Cleaner Production.


Petersen, B., and J. R. Barnes. 2020. "From Hopelessness to Transformation in Geography Classrooms." Journal of Geography 119 (1): 3-11.

Petersen, B., D. Stuart, R. Gunderson. 2019. "Reconceptualizing climate change denial: how new forms of ideological denialism misdiagnose climate change and limit effective action." Human Ecology Review 25 (2).

Gunderson, R., D. Stuart, and B. Petersen. 2019. "The political economy of geoengineering as plan B: technological rationality, moral hazard, and new technology." New Political Economy.

Stuart, D., R. Gunderson, and B. Petersen. 2019. "Climate change and the Polanyian counter-movement: carbon markets or degrowth?" New Political Economy.

Petersen, B., C. Aslan, D. Stuart, and P. Beier. 2018. "Incorporating Social and Ecological Adaptive Capacity into Vulnerability Assessments and Management Decisions for Biodiversity Conservation." Bioscience 68 (5):371-380.

Gunderson, R., B. Petersen, and D. Stuart. 2018. "A critical examination of geoengineering: economic and technological rationality in social context." Sustainability 10 (1).

Aslan, C. E., B. Petersen, A. B. Shiels, W. Haines, and C. T. Liang. 2018. "Operationalizing resilience for conservation objectives: the 4S's." Restoration Ecology 26 (6):1032-1038.

Gunderson, R., D. Stuart, and B. Petersen. 2018. "Ideological obstacles to effective climate policy: The greening of markets, technology, and growth." Capital and Class 42 (1):133-160.

Petersen, B., and D. Stuart. 2017. "Navigating critical thresholds in natural resource management: a case study of Olympic National Park." Journal of Extreme Events 4 (1).

Doll, J. E., B. Petersen, and C. Bode. 2017. "Skeptical but Adapting: What Midwestern Farmers Say about Climate Change." Weather Climate and Society 9 (4):739-751.

Gunderson, R., Stuart, D., Petersen, B. 2016. Factory Farming: Impacts and Potential Solutions. In Agenda for Social Justice: Solutions for 2016. Edited by Muschert, G., Klocke, B., Perruci, R., Shefner, J. Policy Press: Bristol.

Petersen, B., and S. Snapp. 2015. "What is sustainable intensification? Views from experts." Land Use Policy 46:1-10.

Petersen, B., J. Montambault, and M. Koopman. 2014. "The potential for double-loop learning to enable landscape conservation efforts." Environmental Management 54 (4):782-794.

Petersen, B., and D. Stuart. 2014. "Explanations of a changing landscape: a critical examination of the British Columbia bark beetle epidemic." Environment and Planning A 46:598-613.

Petersen, B., and A. Wellstead. 2014. "Responding to a forest catastrophe: the emergence of new governance arrangements in southern California." ISRN Economics 2014.

Petersen, B., K.R. Hall, K. Kahl, and P.J. Doran. 2013. "In their own words: perceptions of climate change adaptation from the Great Lakes region's resource management community." Environmental Practice 15 (4):377-392.

Lin, B. B., and B. Petersen. 2013. "Resilience, Regime Shifts, and Guided Transition under Climate Change: Examining the Practical Difficulties of Managing Continually Changing Systems." Ecology and Society 18 (1).

Cross, M. S., E. S. Zavaleta, D. Bachelet, M. L. Brooks, C. A. F. Enquist, E. Fleishman, L. J. Graumlich, C. R. Groves, L. Hannah, L. Hansen, G. Hayward, M. Koopman, J. J. Lawler, J. Malcolm, J. Nordgren, B. Petersen, E. L. Rowland, D. Scott, S. L. Shafer, M. R. Shaw, and G. M. Tabor. 2012. "The Adaptation for Conservation Targets (ACT) Framework: A Tool for Incorporating Climate Change into Natural Resource Management." Environmental Management 50 (3):341- 351

Levin, K., and B. Petersen. 2011. "Tradeoffs in the policy process in advancing climate change adaptation: The case of Australia's Great Eastern Ranges Initiative." The Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research 3 (2):145-162.

West, Jordan M., Susan H. Julius, Peter Kareiva, Carolyn Enquist, Joshua J. Lawler, Brian Petersen, Ayana E. Johnson, and M. Rebecca Shaw. 2009. "US Natural Resources and Climate Change: Concepts and Approaches for Management Adaptation." Environmental Management 44 (6):1001-1021.

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