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We study human-environment relations, the socio-cultural dimensions of environmental change, and pathways to sustainability and environmental justice. The lab is headed by UCSB Associate Professor of Anthropology, Jeffrey Hoelle, whose research focuses on land use, ideologies of cultivation, and environmental destruction in the Brazilian Amazon. Graduate students in the lab study topics ranging from management of invasive lionfish in the Mexican Caribbean, struggles for justice along the soy frontier of Argentine Chaco, the edible insect industry and efforts to increase insect consumption in North America, and the challenges of fighting California wildfires amid environmental change.


Along with undergraduate students, we work on local projects, such as the Isla Vista Ethnobotany Project, which aim to increase knowledge and engagement with the environment and cultural landscape surrounding UCSB.

Meet the Team


UCSB Anthropology Department

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Current Projects

Isla Vista Ethnobotany Project

Here you can discover edible, medicinal, and useful plants on the UCSB campus and in Isla Vista. We hope this site will help you get out and learn more about the plants in our area, but make sure not to take any unnecessary risks if you are unsure about a plant. 

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Cultivating Communities

Cultivating Communities is a site for students and community members to learn more about the fascinating environment that we now know as UCSB and Isla Vista. By learning more about this place, full of fascinating history and  possibilities for engaging with nature, we hope we can facilitate deeper forms of environmental engagement.

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