Theresa Selfa

Theresa Selfa

Associate Professor

219 Marshall Hall
1 Forestry Dr.
Syracuse, New York 13210

Phone: (315) 470-6570/470-6636



  • Cornell University, Development Sociology PhD 2001
  • UC Berkeley, City and Regional Planning MCP 
  • Whitman College, English Literature BA 

Research Interests

  • Social ecological impacts of bioenergy development in US and Latin America
  • Interdisciplinary Water Management
  • Sustainable agriculture and food systems
  • Biofuels Certification 
  • Environmental Politics
  • Land and Energy Systems 
  • Environment and Development

Current Graduate Advisees

Current Graduate Advisees

Nathan KennedyNathan Kennedy

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Selfa
  • Area of Study: Environmental Communication

Blake NeumannBlake Neumann

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Collins and Selfa
  • Area of Study: Water & Wetland Resource Studies

Christopher TomlinsonChristopher Tomlinson

  • Degree Sought: MS in Environmental Studies
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Selfa and Manno

Sara VelardiSara Velardi

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Selfa
  • Area of Study: Environmental and Natural Resources Policy

Theodora WeatherbyTheodora Weatherby

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Vidon and Selfa
  • Area of Study: Coupled Natural and Human Systems

Courses Taught

  • Undergraduate: Environment and Society
  • Graduate: Environment and Society; Political Ecology; Qualitative Research Methods

Recent Publications

S. White and T. Selfa. 2012. “Shifting Lands: Exploring Kansas Farmer Decision-Making in an Era of Climate Change and Biofuels Production”  Journal of Environmental Management, DOI 10.1007/s00267-012-9991-6

C. Bain and T. Selfa. 2012.  “Framing and Reframing the Environmental Risks and Economic Benefits of Ethanol Production in Iowa.”  Agriculture and Human Values. DOI: 10.1007/s10460-012-9401-y 

T. Selfa. 2012.  “Depopulation And Energy Production: The Dynamics of Conflicting Landscape Visions: an American perspective” Pp. 273-298 in The Political Ecology of Depopulation:  Inequality, Landscape, and People.  A. Paniagua, R. Bryant and T. Kizos, Editors.  Spain: Rolde Foundation, CEDDAR. 

T.Selfa , L. Kulcsár, C. Bain, R. Goe and G. Middendorf.  2011. “Biofuels Bonanza? Exploring Community Perceptions of the Promises and Perils of Biofuels Production,” Biomass and Bioenergy, Special issue on Sociopolitical Dimensions of U.S. Bioenergy Development. Vol. 34: 1379-89.  

A. Barton and T.Selfa. 2011.  “Community Development and Natural Landscapes” Pp. 35-53 in J. Robinson and G. Green, Eds.  Theory and Practice of Community Development. Sage Publishers.

T.Selfa. 2010. “Global Benefits, Local Burdens? The Paradox of Governing Biofuels Production in Kansas and Iowa.” Special Issue on Sustainable Agriculture Systems in a Resource Limited Future, Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems.  Vol. 25: 129-142.

T. Selfa, R. Fish and M. Winter. 2010. “Farming livelihoods and landscapes: tensions in rural development and environmental regulation.” Landscape Research, Special Issue on Landscape and Rural Development in Europe. Vol. 36 (6): 595-612.

H. H.Peterson, T. Selfa, and R. Janke. 2010. “Barriers and Opportunities for Sustainable Food Systems in Northeastern Kansas.” Sustainability, Special issue on Renewable Agriculture 2: 232-251.

T.Selfa  and T. Becerra. 2010. “Upstream-Downstream: Forging Rural-Urban Partnerships for
Shared Water Governance in Central Kansas,” Book chapter in The Citizen Effect: Pathways to Better Water Quality. L.W. Morton and S. Brown, Eds.  Penn State University Press.

J. Endter-Wada, T.Selfa, and  L. Welsh.  2009.  “Hydrologic Interdependencies and Human Cooperation: The Process Of Adapting To Droughts.”  Weather, Climate and Society 1: 55-71.

R. Fish, M. Winter, D. Oliver, D. Chadwick, T. Selfa , L. Heathwaite, and C. Hodgson. 2009.  “Unruly Pathogens: Eliciting values for environmental risks in the context of heterogeneous expert knowledge.” Environmental Science and Policy 12(3): 281-296.

T.Selfa , R. Jussaume, Jr. and M. Winter. 2008 “Envisioning Agricultural Sustainability from Field to Plate: Comparing Producer and Consumer Attitudes and Practices in Washington State.”  Journal of Rural Studies 24: 262-276.

T.  Selfa and R.  Jussaume, Jr.  2008. “Sustainable Foodscapes: Examining Consumer Attitudes and Practices toward Food and Farming in Washington State.” Pp. 107-122  in R. Fish, S. Seymour, and C. Watkins, Eds. Sustainable Farmland Management: New Transdisciplinary Approaches. Oxford, UK: CABI Press.

T.Selfa  and J. Endter-Wada.  2008. “The Politics of Community-Based Conservation in Natural Resource Management: A Focus for International Comparative Analysis.” Environment and Planning A 40: 948-965.

T. Selfa  and J. Qazi. 2005.   “Place, Taste, or Face-to Face? Understanding Producer-Consumer Networks in ‘Local’ Food Systems in Washington State.” Agriculture and Human Values, Vol. 22:451-464.

J. Qazi and T. Selfa. 2005. “The Politics of Building Alternative Agro-Food Networks in the Belly of Agro-industry.”   Food, Culture, and Society, Vol. 8 (1):45-72

T. Selfa. 2004 “Mobilizing at the Frontier: Framing Social Justice Claims in a Natural Resources Management Project in Rondônia, Brazil.” Society and Natural Resources, Vol 17:717-734.

Professional Memberships

  • American Sociological Association, Member of Political Sociology and Environment and Technology Sections
  • Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society
  • European Society for Rural Sociology
  • International Association for Society and Natural Resources
  • Rural Sociological Society
  • Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences


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