Whitney Mauer

Whitney MauerAssociate Professor of Environmental StudiesChair, Environmental Studies

Joined faculty in 2014

Ph.D., Cornell University, Development Sociology

M.S., Cornell University, Development Sociology

M.En.S., Miami University, Environmental Science

B.S., University of Puget Sound, Natural Sciences: Geology

Contact Information

451 Pulteney StreetPhone (315) 781-4662

Scholarly Interest

  • Environmental Inequalities
  • Indigenous Studies
  • Political Ecology
  • Critical Development Studies


My work is largely informed by Indigenous studies, political ecology, and critical development studies. In a broad sense, I interrogate how environmental issues intersect with issues of race and ethnicity, inequality and stratification, Indigeneity, community, and development. My current research includes a collaborative project with the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe (LEKT) on the ongoing Elwha River restoration project, the largest dam removal in U.S. history. In this project, I unpack the settler colonial origins of building of the dams in order to critically assess whether such ecological restoration can be decolonizing. I also examine the utility of resilience frameworks for understanding Indigenous experiences of ecological restoration, in particular how such frameworks fail to account for the impacts of historical trauma on contemporary Indigenous peoples’ experiences collectively and individually.

Find my latest publication here: https://doi.org/10.1111/ruso.12365

Courses Taught

FSEM: Consuming the World

ENV 110: Campus Sustainabilty

ENV 201: Environment and Society

ENV 237: Environmental Justice in Indian Country

ENV 309: Environmental Change in the Indigenous World



  • Mauer, K. Whitney. 2020. "Unsettling Resilience: Colonial Ecological Violence, Indigenous Futurisms, and the Restoration of the Elwha River." Rural Sociology. https://doi.org/10.1111/ruso.12365
  • Mauer, K. Whitney. 2020. "Undamming the Elwha." Contexts 13(3): 34-39. https://doi.org/10.1177/1536504220950399 
  • Mauer, K. Whitney. 2020. "Monopoly’s winners and losers: Elwha River Dam construction as social closure." Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 10(2):137-147. DOI: 10.1007/s13412-020-00586-w
  • Mauer, K. Whitney. 2020. "Restoring the Strong People: The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the Elwha River." In Building Community: Twelve Principles for a Healthy Future, edited by James S. Gruber. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers.
  • Mauer, K. Whitney. 2017. “Indian Country Poverty: Place-Based Poverty on American Indian Territories, 2006-10.” Rural Sociology 82(3): 473-498.
  • Mauer, K. Whitney and David Brown.  2007. "Losing and Gaining Metropolitan Status: Implications for Program Eligibility, Community Image, and Local Development."  CaRDI Reports.  Issue 2, 16p. Ithaca, NY: Community and Rural Development Institute.
  • Gonzales, Angela, A., Lyson, Thomas A. and K. Whitney Mauer. 2007.  “A New Buffalo for American Indians? Assessing the Impacts of Tribal Gaming Development.” Social Science Journal44(3): 405-19.