Dr. Darren Ranco

Ph.D., Harvard University, 2000
MSEL, Studies in Environmental Law, Vermont Law School, 1998
B.A., Anthropology and Classical Studies, Dartmouth College, 1993

Professional Interests:

I have a joint appointment in the Department of Anthropology, the  Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions and in Native American Programs, where I serve as Chair of Native American Programs and Coordinator of Native American Research. My research focuses on the ways in which indigenous communities in the United States resist environmental destruction by using indigenous diplomacies and critiques of liberalism to protect cultural resources, and how state knowledge systems, rooted in colonial contexts, continue to expose indigenous peoples to an inordinate amount of environmental risk. I teach classes on indigenous intellectual property rights, research ethics, environmental justice and tribal governance. A member of the Penobscot Nation, I am particularly interested in how better research relationships can be made between universities, Native and non-Native researchers, and indigenous communities.

Representative Publications:

Erle C. Ellis, Nicolas Gauthier, Kees Klein Goldewijk, Rebecca Bliege Bird, Nicole Boivin, Sandra Díaz, Dorian Q. Fuller, Jacquelyn L. Gill, Jed O. Kaplan, Naomi Kingston, Harvey Locke, Crystal N. H. McMichael, Darren Ranco, Torben C. Rick, M. Rebecca Shaw, Lucas Stephens, Jens-Christian Svenning, and James E.M. Watson. 2021.  People have shaped most of terrestrial nature for at least 12,000 years. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 118(17): 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2023483118

McGreavy, Bridie, Darren Ranco, John Daigle, Suzanne Greenlaw, Nolan Altvater, Tyler Quiring, Natalie Michelle, Jan Paul, Maliyan Binette, Brawley Benson, Anthony Sutton, and David Hart.  2021.  Science in Indigenous homelands: addressing power and justice in sustainability science from/with/in the Penobscot River.  Sustainability Science 16: 937-947.

Daigle, John J., Natalie Michelle, Darren J. Ranco, and Marla Emery.  2019.  Traditional Lifeways and Storytelling: Tools for Adaptation and Resilience to Ecosystem Change.  Human Ecology 47(5): 777-784.

Daigle, John J., Crista L Straub, Jessica E Leahy, Sandra M De Urioste-Stone, Darren J Ranco, Nathan W Siegert.  2018.  How Campers’ Beliefs about Forest Pests Affect Firewood Transport Behavior: An Application of Involvement Theory, Forest Science, published online December 7, 2018, fxy056, https://doi.org/10.1093/forsci/fxy056.

Carr, Tish, Laura Kenefic, Darren Ranco.  2017. Wabanaki Youth in Science (WaYS): A Tribal Mentoring and Education Program Integrating Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Western Science.  Journal of Forestry: Published Online, January 19, 2017.

Hart, D. D., K. P. Bell, L. A. Lindenfeld, S. Jain, T. R. Johnson, D. Ranco and B. McGill.  2015.  Strengthening the Role of Universities in Addressing Sustainability Challenges: the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions as an Instrumental Experiment.  Ecology and Society 20(2): 4.
Ranco, Darren and Julia Clark.  2014.  The Abbe Museum: Seeking a Collaborative Future through Decolonization. In Interpreting Native American History and Culture, Raney Bench, ed.  New York: Roman and Littlefield, pp. 57-67.
Voggesser, Garrit, Kathy Lynn, John Daigle, Frank Lake, and Darren Ranco.  2013.  Cultural Impacts to Tribes from Climate Change Influences on Forests.  Climatic Change 120(3): 615-626.
Lynn, K, J Daigle, J Hoffman, F Lake, N Michelle, D Ranco, C Viles, G Voggesser, and P Williams.  2013.  The Impacts of Climate Change on Tribal Traditional Foods.  Climatic Change120(3): 545-556.
Ranco, Darren, Amy Arnett, Erika Latty, Alysa Remsburg, Kathleen Dunckel, Erin Quigley, Rob Lilieholm, John Daigle, Bill Livingston, Jennifer Neptune, and Theresa Secord.  2012.  “Two Maine Forest Pests: A Comparison of Approaches to Understanding Threats to Hemlock and Ash Trees in Maine.  Maine Policy Review 21(1): 76-89.
Ranco, Darren J., Catherine O’Neill, Jamie Donatuto, and Barbara L. Harper.  “Environmental Justice, American Indians and the Cultural Dilemma: Developing Environmental Management for Tribal Health and Well-being,” 2011.  Environmental Justice 4(4): 221-230.
Johnson, Jaclyn, and Darren J. Ranco.  “Risk Assessment and Native Americans at the Cultural Crossroads: Making Better Science or Redefining Health?”  2011.  In Technoscience and Environmental Justice: Transforming Expert Cultures through Grassroots Engagement, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp. 179-199.
Harper, Barbara and Darren Ranco.  2009.  Wabanaki Traditional Cultural Lifeways Exposure Scenario, Peer Reviewed Report prepared for the Maine Tribes and funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency.  Environmental Protection Agency: Washington, DC, pp 1-104.  (Part of a Direct Implementation Tribal Cooperative Agreement, this report details pollution exposure scenarios for traditional lifestyles of Maine tribes).
Darren Ranco.  2008.  “The Trust Responsibility and Limited Sovereignty: What Can Environmental Justice Groups Learn from Indian Nations?”  Society and Natural Resources 21(4): 354-362.
Ranco, Darren, and Dean Suagee.  2007.  “Tribal Sovereignty and the Problem of Difference in Environmental Regulation: Observations on ‘Measured Separatism’ in Indian Country.” Antipode 39 (4): 691-707.
Darren Ranco.  2007.  “The Indian Ecologist and the Politics of Representation: Critiquing the Ecological Indian in the Age of Ecocide.”  In Perspectives on the Ecological Indian: Native Americans and the Environment, Michael Harkin and David Rich Lewis, eds.   Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, pp. 32-51.
Darren Ranco.  2006.  “Toward a Native Anthropology: Hermeneutics, Hunting Stories, and Theorizing From Within.” Wicazo Sa Review 21(2): 61-78.