Maria Fernandez-Gimenez, PhD.


Forest and Rangeland Stewardship

Fields of Expertise

Agriculture, Anthropology, Ecosystem Dynamics, Sociology

Areas of Interest

Community-based resource management, Rangeland social-ecological systems, Local and traditional ecological knowledge, Management of grass and shrubland watersheds, Pastoral development


A rangeland ecologist and social scientist, Maria’s research and teaching include natural resource governance and community-based natural resource management, adaptive ecosystem management and monitoring, integration of traditional ecological knowledge and science in resource management, participatory research, and climate change adaptation. Maria has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles and book chapters and edited the 2011 book: Restoring Community Connections to the Land: Building Resilience through Community-Based Rangeland Management in China and Mongolia. In 2014 Maria was named “Honorable Champion of Agriculture and Industry of Mongolia” by the Government of Mongolia, and in 2016 she was awarded Mongolia’s “Order of the Polar Star” in recognition of over 20 years of research, education and capacity-building work for the benefit of Mongolia’s rangelands, herders, and scientific community. She has been recognized by the international Society for Range Management with an Outstanding Achievement Award for research, by CSU’s Office of International Programs for outstanding contributions to internationalizing the university, and by CSU’s VP for Research for interdisciplinary team research.