Professor (Environmental Science, Policy and Management and Geography)
Ph.D., Cornell University, 1973.
Regional focus: Southern Africa, California
“We’re not going to save the planet if we fix our hopes on conventional science alone” says Louise Fortmann (whose inability to milk a cow is the cause of considerable hilarity in rural areas). Her recent research has focused on democratizing science. How, she asks, can we institutionalize an interdependent science in which civil scientists (aka indigenous technical knowledge, local knowledge) and conventional scientists collaborate to, in the words of Donna Haraway, create “better accounts of the world”. Her edited book, Participatory Research on Conservation and Rural Livelihoods: Doing Science Together, in which civil and conventional scientists in Honduras, Indonesia, Sweden, USA, and Zimbabwe write separately about scientific research they have collaborated on was published in 2008.
She also writes on gender, community-based natural resource management, property and poverty in northern California and southern Africa.
She teaches courses on property, political ecology, science and society, and research methods.
Selected publications2008. Fortmann, Louise (editor) Participatory Research in Conservation and Rural Livelihoods: Doing Science Together. Oxford: Blackwell
2008. Fortmann, Louise, Heidi Ballard and Louise Sperling. “Change Around the Edges: Gender Analysis, Feminist Methods and Sciences of Terrestrial Environments.” in Londa Schiebinger (editor) Gendered Innovations in Science and Engineering. Stanford University Press: 79-95
2007. Ballard, Heidi and Louise Fortmann. “Collaborating Experts: Integrating Civil and Conventional Science to Inform Management of Salal (Gaultheria shallon)” in Kevin Hanna and D. Scott Slocombe (Eds.) Integrated Resource and Environmental Management: Concepts and Practice. Oxford University Press, Oxford and Toronto
2006. Fortmann, Louise. "In Theory & In Practice: Women Creating Better Accounts of the World” in Jane Jacquette and Gale Summerfield (editors). Women and Gender Equity in Development Theory and Practice. Durham, NC: Duke University Press: 191-201.
2005 London, Jonathan, Paul F. Starrs and Louise Fortmann. "Power Plants and Forest Plans: Two Decades of Mobilization in a Mountain Forest Community. In Robert Lee and Donald Field (editors) Communities and Forests: Where People Meet the Land. Corvallis: Oregon State University Press
2005 Louise Fortmann. “What We Need is a Community Bambi: The Perils and Possibilities of Powerful Symbols” in Peter Brosius, Anna Tsing and Charles Zerner (editors) Communities and Conservation: Histories and Politics of Community-Based Natural Resource Management :(Globalization and the Environment). Lanham, MD.: Alta Mira Press.