Associate Professor

Ingrid is a feminist political ecologist whose scholarship addresses how specific people and places become 'green' through political struggles over diverse knowledge, expertise and uses of digital technologies. Feminist political ecology (FPE) is a community of praxis that centers the ‘how’ of researching power relations across conflicting worldviews. Ingrid’s research demonstrates how the politics of expertise transform specific places amidst the growing global advocacy of sustainable development and the ‘green economy’. Her long-term research in Mozambique examines how local woodland residents, environmental activists and rural development workers attempt to ‘save’ miombo woodlands and the communities that sustain them. In Vermont, Ingrid leads an undergraduate-centered research group called  ‘Campus Green and Gold’ that critically examines expertise in making university campuses sustainable. Ingrid also works with the Rural Environmental Justice Opportunities Informed by Community Expertise (REJOICE) project, which is a coalition with Dr. Bindu Panikkar (UVM), Vermont Law School and community organizations including Community Action Works (formerly Toxics Action Center) and the Center for Whole Communities. The project focuses on how Vermonters experience and frame environmental injustice in their own terms in order to create a meaningful, community-informed, statewide environmental justice policy framework for the Spring 2021 state legislative session. Ingrid is also researching how digital technologies shape techno-scientific ideas about nature and transform places in sustainability projects.

Spring 2020 Syllabi:

Ingrid smiling with fenced spring trees and flowers in the background

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Feminist political ecology, geography, cultural anthropology and STSS;
Critical development, NGO, sustainability and animal studies;
Digital geographies and natures


  • Ph.D. Geography, University of Oregon, 2012


  • 802-656-2087
Office Location:

Old Mill Rm 212

Office Hours:

Students can schedule appointments through this link where they can specify a preference for Teams or in person:

  1. Ingrid L. Nelson

Courses Taught

ENVS 002 – D2:SU:International Env Stdies

This course explores some of the most pressing global environmental issues of our time, including biodiversity and protected areas, agriculture and food systems, fresh water, energy, waste, and climate change. We examine these issues using a variety of different disciplines and approaches, with a particular focus on the economic, political, and social disparities that affect people's access to natural resources.

ENVS 143 – Political Ecology

Overview and Structure Political ecology is a community of practice best realized in conversation with others. Through a writing-intensive and research-based approach, this course examines how politics shape our understandings of and interactions with various forms and ideas of nature in geographically diverse contexts. ‘Nature’ is a historically and culturally contingent concept, deployed unevenly for the benefit of some and to the detriment of others.

GEOG 272 – Decolo Femin Political Ecology

This advanced seminar on space, power and identity examines decolonial practices and theory. We begin with feminist writings from the ‘Andean’ region, where much of decolonial theory has its roots and connects with eco-social and indigenous movements further afield in Central and South America. How well do decolonial theories and practices ‘travel’ from their roots in the Andes to other places? What challenges do the unique naturecultures encountered in the worlds beyond, pose for feminist decolonial perspectives? This course will examine these questions in three highly contested spaces: i) hostess bars in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, ii) mosques in Egypt (or Lebanon…this case may change) and iii) cancer treatment clinics in California, USA. These spaces are sites of remaking power relations, identities and knowledge. Three ethnographies will help us carefully unpack common gendered and racialized figures or tropes of sex workers, pious Muslim women, and breast cancer survivors in ways that radically rethink ideas of modernity, agency, freedom and other concepts. These texts also ask what it means to do embodied, intersectional ethnography. One of the major silences in these three ethnographies concerns ecology and narratives about nature.