Research Dr. Bryan Tilt
Research Interests: Sustainable development, environmental risk assessment, pollution, community participation, natural resources, fisheries management
Geographical Areas: China, North America
I am an environmental anthropologist whose research focuses on contemporary China. I am also increasingly getting involved in research projects here in Oregon and elsewhere in the United States. My work is guided by three central questions with both scholarly and practical significance:
- What role does culture play in shaping people’s interactions with the natural environment?
- How do individuals and communities balance the need for economic development with the imperative for environmental protection?
- How can anthropological theory and method be applied to help communities find sustainable solutions to the problems they face?
Many of my research projects have applied outcomes, and I am interested in working with community members to shape policies that promote both human welfare and environmental sustainability. I also collaborate frequently with Chinese colleagues from Sichuan University, Sichuan Nationalities Research Institute, Yunnan University, and Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences. Currently (2006-2011), I am working on a collaborative research project with several Oregon State University colleagues, including Dr. Desiree Tullos (Biological and Ecological Engineering) and Dr. Aaron Wolf (Geosciences). The project, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, examines the social, economic and ecological effects of dams on the Nu River and the Upper Mekong River in Yunnan, China. [Link to project: http://rivers.bee.oregonstate.edu/CHINA_DAM_STUDY/index.html]
Prior to joining the Anthropology Department at OSU, I worked for two years as a research contractor at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Washington, one of several major research facilities of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). I worked in the Economics and Social Science Research Program, primarily on a project called "Fishing Communities of the North Pacific". My role in that project included researching how coastal Alaskan communities manage and use fishery resources, assessing the state of community viability by using social and economic indicators, and writing reports for intra-agency policymakers. As a result of this experience, I maintain a strong side interest in natural resource management and fisheries.
Some of my recent research projects include:
2011-present The Moral Economy of Water Resources in China
2010-present - Growers’ Perspectives on Adopting New Technologies in the Ornamental and Fruit Tree Sector
2009-present - Tribal-University Collaboration to Address Tribal Exposure to PAHs and Improve Community Health
2008-present - Interdisciplinary Research and Methods for Assessing Dams as Agents of Change in China
2007-2009 - Community Impacts of Wave Energy Development on the Oregon Coast
2006-2008 - Modeling the Ecological, Economic and Social Effects of Dams in China
2006-2007 - Improving Community Profiles for Fishing Communities in Oregon, USA
2006 - Field Research on Industrialization and Community Development in Sichuan and Yunnan, China
2003-2005 - Research on Community Profiles for the North Pacific, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Economics and Social Science Research Program
2002-2003 - Field Research on Industry, Pollution, and Ecological Risk Assessment in Sichuan, China
2002-2003 - Visiting Scholar, Sichuan University Department of Economics, Chengdu, China
2001- Field Research on Township and Village Enterprises in Sichuan and Heilongjiang, China