Emilio Moran

Profile photo of Emilio Moran

Founding Director, ACT, 1992-2012, Distinguished Professor and James H. Rudy Professor of Anthropology Emeritus

moran[at]indiana [dot] edu

To access Dr. Moran's current CV, click here.

Geographical Areas of Specialization: Latin America, Brazil

Research Interests: Ecological Anthropology; Research Methods; Tropical Ecology and Resource Management, Land Use and Land Cover Change, and Demography



Contemporary society problems cannot be understood with methods designed for studying largely sedentary populations. Populations across the world today are on the move physically, as a result of loss of control over local resources over which they had no legal documents, as a result of war and famine, as a result of the shifting international demand for labor, and as a result of environmental degradation. How to study these populations' role in environmental change is a major challenge.

My research has focused on the study of populations in the Amazon Basin experiencing dislocation through resettlement. Traditional methods do not apply because of the transitoriness of settlement in forested frontiers with up to 85% of the population moving within the first decade of settlement but replaced with others immediately. These populations experience rapid shifts: from shifting cultivators to extensive annual cropping to intensive cultivators of grains to intensive managers of permanent crops or irrigated areas - - all this while dividing their household labor between the farm and the non-farm sector, between mining and farming, and other options available in local ecosystems.

My current research combines remote sensing methods and ground-level methods of data gathering and analysis that permit a continual checking of macro and micro levels of analysis. They aim to permit inferences from one level to be tested with data at another; and to discover the indices that may best serve to understand the linkages between global, regional and local-level processes. Students working with me would have the opportunity to become familiar with remote sensing methods and to relate satellite images at a number of sites to social processes at a micro-level. The goals of the current research are to develop a multi-level, multi-site, longitudinal, and comparative approach to the study of how people impact forests, how they organize to manage their resources, and what role population plays in their shifting actions. Currently this research is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institutes of Health (NICHD) and the National Oceanic and Atomospheric Administration (NOAA). Students are routinely incorporated into these large-scale projects where they learn how to collaborate across disciplines.

Dr. Moran has published over 150 articles over the course of his career. Please refer to his CV for detailed listings. Listings for selected books, monographs, and editied volumes can be found below.

If you're interested in browsing his published works, click here to access a list of Dr. Moran's books available at Amazon.com  

Books and Monographs

2010 Environmental Social Science: Human-Environment Interactions and Sustainability. Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers.
Portuguese Edition, Meio Ambiente e Ciencias Sociais. Sao Paulo: Editora SENAC, and Editora da Universidade de Sao Paulo, 2011

2010 Meio Ambiente e Florestas. Sao Paulo: Editora SENAC

2007 Human Adaptability: An Introduction to Ecological Anthropology, 3rd edition. Boulder:
Westview Press.
2008 Portuguese edition, Editora da Universidade de São Paulo and Editôra SENAC, Brazil

2006 People and Nature: An Introduction to Human Ecological Relations. Oxford, UK.:Blackwell Publishers
Portuguese Edition, 2008, Editora SENAC, São Paulo, Brazil.

2000 Human Adaptability: An Introduction to Ecological Anthropology. 2nd edition. Boulder: Westview Press.

1993 Through Amazonian Eyes: The Human Ecology of Amazonian Populations. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1993.
Spanish edition, 1993, Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico City.
Portuguese edition, 1990, Editôra Vozes, Petrópólis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1981 Developing the Amazon. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

1979 Human Adaptability: An Introduction to Ecological Anthropology. N. Scituate: Duxbury Press.
Reissued in 1982 by Westview Press.
Portuguese revised edition, Editôra da Universidade de São Paulo, 1994.

1976 Agricultural Development in the Transamazon Highway. Bloomington: Indiana University Latin American Studies Center.

1973 Rui e a Abolicão. Rio de Janeiro: Ministerio da Educacão e Cultura.

Edited Volumes

2012 Human-Environment Interactions: Current and Future Directions. Dordrecht: Springer
(co-edited with Eduardo Brondizio)

2008 Geoinformática e Monitoramento Ambiental na America Latina. São Paulo: Editora SENAC (co-edited with M. Batistella)

2008 Amazônia: Natureza e Sociedade em Transformação. São Paulo: Editora da Universidade de São Paulo (EDUSP).
(co-edited with M. Batistella and D. Alves)

2005 Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Human Environment Interactions in Forest Ecosystems.
Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (co-edited with E. Ostrom).
Portuguese Edition, 2008, Editôra da Univ. De São Paulo and Editora SENAC, Brazil.

2004 Land Change Science: Observing, Monitoring and Understanding Trajectories of Change on the Earth's Surface. Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer.
(co-edited with G. Gutman; A.C. Janetos; C.O. Justice; J.F. Mustard; R.R. Rindfuss; D. Skole, D.; B.L. Turner II; M.A. Cochrane)

2001 Meeting in the Middle: The Challenge of Meso-Level Integration. LUCC Report Series No. 5. Focus 1 Office, LUCC (co-edited with W. McConnell)

1998 People and Pixels: Linking Remote Sensing and Social Science. Washington DC: National Academy Press. (co-edited with D. Liverman, R. Rindfuss and P. Stern)

1996 Transforming Societies, Transforming Anthropology. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

1995 The Comparative Analysis of Human Societies: Toward Common Standards for Data Collection and Reporting. Boulder: L. Rienner Publ.

1990 The Ecosystem Approach in Anthropology: From Concept to Practice. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

1984a The Ecosystem Concept in Anthropology. Washington, DC: American Association for the Advancement of Science. Selected Symposium No. 92.

1984b Human Ecology in the Amazon, Special Issue of Interciencia. Pergamon Press. Vol. 9, No. 6, pp. 341-424. (co-edited with R. Herrera.)

1983 The Dilemma of Amazonian Development. Boulder: Westview Press.

1979a Changing Agricultural Systems in Latin America.. Publication Number 7 from Studies in Third World Societies. College of William and Mary.

1979b Changing Agricultural Systems in Africa. Publication Number 8 from Studies in Third World Societies. College of William and Mary.