Daniel Klooster

Professor, Environmental Studies
Environmental Studies

Photo of Daniel Klooster

Area of Expertise

  • Human geography 
  • Latin American studies 
  • Environmental justice  
  • Land use change  
  • Community forestry 
  • Indigenous communities and agricultural practices 
  • Food systems


Ph.D. Geography, University of California Los Angeles, 1997

M.A. Latin American Studies, University of California Los Angeles, 1992

M.A. Urban Planning, University of California Los Angeles. 1992

B.A. Concentrations in Geology, Spanish, Journalism, Macalester College, 1987

For the Media

Contact :
Media Relations


Lewis Hall
P: 909.748.8642
E: daniel_klooster@redlands.edu


I am a Geographer, on the social science side of that sprawling, integrative, discipline. My research has been on conservation and development topics in Latin America, starting right after I graduated from Macalester College when I researched squatter settlements in landslide zones in Colombia, through sea turtle conservation in an indigenous area on the coast of Mexico for my Masters work, and to community forestry in indigenous communities in Mexico for my dissertation research.  Since the dissertation, I’ve worked in Mexico on land use change, community forestry, Forest Stewardship Council forest certification, and the ways that migration affects rural sustainable development possibilities.  During a sabbatical planned for 2022-2023 I hope to conduct research with small-scale indigenous distillers of mezcal, a traditional, artisanal liquor similar to tequila. Mezcal is made with very traditional methods from a wide variety of wild and domesticated agave species, often by indigenous people. I’m interested in knowing more about how indigenous villagers are benefitting from a booming, globalizing market for this beverage and how they are trying to protect their culture and territorial resources as they interact with powerful market actors.

Those research experiences inspire all my teaching, but especially May term courses to Mexico in 2013 and 2014, a pair of successful Fulbright applications for University of Redlands students who did research in Mexico with my colleagues there, and a course I now regularly offer in Panama. (Here’s a 5 minute video about that course.)  In Panama, my students and I study forest conservation dynamics on a rainforest frontier, visit indigenous villages, and learn about their role in conservation challenges.

I also recently developed a course on Environmental Justice.  With help from the Center for Spatial Studies, students collaborated with local environmental justice activists to map the environmental justice implications of warehouse locations in Southern California.  Students’ maps and analysis appeared in a report at earthjustice.org and was covered in news reports about the issue.

Courses Offered

EVST 100: Introduction to Environmental Studies

EVST 241: Environment and Society

EVST 277: Environmental Justice

EVST 342: Food and Nature

EVST 351: TRVL PanaMapping: Geodesign to conserve the rainforest (May Term Travel Course)

EVST 376: Market-based Conservation Policy

EVST 475: Capstone in Environmental Studies


Professor of Environmental Studies. University of Redlands, 2011-Present

Chair, Department of Environmental Studies. University of Redlands, 2015-2018

Director, Latin American Studies Program. University of Redlands, 2010-2012

Professor of Latin American Studies. University of Redlands, 2010-2011

Associate Professor of Latin American Studies. University of Redlands, 2008-2010

Associate Professor of Geography. Florida State University, 2006-2008

Assistant Professor of Geography. Florida State University, 2000-2006

Adjunct Assistant Professor of International Affairs, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, 1999-2000

Fortune Postdoctoral Fellow in Conservation and Development, Princeton Environmental Institute, Princeton University, 1997-1999


Book and Recent Book Chapters

Robson, James, Dan Klooster, and Jorge Hernández-Díaz, editors. (November, 2018) Communities Surviving Migration: Village Governance, Environment and Cultural Survival in Indigenous Mexico.  Routledge Studies in Environmental Migration, Displacement and Resettlement. Routledge 240pp

Klooster, Dan. (2018). Santa María Tindú: The Tip of a Melting Iceberg. In Robson, James, Dan Klooster, and Jorge Hernández-Díaz, editors. Communities Surviving Migration: Village Governance, Environment and Cultural Survival in Indigenous Mexico. Routledge

Klooster, Dan. (2018). More Space and More Constraint: Migration and Environment in Santa Cruz Tepetotutla. In Robson, James, Dan Klooster, and Jorge Hernández-Díaz, editors. Communities Surviving Migration: Village Governance, Environment and Cultural Survival in Indigenous Mexico. Routledge

Journal Articles Since Arrival at University of Redlands

Klooster, Dan, Nathan Strout, David Smith and Fundación Geoversity. (Submitted February 2021 to a festschrift honoring Monty Hempel).  GIS in the Jungle: Experiential Environmental Education (EEE) in Panama. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. Submitted. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8310560/pdf/13412_2021_Article_716.pdf

James P. Robson and Dan Klooster. (2019). Migration and a New Landscape of Forest Use and Conservation. Environmental Conservation, 46(1), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0376892918000218

James P. Robson, Dan Klooster, Holly Worthen, and Jorge Hernandez-Diaz (2018). Migration and Agrarian Transformation in Indigenous Mexico. Journal of Agrarian Change. 18(2), 299-323.

Lira, M. G., Robson, J. P., and Dan Klooster, D. J. (2016). Can indigenous transborder migrants affect environmental governance in their communities of origin? Evidence from Mexico. Population and Environment37(4), 464-478.  http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11111-015-0247-2

Klooster and Alejandro Mercado. (2016). Sustainable Production Networks: Capturing value for labor and nature in a furniture production network of Oaxaca, Mexico.  Regional Studies.  50(11): 1889-1902, https://doi.org/10.1080/00343404.2015.1071915   

Klooster. (2013).  Migration, trans-border communities, and commons management among indigenous communities in Mexico. Journal of Latin American Geography 12(1):57-86 

Garibay, Claudio Andrew Boni, Francesco Panico, Pedro Urquijo, and Dan Klooster. (2011).  Unequal Partners, Unequal Exchange: Goldcorp, the Mexican State, and Campesino dispossession at the Peñasquito goldmine. Journal of Latin American Geography 10 (2): 153-176

Klooster. (2010). Standardizing Sustainable Development? The Forest Stewardship Council’s plantation policy review process. Geoforum 41(1):117-129

Awards, Honors, Grants

Faculty Global Impact Award (For engagement with learning communities beyond the US), 2020-2021

Virginia Hunsaker Innovative Teaching Award, University of Redlands, 2010-2011

University Teaching Award, Florida State University, 2004-2005


Principal Investigator: Trans-border Indigenous Environmental Governance: Assessing the connections of Mexican indigenous peoples in the US to their communities of origin. National Science Foundation, Collaborative Research and Geography and Spatial Sciences program. BCS-1127534. http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward.do?AwardNumber=1127534 2011 to August 2016

Visiting Scholar, UC-Mexus, University of California, Riverside. Trans-border communities and environmental governance in Mexico. April 5 to June 30, 2015

Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholar for sabbatical research in Oaxaca, Mexico. Trans-border Environmental Governance: The roles of migrants in community governance and sustainable development in Oaxaca. Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigacion para el Desarrollo Integral Regional, Oaxaca, Mexico. 1/1/2015 to 1/4/2015.

Visiting Scholar, Center for US-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego. Trans-border communities and environmental governance in Mexico. 9/1/2014 to 12/31/2014