Kirsten Vinyeta


Assistant Professor

Kirsten Vinyeta

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Kirsten Vinyeta is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Utah State University. She is an environmental sociologist specializing in qualitative methods whose research focuses on federal land management, climate change, and the impacts of these on Indigenous peoples and sovereignty in the United States. Prior to her role at USU, Kirsten received her PhD in Environmental Sciences, Studies and Policy at the University of Oregon and her BS in Landscape Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At the University of Oregon, she was a research fellow for the Tribal Climate Change Project and carried out a community-based participatory research project with the Coquille Indian Tribe as part of her master's thesis. Since 2016, she has served as a collaborating researcher and illustrator for the Karuk Tribe Department of Natural Resources, examining how federal wildfire management policies affect the Tribe's ability to adapt to climate change and protect the ecological integrity of the Klamath River Basin. As a settler frequently collaborating with Indigenous scholars, professionals, and communities, she is committed to community-based projects that honor Indigenous epistemologies and advance Indigenous sovereignty. She is also interested in projects that interrogate mainstream discourses of vulnerability and resilience in the context of climate change.