Hekia Bodwitch

Ph.D Candidate



University of California, Berkeley, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, Ph.D: present

Cornell University, Biology and Society, Bachelor's of Science: 2005-2009

University of Otago, Maori Studies, Semester Exchange: 2007

Research Interests

Sustainable fishing, social movements & capitalism; Indigeneity, race & neoliberalism; State natural resource management

Research Description

Governing fisheries:
Customary fishing, market-based conservation and labeling fish as sustainable

My work focuses on the relationship between customary/community fishing efforts and the global sustainable fishing movement.  Sustainable fish labelling, developed by the Marine Stewardship Council in 1997, originally included labelling criteria for cultural and economic sustainability alongside evaluation of fish stock sustainability, environmental impact, and effective management.  However, the criteria for social and economic sustainability were dropped due to the perception in the NGO community that local conditions made these variables too challenging to measure.  A primary goal of my research is to analyze ways in which specific customary management practices and commercial fishing interact in order to gather more data on the ways customary and economic sustainability metrics may be incorporated into sustainable fish labelling.  My dissertation research involves two inter-related research agendas.  First, I draw on political ecology and science studies literature to trace the ways, through forms of expertise, funding, discourse, legislation, labor, and access to resources, that the global sustainable fishing movement influences and is influenced by commercial fishing operations.  Secondly, I draw on insights from post-colonial and indigenous studies, natural resource management, and political economic critiques of neoliberalism to examine how particular customary management practices intersect with commercial fishing efforts.

Honors and Awards

Edward A. Coleman Fellowship in Water Management, UC Berkeley, 2013

Social Science Research Council, Doctoral Dissertation Development Fellowship, Global Indigenous Politics, 2011

Human Rights Fellowship, UC Berkeley, 2011

Center for Race and Gender Studies Research Grant, UC Berkeley, 2010


Recent Teaching

Sociology of Natural Resources, with Louise Fortmann, 2012

Political Ecology, with Nancy Peluso, 2011

Society, Environment and Culture, with Kimberly TallBear, 2011

Culture and Resource Management, with Kurt Spreyer, 2010

Contact Information

Email: hekiabodwitch@berkeley.edu

Office: 345 Giannini Hall

Office Phone: +1 315-567-9743

Research Group(s)

Mailing Address

Dept of Environmental Science, Policy, & Management
UC Berkeley
130 Mulford Hall #3114
Berkeley, CA 94720