Dr. Anna Willow has devoted her life to studying human-environment relationships in contexts of anthropogenic environmental transformation, with a specific emphasis on how diverse groups of people experience and respond to externally-imposed resource extractive industrial development. Her dynamic research program straddles the margins of environmental, applied, and political anthropologies and integrates insights from environmental studies, indigenous/First Nations studies, political ecology, landscape anthropology, globalization and development studies, and ethnohistory.
Her main research interests include environmental anthropology, environmental justice, landscape, ethnohistory, Native North American studies, and environmental education and behavior. She has investigated and written extensively about the cultural and political dimensions of Anishinaabe anti-clearcutting activism in northwestern Ontario, Canada. In addition, Dr. Willow has investigated the cultural and political complexities of First Nations-environmental alliances in the Canadian boreal forest, diverse responses to shale energy development in Ohio, and environmental decision-making in contexts of cumulative industrial effects in northern British Columbia. She is the author of Strong Hearts, Native Lands: The Political Landscape of Anishinaabe Anti-Clearcutting Activism (2012, SUNY Press) and Understanding ExtrACTIVISM: Culture and Power in Natural Resource Disputes (2018, Routledge).