Anthropology at PSU
PhD, University of Hawai'i, 2008
Dr. Spoon's research focuses on how political, economic, and ecological forces influence ecological knowledge and understanding inside and around mountainous protected areas. He is interested in how power relations shape perceptions and knowledge of place and whether or not the local decisions of these actors are socially, environmentally, and/or economically sustainable at certain points in time and in different contexts. Dr. Spoon also strives to apply research findings to projects created in participatory ways.
He continues several interpretive planning projects that carry out collaborative research as well as building, landscape, and exhibit design for four U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Forest Service visitors centers, interpretive trails, picnic areas, lookouts, and campgrounds. Assisted by ten PSU graduate and undergraduate students, he worked with The Mountain Institute and federal agencies to host two inter-generational camping excursions with more than 100 Nuwuvi (Southern Paiute) participants in Nevada featuring cultural demonstrations, pine nut harvesting driving tours, and hikes. Dr. Spoon's article "Collaborative Research and Co-Learning: Integrating Nuwuvi (Southern Paiute) Ecological Knowledge and Spirituality to Revitalize a Fragmented Land" was recently accepted by the peer-reviewed Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture..
Dr. Spoon is continuing his long-term research with the Sherpa in the Mt. Everest region of Nepal, conducting exploratory studies on local perceptions of non-biodegradable litter as well as follow-up research on local knowledge of edible mushrooms and lichens. His first publication from this new research entitled "From Yaks to Tourists; Sherpa Livelihood Adaptations in Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park and Buffer Zone, Nepal" will be part of the edited book Continuity and Change in Cultural Adaptation to Mountain Environments, Studies in Human Ecology and Adaptation 7 (L. Lozny ed.). He recently started a position as a reviewer of the Disaster Management Plan for Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park. Finally, Spoon hosted ten undergraduate and graduate students at the Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland and co-organized a day of service with Wisdom of the Elders for his Environmental Anthropology class.
Spoon, Jeremy and Richard Arnold. (accepted). Collaborative Research and Co-Learning: Integrating Nuwuvi (Southern Paiute) Ecological Knowledge and Spirituality to Revitalize a Fragmented Land. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture.
Spoon, Jeremy. (in press). From Yaks to Tourists: Sherpa Livelihood Adaptations in Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park and Buffer Zone, Nepal. In L. Lozny ed. Continuity and Change in Cultural Mountain Adaptations: From Prehistory to Contemporary Threats. Springer.
Spoon, Jeremy (in press). Different Ways of Knowing, Shared Goals: Applied Sustainability Projects in the Himalayas and Great Basin. In J. Dillard, V. Dujon and E. Brennan eds. Social Sustainability: A Multilevel Approach to Social Inclusion. Routledge.
Spoon, Jeremy. 2011. Tourism, Persistence, and Change: Khumbu Sherpa Spirituality in Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park and Buffer Zone, Nepal. Journal of Ecological Anthropology 15(1): 41-57.
Spoon, Jeremy. 2011. The Heterogeneity of Khumbu Sherpa Ecological Knowledge and Understanding in Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park and Buffer Zone, Nepal. Human Ecology 39(5): 657-672.