Benedict Colombi

About Benedict Colombi

Benedict J. Colombi, Ph.D. is Past Faculty Director (2016-2022) of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs (GIDPs) and Chair of the American Indian Studies GIDP (PhD and Master’s programs) in the Graduate College. He is Professor of the American Indian Studies Department in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He holds affiliated faculty appointments in the School of Anthropology, School of Geography, Development, and Environment, and School of Natural Resources and Environment, and is a Faculty Member and CO-PI with the Indigenous Food, Energy and Water Security and Sovereignty GIDP and NSF NRT Award, respectively. He served as Program Chair of the American Anthropological Association (AAA), Anthropology & Environment section, and served as Faculty Fellow with the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and a Fellow with the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA). In 2014, he was awarded a U.S. Fulbright Scholar Award, under the US-Russia Commission, for extensive fieldwork along the Far Eastern, Kamchatka Peninsula with local-Indigenous communities (Itelmen and Koryak).

His specialization lies at the interface of complex human-environmental problems (i.e. fisheries, climate, water, and energy). Significant publications include the books (Colombi and Brooks 2012), Keystone Nations: Indigenous Peoples and Salmon across the North Pacific (Advanced Seminar Series, School for Advanced Research Press) and (Maldonado, Colombi, and Pandya 2014), Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples in the United States: Impacts, Experiences and Actions (Springer Verlag Press), and a number of articles and chapters, including long-term and engaged research with the Nez Perce Tribe (Nimiipuu) about large dams, salmon, and the regional economy in the Columbia River basin (Colombi 2002 to Present). He also has expanded his research to include Southwestern Indigenous peoples and watersheds (Colombi 2010; Colombi 2014; Pasqualetti et al. 2016; Bair et al. 2019); complimented with field studies of local-Indigenous resources/management in the United States, Canada, Russia (Thom, Colombi, Degai 2016; Colombi, Thom, Degai 2018), Iceland, Norway (Ween and Colombi 2013), Japan, Brazil (Colombi 2014; Perry et al. 2018), and Mexico (Colombi 2010; Colombi 2014)..

2010/10/18 - University of Kansas
Nation Building Through Salmon: The Nez Perce Tribe and Indigenous People as World Citizens
For more information please see the poster or visit the event website.

2009/10/01 - Kyoto, Japan
Water, Cultural Diversity and Global Environmental Change: Emerging Trends, Sustainable Futures?
Dr Colombi presented his research and most recent publication at the 2009 United Nations meeting in Kyoto Japan.  The poster was on display with the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Hydrological Programme.
For more information please see the poster or visit the conference website.

Dr Colombi's personal Web Site 
School of Anthropology 
School of Natural Resources and Environment
Institute of the Environment
School for Advanced Research

Areas of Study

Indigenous resource management, sustainability, and globalization.

Benedict Colombi's picture

Contact Information

Benedict Colombi
Telephone: (520) 621-2269
Fax: (520) 621-7952
Office: Harvill 237B
Office Hours: Monday and Thursday 1pm to 2pm and by appointment


Ph.D., 2006, Washington State University 

M.A., 2001, University of Idaho

B.A., 1992, University of Colorado

Dissertation Title

The Nez Perce Tribe vs. Elite-Directed Development in the Lower Snake River Basin: The Struggle to Breach the Dams and Save the Salmon

Courses Taught

Non-Western Cultures and Civilizations - Many Nations of Native America

Research Design and Methodology

Natural Resource Management in Native Communities

Interdisciplinary Research: Theory and Methods

Catalog Courses by Faculty

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences