Jeffrey Hoelle

Assistant Professor

Office Hours

Spring 2017: TR 12:30-1:30 pm

Contact Phone

(805) 893-4244

Office Location

HSSB 2073
HSSB 2075 (lab)


Sociocultural Anthropology (environmental anthropology, ethnography, Latin America, Brazilian Amazon)


Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Florida
M.A., Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin


I am a cultural anthropologist interested in human-environment interactions in the Brazilian Amazon. My research seeks to understand Amazonian livelihoods and land uses in relation to political and economic drivers, but also to expand the view through attention to cultural factors, such as ideals of work, nature, and masculinity, as well as food and landscape preferences. The goal is to understand why destructive environmental practices, particularly cattle raising, make sense from the perspective of different actors. My book, Rainforest Cowboys: The Rise of Ranching and Cattle Culture in Western Amazonia, won the 2016 Book Prize from the Brazil Section the Latin American Studies Association. 


  • Cross-cultural comparison of cattle economies, cattle cultures, and beef consumption
  • Integrating culture into land use-land change frameworks, theory, and modeling
  • The function and aesthetics of everyday forms of nature control and domination
  • The anthropology of environmental degradation in the Brazilian Amazon, focusing on cattle raising and gold mining


Rainforest Cowboys: The Rise of Ranching and Cattle Culture in Western Amazonia.  Austin: University of Texas Press.

Winner of the Brazil Section of the Latin American Studies Association's Best Book Award


Cattle Culture in the Brazilian Amazon. Human Organization 73(4): 363–374.

“Forest Citizenship in Acre, Brazil.” Marianne Schmink, Amy Duchelle, Jeffrey Hoelle, Flávia Leite, Marcus Viníciod’Oliveira, Jacqueline Vadjunec, Judson Valentim & Richard Wallace.In Forest Under Pressure:  Local Responses to Global Issues, Katila, P. et. al. (eds) IUFRO/WSFE 2014.

Trans-boundary Infrastructure, Access Connectivity, and Household Land Use in a Tri-national Frontier in the Southwestern Amazon. Perz, Stephen, Andrea Birgit Chavez, Rosa Cossio, Jeffrey Hoelle, Flavia L. Leite, Karla Rocha, Rafael O. Rojas, Alexander Shenkin, Lucas AraujoCarvalho, Jorge Castillo & Daniel Rojas Cespedes. Journal of Land Use Science, ahead-of-print: 1-27


Black Hats and Smooth Hands: Social Class, Environmentalism, and Work among the Ranchers of Acre, Brazil. Anthropology of Work Review 33(2): 60-72.

Regional Integration and Local Change: Road Paving, Community Connectivity, and Social–Ecological Resilience in a Tri-National Frontier, Southwestern Amazonia. Regional Environmental Change. 12: 35-53.Perz, Stephen G., Liliana Cabrera, Lucas Araujo Carvalho, Jorge Castillo, Rosmery Chacacanta, Rosa E. Cossio, Yeni Franco Solano, Jeffrey Hoelle, Leonor Mercedes Perales, Israel Puerta, Daniel Rojas Cespedes, Ioav Rojas Camacho, Adão Costa Silva.


Convergence on Cattle: Political Ecology, Social Group Perceptions, and Socioeconomic Relationships in Acre, Brazil. Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment 33(2): 95-106.



Winter 2017

ANTH 2: Introductory Cultural Anthropology

ANTH 235B: Contemporory Anthropological Theory (Graduate)

Spring 2017

ANTH 152/ ES 151: Environmental Anthropology

ANTH 240C: Thesis and Proposal Writing (Graduate)