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Zoe Pearson

Department of Geography

Assistant Professor, School of Politics, Public Affairs, and International Studies

Ph.D., Geography, Ohio State University, 2016

M.A., Geography, Ohio State University, 2010

B.A. Geography, University of California Los Angeles, 2005

A&S Building, Room 325

Image of Zoe Pearson

Zoe Pearson is a human geographer with a background in geography and gender studies. Her current research examines the politics of illegal drug control and their impacts on people and the environment in Bolivia and Central America. She has also done research in Ecuador on the relationship between oil extraction, conservation, and local communities. More broadly, Pearson's research and teaching interests include nature-society relations & theory, political ecologies of health, the geopolitics of illegal drug control, feminist studies, social & environmental justice, conservation & environmental change, and resource conflicts in the Americas. 


human environment geography, political geography, feminist geography, drug studies, Latin American Studies in hemispheric context, qualitative methodology and research design


Recent Refereed Publications


McSweeney, K., Richani, N., Pearson, Z., Devine, J., and Wrathall, D. 2017. Why do Narcos Invest in Rural Land? Journal of Latin American Geography, 16 (2): 3-29.


Pearson, Z. and Crane, N. 2017. The Challenge of Feminist Political Geography to State-Centrism in Latin American Geography. Journal of Latin American Geography, 16(1): 185-193.


Pearson, Z. 2016. “Coca got us here and now it’s our weakness:” Fusarium oxysporum and the political ecology of a drug war policy alternative in Bolivia. The International Journal of Drug Policy, 33: 88-95.


McSweeney, K., Nielsen, E.A., Taylor, M.J., Wrathall, D.J., Pearson, Z., Wang, O., & S.T. Plumb. 2014. Drug policy as conservation policy: Narco-deforestation. Science, 343: 489-490.


McSweeney, K., & Z. Pearson. 2013. Vaccines, fertility, and power: The political ecology of indigenous health and well-being in lowland Latin America. In Brian King and Kelley Crews (Eds.), Ecologies and Politics of Health, pp.139-158. New York: Routledge.


Crane, N., & Z. Pearson. 2011. Can we get a pub from this? Reflections on competition and the pressure to publish while in graduate school. Geographical Bulletin52(2): 77-80.


McSweeney, K., & Z. Pearson. 2009. Waorani at the head of the table: Towards inclusive conservation in Yasuní. Environmental Research Letters, 4(3). DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/4/3/031001.


Regular Courses

INST 2250 Introduction to Latin American Studies

INST 5400 International Social Science Research Methods

Other courses center around nature-society relations, political ecology and economy, resource extraction and conflict, drug trafficking and control policy, and contemporary Latin America.



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Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-3311


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