Dr. Adam Dunstan | Department of Anthropology

Dr. Adam Dunstan

Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Chilton Hall 330G

Adam Dunstan is an environmental scientist turned anthropologist of religion, and his research interests reflect this interdisciplinary background, focusing on the intersection of environmental justice, policy, and religious experience, especially in regards to sacred lands. His longest-running fieldwork has occurred in the context of a struggle over ski resort expansion on a Diné (Navajo) sacred mountain in Arizona: however, he has done fieldwork and applied projects with a variety of other communities on environmental and religious issues.

Pedagogically, Adam Dunstan focuses on facilitating students' growth as professionals, critical thinkers, researchers, and individuals engaging with complex issues in the world beyond the university. He incorporates a variety of innovative teaching methods, with a focus on increasing the relevance and accessibility of anthropological education to students who come to university with a variety of goals. He is particularly passionate about increasing the success of first-generation college students.

In addition to his university teaching and research, he consults on environmental justice and cross-cultural communication issues.


  • 2016 PhD Anthropology, University at Buffalo
  • 2013 MA Anthropology, University at Buffalo
  • 2011 BA Sociocultural Anthropology, Brigham Young University
  • 2011 BS Environmental Science, Brigham Young University

Selected Consulting Projects

  • 2016-2017 Research on UNT Mass Transit. UNT Transportation Services. Denton, TX.
  • 2014-2015 Consultation on Uranium Mining Remediation Issues. Dr. Robert Yazzie. Navajo Nation.
  • 2014 Comments on RMU-2 [Hazardous Waste Site Expansion] Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force. Tuscarora Reservation.
  • 2011 Assistance in Development of Institutional Review Board. Diné Policy Institute. Navajo Nation.
  • 2009 Social Impact Assessment of Snowmaking on the San Francisco Peaks. Diné Policy Institute. Navajo Nation.

Selected Publications

  • 2012 Sacredness and Ski resorts: Being Human and Being in Conflict. Convergence: Being Human 1(1):41-48.
  • 2012 What was Damaged?: Taking Sacred Ecology into Account in Environmental Impact Assessment. Indigenous Policy Journal 22(4):1-8.
  • 2010 With Anything Manmade There is going to be Danger": The Cultural Context of Navajo Opinions Regarding Artificial Snowmaking on the San Francisco Peaks." Indigenous Policy Journal 21(2):1-6.

Selected Presentations

  • 2017 The Struggle for Cultural Survival at the San Francisco Peaks. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture, April 2017, New York, NY.
  • 2017 Sacred Sites and Human Rights from Standing Rock to the San Francisco Peaks. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, March 2017, Santa Fe, NM.
  • 2016 Navajo and Environmentalist Collaborations: Hybrid Knowledge. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, November 2016, Minneapolis, MN.
  • 2015 Desecration and Destruction: Responses to Snowmaking on Dook'o'oosłííd, the San Francisco Peaks. Navajo Studies Conference, Flagstaff, Arizona.
  • 2015 "The Environmental Concerns are the Cultural Concerns": Sacred Space and Science in Navajo Environmentalism. Society for the Anthropology of Religion, San Diego, California.
  • 2013 Toxic Desecration: Indigenous Knowledge and Environmentalism in the Battle for a Sacred Mountain. Society for the Anthropology of Religion, Pasadena, California.
  • 2011 "We Have to Show What Sacred Really Means": Ethnographic Insights into Federal/Tribal Politics in the San Francisco Peaks Snowmaking. Western Social Science Association. Western Social Science Association, Salt Lake City, Utah.
File attachments: 
PDF icon CV_Dunstan.pdf210.66 KB

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