Maron E. Greenleaf

Lecturer and Reseach Associate
Academic Appointments

Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer

I am a sociocultural anthropologist, political ecologist, and legal scholar studying intersections of the environment and economy. I examine how people interact with, understand, and govern the worlds around them and the kinds of economic and cultural values this engenders. In particular, I examine efforts to create “green economies” and the political practices, aspirations, and forms of inclusion and exclusion they create.

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Rural landscapes are a particular focus of my work, particularly forests and mines. I'm currently completing a research project that examines the cultural and political dynamics of enlisting capitalism to address climate change. It is an ethnography of forest protection and forest carbon valuation in the Brazilian Amazon—a landscape that is environmentally and culturally vital, threatened by deforestation and violence, and pioneering this form of climate mitigation (known as REDD+). Critical scholarship has documented the sociopolitical effects of carbon’s extraction via fossil fuels. In this project, I ask what happens culturally, politically, and socially when the aim is instead to keep carbon in the earth and the trees that grow from it. I'm currently developing a new project on reforestation and the Trillion Trees Initiative.

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Silsby 413A
HB 6047
B.A. Yale University
J.D. NYU School of Law
Ph. D. Stanford University

Selected Publications

Greenleaf, Maron. 2021. “Beneficiaries of Forest Carbon: Precarious Inclusion in the Brazilian Amazon.” American Anthropologist.

Greenleaf, Maron. 2020. “Rubber and Carbon: Opportunity Costs, Incentives and Ecosystem Services in Acre, Brazil.” Development and Change 51.

Greenleaf, Maron. 2020. “The Value of the Untenured Forest: Land Rights, Green Labor, and Forest Carbon in the Brazilian Amazon.” The Journal of Peasant Studies

Duchelle, Amy, Maron Greenleaf, Denyse Mello, Maria F. Gebara, and Tadeu Melo. 2014. “Acre’s State System of Incentives for Environmental Services (SISA), Brazil.” In Sills Erin, Stibniati Atmadja, Claudio de Sassi, Amy Duchelle, Demetrius L. Kweka, Ida Aju Pradnja Resosudarmo, and William Sunderlin (eds). REDD+ on the Ground: A Case Book of Subnational Initiatives Across the Globe. Bogor, Indonesia: Center for International Forestry Research. 

Greenleaf, Maron. 2011. “Using Carbon Rights to Curb Deforestation and Empower Forest Communities.” Note, N.Y.U Environmental Law Journal 18: 507-598.

Works in progress

Greenleaf, Maron. Forest Lost: Carbon and Inclusion in the Brazilian Amazon. (Book manuscript)

Mendoza, Marcos, Maron Greenleaf, and Eric Thomas. “Green Distributive Politics.

Selected other writing

Greenleaf, Maron. 2019. "California Polluters May Soon Be Able to Buy Carbon ‘Offsets’ from the Amazon—is that Ethical?” The Conversation, September 26, 2019. 

Greenleaf, Maron and Amelia Moore. 2016. "2015 Rappaport Student Prize Winner Maron Greenleaf Interviewed by Amelia Moore.” Anthropology News.