Environmental Studies Department

Monica V. Ogra


Environmental Studies



Campus Box 2455


Science Center
Room 154 E
300 North Washington St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325-1400


PhD University of Colorado, Department of Geography, 2006
PhD Graduate Certificate in Development Studies, Univ of CO, 2006
MA University of Denver, Department of Anthropology, 1999
BS Syracuse University, Newhouse School of Public Communication, 1994

Academic Focus

Biodiversity Conservation, International Development, Gender Issues, Animal Studies, India



Through my teaching and scholarship as a faculty member at Gettysburg College, I study the relationships between people and the environment, the structures that shape those relationships, and the outcomes that follow.

As a geographer, I locate my scholarship at the intersections of biodiversity conservation and environmental change, gender issues, and practices of equitable and sustainable development. I am particularly interested in how these issues manifest in the borderlands of wildlife protected areas, where people frequently conflict with both one another and with members of other species over questions of space, place, and belonging.  

For over two decades I have maintained a regional focus on India, with my fieldwork emphasizing the experiences of Himalayan communities in Uttarakhand. In this context, I maintain specific topical interests in participatory approaches to community-based conservation and sustainable livelihoods development, gender mainstreaming debates, studies of human-wildlife conflict and coexistence, rewilding initiatives, and the politics of protected areas. 

A secondary area of teaching and research interests focuses on human-nonhuman animal interactions more broadly.   In this arena, I'm working with students to engage practical and philosophical questions about commodification of "the wild" and what this practice means for nonhuman animal actors caught up in the US-based exotic pet trade.  Several students have joined me in examining these issues in the specific context of wolf-dog hybrids. This work is set against the backdrop of my larger interests in the phemonenon of captive wildlife trade, rescue, and retirement pathways.  

In addition, and in collaboration with the international (and locally-based) NGO Project Gaia, I've worked with numerous students over the years to examine the potential for clean cookstoves to reduce black carbon, promote sustainable livelihoods, support women's empowerment, and contribute to biodiversity conservation objectives. 

My theoretical approaches are interdisciplinary and emphasize cultural and political ecology, environmental justice, feminist environmentalisms, critical development studies, compassionate conservation, care ethics, and animal geographies. 

I welcome potential ES450 (independent study), ES460 (honors thesis) students, and qualified student research assistants who share any of these broad theoretical, topical, or regional research interests.  If these areas excite you too, please get in touch or come by for a visit!  



Please note that section availability varies from year to year.  

* ES146: Animals in Culture, Society, and Literature *  NEW COURSE FOR SPRING '24!! *

* ES161: Introduction to Human Geography
* ES162: World Regional Geography
* ES196: Environmental Science and Society 
* ES334: Global Environment and Development 
* ES335: Gender and Environment 
* ES400: Senior Seminar: Animals, the Environment, and Society
* FYS174: Encountering Animals: An Introduction to Human-Animal Studies



In addition to my work as a faculty member in Environmental Studies (ES), I am also faculty co-advisor to the student club GECO (Gettysburg Environmental Concerns Organization) and faculty advisor to SASA (Students Against Sexual Assault). 


Thanks for visiting!