Robert Amundson by Mike Hudak
 Video duration: 2:11
 Play: high-resolution
 Return to Video Directory
  Robert Amundson
Ranching Politics in Academia
Robert Amundson, husband of the late range ecologist Joy Belsky, earned his BA is biology at Whitman College, and his MS and PhD degrees at the University of Washington. Subsequently, he held positions in research at the Boyce Thompson Institute at Cornell University before relocating in 1992 to Portland, Oregon, where he has served as an environmental consultant and as a lecturer at Portland State University.

Joy Belsky (1944–2001) earned a BA from Smith College, a masters in forest ecology from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, and a PhD in botany from the University of Washington. Subsequently, she was research assistant professor at Syracuse University and senior research associate at Cornell University, where she taught graduate courses on plant ecology and investigated the ecology of grazed ecosystems and the properties of tropical savannas in Tanzania and Kenya. She published over 45 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters on African and North American grasslands and rangelands. From 1993–1996, Belsky was staff ecologist for the Oregon Natural Resources Council (now “Oregon Wild”), and from 1997 until her death in 2001 held the same position at the Oregon Natural Desert Association.

Robert Amundson describes the lack of academic freedom Joy Belsky experienced at Texas Tech University when she was invited there to speak about the damaging effects that cattle grazing has had on desert grasslands of the American West.

Recorded in August 2003. This video is an excerpt from Robert Amundson’s interview in Western Turf Wars: The Politics of Public Lands Ranching.