gregory simon

Gregory L. Simon

Visiting Researcher, IoES

Associate Professor, University of Colorado, Denver

Personal website

Gregory Simon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver. At CU Boulder he serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and an Affiliated Faculty member in the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. Before moving to Colorado, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University and a Principal Investigator in Stanford’s Spatial History Project. Among other professional appointments, he is the Environment and Society Section Editor of the journal Geography Compass. He served as the Chair of the Cultural and Political Ecology (CAPE) Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). He has also been a Core Advisor to the United Nations Foundation’s Global Alliance of Clean Cookstoves. 

As a Geographer, Simon is fundamentally interested in the relationship between humans and the environment. His research and teaching pursuits challenge conventional wisdoms about human interactions with nature and provide insights in support of greater social and ecological vitality and equity. He holds longstanding projects in the American West and India, where he examines strategies of conservation and development amidst profound social and environmental change. 

The first primary project explores wildfires in suburban and urbanizing areas of the American West. This research examines the many groups that benefit financially from the spread of cities into areas historically prone to wildfires, and also the scientific and mainstream management discourses that depoliticize the socio-economic root causes of costly and injurious fire hazards. This research led my most recent book titled Flame and Fortune in the American West (2016) published with the University of California Press.

The second project, currently funded by the National Science Foundation,  explores the challenges, opportunities and implications of mobilizing household cooking technologies to advance health, development and environmental initiatives, including climate change, forest loss and household air pollution mitigation. Simon’s present research is located in the Indian States of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.