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Rob Winthrop is a cultural anthropologist specializing in the environment, natural resources, and energy. His research and professional practice involve three areas: (1) the social impacts of environmental change, including resource development and climate change; (2) stewardship and other frameworks for environmental management; and (3) culture, heritage, and human rights.
From 2002 to 2017 Rob Winthrop led the Socioeconomics Program at the Bureau of Land Management (U.S. Department of the Interior), with responsibility for guiding the application of economics, anthropology, and other social sciences to land and resource management decisions from northern Alaska to the Mexican border. From 1981 to 2000 he was a principal of Cultural Solutions, a firm providing social impact assessment, ethnography, and conflict resolution, where his work primarily concerned conflicts between American Indian rights and interests and proposed natural resource development. He has served on the Social Science Coordinating Committee of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and the Subcommittee on Ecological Systems, National Science and Technology Council.