Carol Hunsberger

Associate Professor

Carol Hunsberger

Contact Information

Office: Room 2409, SSC
Tel: 519 661-2111, 85020

Research Areas

Political ecology, energy justice, biofuels, pipeline politics, environmental governance

Research Interests

I am a human geographer interested in the political ecology of energy systems, especially biofuels and pipelines. On one level this means studying the outcomes of energy projects for livelihoods and ecologies across scales. On another level it means considering how discourses attached to climate change, economic priorities, and competing interpretations of development and the ‘public interest’ influence patterns of governance, investment, promotion and resistance for energy projects. I am especially interested in how people with different positions on controversial issues interpret justice and fairness, and how the diverse values and priorities that they raise are reflected in decision-making processes.

More broadly I am interested in land use and the governance of environmental change. I have a persistent side interest in the politics of knowledge and how environmental issues are communicated. At different times this has expressed itself through work on scenario analysis, experiential education, global environmental assessment reports and community radio. Previously I have worked in Kenya though my current research focus is on energy projects in Canada.


GEO 1500 – Environment and Development Challenges

GEO 3443 – Energy and Power

GEO 4450 – Climate Change and Collective Action

GEO 9120 – Environmental Justice

Supervised Graduate Students and Theses Titles

PhD Students

  • M. Assari (Current) t.b.d.
  • C. Dakin (2023) Indigenous Energy Justice: Multitemporalities, Natural Law, and Decolonial Governance in Anishinaabeg Pipeline Resistance

Masters Students

  • B. Davey (joint-supervised) (2022) (Un)Contained Breasts: A Phenomenological Analysis of Flesh, Femininity and Feelings
  • S. Doris (2020) Energy Access and Extreme Heat Events: A case study of seniors in Ottawa, Ontario
  • I. Diaz (2016) Coffee Agroecology, Food Sovereignty, and Agrarian Livelihoods in Puerto Rico
  • M. Boes (2013) Household livelihood diversification and perceived vulnerability to risks in rural Mali
  • E. Wabusya (2013) Policy Outcomes and Community Perceptions of a Dryland Invasive Species: A Case Study of Prosopis juliflora in Baringo County, Kenya
  • 2M. Awuni (2013) Dilemmas of implementing Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+): Evidence from REDD+ pilots in Ghana

Publications & Supervised Graduate Students and Theses Titles

Refereed Journals

Hunsberger, C and R Kløcker Larsen. 2021. The spatial politics of energy conflicts: how competing constructions of scale shape pipeline and shale gas struggles in Canada. Energy Research and Social Science

Creutzig, F, K‐H Erb, H Haberl, C Hof, C Hunsberger, and S Roe. 2021. Considering sustainability thresholds for BECCS in IPCC and biodiversity assessments. GCB Bioenergy

Hunsberger, C, S Froese and G Hoberg. 2020. Toward ‘good process’ in Canadian regulatory reviews: Is the new system any better than the old? Environmental Impact Assessment Review

Mang-Benza, C and C Hunsberger. 2020. Wandering identities in energy transitions: Political leaders’ use of the “we” pronoun in Ontario, 2009-2019. The Canadian Geographer

Hunsberger, C and S Awâsis. 2019. Energy justice and Canada’s National Energy Board: A critical analysis of the Line 9 decision. Sustainability.  

Chapters in Books

Hunsberger, C. 2021. Biofuels. In: Handbook of Critical Agrarian Studies, H Akram-Lodhi, B McKay, K Dietz and B Engels (eds). Edward Elgar.  

Wang, C, SM Borras and C Hunsberger. 2016. Contemporary agrarian transformation and rural development: large-scale land investment and the question of labour. In: Towards employment intensive growth in South Africa, A Black (Ed), pp 156-176. University of Cape Town Press.