Scott Freeman

Senior Lecturer, Department of Environment, Development, and Health

Scott Freeman is an anthropologist working at the intersection of the environment, aid, and issues of land and agriculture. He works primarily in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and more recently Costa Rica. His early work examined the economic and ecological impacts of the essential oil industry in Haiti. Since then, he has worked largely on soil conservation and aid. His historical and ethnographic examination of soil conservation revealed a legacy of coercion in state-led soil conservation. This work is related to his research on the bureaucracy of aid which focuses on how the administrative demands of project-based aid intersect with a legacy of ineffective soil conservation in Haiti. His research with NGO workers and the targets of aid projects revealed the often-hidden economies of aid, where the need to produce “successful” aid projects distorts environmental outcomes. In contrast, his work along with small holder farmers in Haiti has focused on collective and rotational labor practices that support agroecological farming. In Costa Rica, he teaches a field research practicum that works with water and agroecological activists threatened by the impacts of pineapple plantations. More recently, he has been working on the 400 families displaced by the Caracol industrial park in northern Haiti, working with Haitian organizers and legal non-profits to monitor the remedy and reparation for displacement, and broader impacts on livelihoods. He has been researching the way that lessons from development induced displacement and pursuit of remedy might apply to the struggles of those negatively affected by carbon dioxide removal projects.

Current Projects

• Displacement caused by development projects

• The struggle for remedy and reparation from development projects

• Carbon removal and issues of displacement

• The political ecology of pineapple plantations

• History of soil conservation