Richard Mbatu, PhD

Richard Mmbatu_hp-photobatu (Ph.D. Oklahoma State University, 2006) is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy. Dr. Mbatu’s research interests are in two interconnected areas: (1) forest resource management and policy aspects of sustainable development and climate change, and (2) the structure and function of plans, programs, bilateral and multilateral agreements and conventions dealing with forest resource management and climate change. These two research areas are connected by the “local to global” nexus which allows him to draw from the local and state levels in the U.S. as he focuses on the international perspective. Dr. Mbatu is particularly interested in community and national forests policy, and the UNFCCC’s (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) program in the Congo Basin region in Central Africa, as forest communities wield significant influence over deforestation through agriculture and land use powers, but are only beginning to consider the implications of those powers for climate change. There is the need to understand how local communities and national governments in forests-rich nations can influence deforestation and forest degradation, the extent of greenhouse gas emissions reductions that they can achieve, and the keys to success for adopting policies to pursue those reductions. Dr. Mbatu’s research looks into human-environment interactions through the lenses of political ecology, political economy of natural resources, environmental politics, and sustainable development.

Dr. Mbatu’s teaching interests are in the following areas of global environment and resource policy and politics: (1) International Resource Policy/Governance; (2) Global Environmental Institutions; (3) International Negotiations, Agreements and Conventions on Resource Issues; (4) Global Environmental Policy and Politics; (5) Society, Politics and the Environment.


PUP 4203 – Environmental Politics and Policy

EVR 6937 – Graduate Seminar in Environmental Policy

EVR 4873 – Environmental Policy and Sustainability

EVR 2861 – Introduction to Environmental Policy

EVR 4930 – International Environmental Policy

EVR 4910 – Environmental Science and Policy Project

GEO 4372 – Global Conservation

EVR 6971 – Thesis: Masters



Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy
DAV 205