Hannah Whitley by Three Grains Photography

Hi, all! I’m a rural sociologist and ethnographer interested in human dimensions of natural resources and the environment and the sociology of food and agriculture. 

I was raised on my family's 500-acre beef ranch in southwestern Oregon. Throughout childhood, I showed poultry, market lambs, and my sassy dairy cow, Brindle, at the Douglas County Fair. In FFA, I competed in extemporaneous speaking, ag sales, parli pro, job interview, co-op quiz, livestock evaluation, and meats judging. I received my State FFA degree during my junior year of high school and served two terms as the Elkton FFA Chapter President and one term as Secretary of the Umpqua District.

Today, I am an ABD dual-title PhD Candidate at Pennsylvania State University. I founded the Female Farmer Photovoice Project and am a research assistant for the Water for Agriculture project.


In September 2021, I moved to Klamath Falls, Oregon, for dissertation fieldwork. I will be a Visiting Scholar in the School of Public Policy at Oregon State Universityan Affiliate with the Oregon Policy Analysis Laboratory, and a Visiting Associate with the OSU Writing Intensive Curriculum (WIC) program during the 2021-2022 academic year.

Follow along with my dissertation fieldwork @myrsocdissertation

Photo courtesy of Talitha Etters, Three Grains Photography.

Community and Stakeholder Engagement

Environmental/Natural Resource Sociology

Participatory Research

Sociology of Food and Agriculture

Water and Society

Click here for access to my recent publications

Click here to learn more about my work

How can we make natural resource governance more collaborative, inclusive, and equitable?

Click here to learn more about my research

Hannah T. Whitley

PhD Candidate | Rural Sociology & Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment